Review: 1byOne portable turntable with built-in speakers
We take 1byOne’s Portable Turntable out for a spin!
We live in an age where a majority of our media is digital. For general portability purposes, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the charm and style of older formats seems lost in time. 1byOne hooked us up with their portable turntable to see what we thought about jumping back in time a few decades and going vinyl again.
When I unpacked the turntable, I was actually surprised by how light and solid the entire unit was. Covered in a faux leather, the suitcase-style turntable has external controls on its right-hand side and automatic controls inside the unit. In my experiments with it. I was able to use all record types that I could get my hands on as well, but I did pick up Fall Out Boy’s American Beauty/American Psycho as well to give a new album a ‘spin’ as well. Everything about the turntable actually works as advertised, which was easy to use for someone that hasn’t even touched a vinyl album in over 20 years.
A few things to note about the turntable, so that we can cover a few of the things you may have missed if you didn’t watch our hastily thrown together video. It has selectable 33/45/78 RPM speeds, which I hear is a pretty big deal as some much more expensive tables lack the 78 RPM speed. There’s a 45 RPM adapter with the turntable and is stored neatly by the arm. The needle has to be placed over the record but will automatically drop with the control lever on the turntable. A feature I actually enjoyed a fair bit was the auto on/off feature that actually stops the record when the side ends. This worked well when we were cleaning and the side ended. The side controls offer an RCA output so you can forgo the speakers built in and use something with some serious quality, and the headphone jack allowed me to use my personal headphones and it really wowed me. Finally, for those that are really wanting to take this bad boy out and about, there is a 3.5mm audio in jack that you can play other devices through the speakers on the turntable.
With a price tag of $76.99, it’s a simple, yet effective, way to get back in touch with a more classic medium. With that being said, there were a few drawbacks that weren’t certainly deal-breakers but worth noting. The biggest of the two was the fact that the built-in speakers that the turntable use are honestly sub-par at their very best and noisy and shrill at their worst. However, when I took this out and tried it out in a public space, it was far less noticeable than in a room listening to albums by myself. Secondly, the actual turntable itself seemed to be slightly off-balance. While very noticeable when watching the album spin, in a little over an hour of constant usage, I only noticed a few audio flubs. For the price, I can’t say that I really expected it to blow my mind.
Overall, 1byOne’s portable turntable is something that makes a great self-indulgent purchase or a fun gift for music-loving friends or family. Functioning as it absolutely should and built in a nice solid case, it makes a great sub-$100 purchase for anyone that has an audio itch that can only be scratched by vinyl. Now if it were only easier to get albums.