Crosley Cruiser Turntable Review


Crosley's portable turntable has been a market leader for the last couple of years, but is it really worth the purchase?

With vinyl sales on the rise for the sixth year running, young people are on the lookout for budget friendly record players more than ever before. Not only are they after one that does what it says on the tin, but they're also after one that looks good too. Step up, the Crosley Cruiser, sitting pretty on the shelves of Urban Outfitters whilst surrounded by impressionable teenagers gawking at it's retro-style and Tumblr-esque looks.

I should start by saying that I fell into the category of teenage Crosley gawker. I recently bought one without having done much research, only going off the fact that it had four star reviews on Amazon and Argos. It felt like the obvious choice since they seem to be featured everywhere online, but I wish I looked further into what people were saying about it before I bought one myself.

Looking at the design of the Cruiser, it's easy to understand why they're selling so well. The retro style is compact, with it's suitcase design making it portable and easy to position on any surface within a room. The range of colours is impressive, coming in a variety of different colours such as orange, brown, red, navy and pink. Everything looks as it should, but when you start using it, it's easy to see some of the flaws the product has. The cue lever does not seem sturdy at all, feeling like it could fall apart at any moment when lowering the needle onto the record. 

One thing that the Crosley Cruiser excels at is it's ease of use. Within ten minutes of opening the box, everything was set up correctly and a record was playing. All there was to do was plug it in, open the lid, place the vinyl down and voilà! Although I didn't have the highest hopes for the built in speakers, the tinny, bass-less sound still disappointed me. Considering that it is marketed as a portable turntable where "you can listen to your music without having to connect it to a speaker system", I wasn't impressed when I realised how poor the sound quality was. There is the option to use separate speakers, but that just counteracts one of the main plus points of the product.

Another flaw with the Crosley's design is that the cartridge has a high tracking weight, meaning that over time, your records will become worn far quicker than they would on other turntables. After researching, the weight of the cartridge on the Crosley was seven grams, just under three times heavier than the average weight (two-point-five grams) on other players. 


The Crosley Cruiser is in theory, a great idea. With three speed options (33 RPM, 45 RPM and 78 RPM), a retro-design and accessible price point, the principle makes it sound like a winner. But sadly, this trendy and portable turntable just isn't up to scratch, with it's heavy tracking weight a huge point of concern for anyone with valuable records. If you want to keep your records in good shape, don't play them on a Crosley.

** Since writing this review, the Crosley has been returned, meaning that all images in this post are not my own, but are in fact from this blog, here. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post however, are my own.

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11 comments:

  1. that looks beautiful, isn't it strange how we are going back to old tech, having thrown away the records and cds in favour of having it all in the cloud, there's something different about the sound a real record makes.

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  2. I was planning on buying, not anymore. Thanks for the review.

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  3. Beautiful machine. We love our record player but if it ever gives out we'd look into this one.

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  4. Its rare to see a negative review of something. I really appreciate your honesty. I wasn't really in the market for a record player but I think about it occasionally. Thank you.

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  5. I love the way it looks though! Thanks for being honest in your review of it.

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  6. Loooove Crosley record players - gorgeous pic too btw :)

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  7. Oh no! So glad to here this before buying!

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  8. I just bought a Crosley a few months back and I love it! I wish I would have saw this color choice super cute

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  9. I have many vintage items in my home. I love them. This is the reason I wait to buy anything, vintage or new. Gotta wait to hear what others say their experiences are. Thanks for the review.

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  10. Bummer. I thought it would be a better product to have. Thanks for the honest review; very helpful!

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  11. Sorry about your experience,thanks for the insight though on the crosley cruiser,guess i will have to take it off my mind.

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