Are Victrola Record Players Good?

Are Victrola Record Players Good?

Victrola record players have been around for over 100 years. Today’s models are more streamlined, with several versions meant to appeal to those on the go. However, if you are looking to buy a new record player, you may wonder if the Victrola brand is worth the investment. Below, we take a look at the history of the Victrola record player and whether or not their current units are worth the investment.

Victrola: Over a Century of Music

Eldridge Johnson founded the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1901. During the early years, the company focused on producing improved phonographs. This included features like tapered tonearms, quieter spring motors, and improved sound boxes.

Through creative advertising, Johnson was able to increase profits quickly. Surviving fierce competition and legal mayhem, Johnson started to experiment with the phonograph in 1905 due to common complaints.

The horn, which many people felt was too big and too easily damaged, was Johnson’s primary concern. Most complaints were made regarding the size and unattractive nature of the large horn, which converted the vinyl dents and ridges into audible sound. To fix this, Johnson folded the horn downward and encased it in a cabinet. In 1906, this wildly popular concept was patented under the copyright name “Victor-Victrola”.

Over the years, different models of the Victor Victrola were produced, each ranging in prices to ensure every family could own one. However, as the electronic radio gained traction, the phonograph and Victrola began to decrease in popularity. Additionally, wartime efforts reduced the economy and impacted production lines across all non-military essential items. The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) bought the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1929 when Johnson grew tired of the industry and decided to retire. At this point, the Victor-Victrola became known as the RCA Victor.

The economic hardships experienced during the Great Depression effectively killed off the phonograph market. However, the RCA Victor began to regain popularity once the economy started to recover. RCA continued to sell the RCA Victor through the late 1960s.

Today, the Victrola has been making yet another comeback. Now owned by Innovative Technology, the modern Victrola is a combination of vintage looks and current technology. Often including Bluetooth technology, compact disc (CD) functionality, and built-in speakers – the Innovative Technology Victrola models combine the past and the present.

A Victrola for Every Budget & Style Preference

Innovative Technology markets their Victrola as a modern version of a retro classic. Whether you are new to vinyl records or an enthusiast, there is a Victrola model fit for you. Below, we take a look at the top three units to help us determine the top praises and complaints from Victrola users around the world.

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Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable

Sale
Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player with Built-in Speakers | Upgraded Turntable Audio Sound| Includes Extra Stylus | Turquoise, Model Number: VSC-550BT-TQ
  • THREE SPEED BELT-DRIVEN TURNTABLE - This 3-speed (33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm) suitcase record player features UPGRADED PREMIUM SOUND QUALITY and sits on sound isolating feet that prevent vibration. It is perfect for your living room, bedroom or office.
  • TAKE YOUR TUNES ANYWHERE - Housed in a vintage suitcase with an easy carry handle, Victrola's blend of retro and contemporary design give you the ultimate flexibility to listen to music where you want and how you want – a great choice for vinyl lovers. Clean only with a dry cloth
  • EXPANDED CONNECTION OPTIONS - Stream smartphone audio through the turntable’s built-in Bluetooth speakers. Easily connect external speakers via the stereo RCA outputs, or use the Line input for non-Bluetooth devices like a CD player. For personal listening, connect your headphones to the headphone jack.
  • NO STEREO SYSTEM OR EXTRA EQUIPMENT REQUIRED. Get it up and running in minutes. Retro looks combined with the convenience of modern technology makes this affordable record player ideal for beginners & vintage enthusiasts
  • ALL THE CONTROLS YOU NEED - Features an Input select knob, Power/Volume Knob & an Auto stop switch that stops spinning records once the record is finished playing.

This is the most budget friendly model that Victrola currently makes. That makes it ideal for anyone new to vinyl or who dabbles in it occasionally. Will you use it to drop sick beats at the next disc jockey (DJ) event? No, not at all. However, if you are looking for something you can tote around or tuck away quickly when not in use – this compact unit comes highly recommended. This lightweight unit receives a lot of praise for the all-inclusive features, like Bluetooth compatibility, three-speed turntable, and built-in speaker. It also comes in quite a few different colors and designs so it can match any persona or décor. The primary complaint, however, does criticize the sound quality coming from the built-in speaker. Built to be lightweight, budget-friendly and easy to use – the speaker took a back seat to providing everything else. It is not a top of the line feature, although the overall quality appears to be “acceptable”. For those who are looking for something with better quality sound, this Victrola may not be for you.

Victrola Modern Design Record Player with Bluetooth

Victrola Pro Series USB Record Player with 2-Speed Turntable and Dust Cover Silver (VPRO-2000-SLV)
  • 3-Speed belt drive Turntable with metal tonearm and high quality diamond Stylus
  • Record from vinyl to MP3 (Mac/PC software and USB cable included)
  • Easily stream to any headphone or speaker with Bluetooth (adjustable volume control on Turntable)
  • Rca output jack with Pre-Amp switch (RCA cable included)
  • Features: stroboscopic aluminum platter, Anti-Skating adjustment, Pitch control with Quartz lock, and Removable, clear Acrylic dust cover

Slightly more expensive, the Victrola Modern gives you a more contemporary look. In keeping with modern technology, this Victrola comes with Bluetooth connectivity. Unlike the Vintage, the Modern comes with detached, rechargeable speakers that can be easily replaced and upgraded. Also unlike the other Victrola models, the Modern is only a two-speed turntable. This version does not come with a dust cover, so if you plan on just listening occasionally, you will likely need to clean the platter to keep your vinyl records safe from dust and dirt particles. A word of caution, however. While this Victrola model looks more in line with the latest DJ set up, these record players are not meant for heavy scratching.

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Victrola Nostalgic Aviator Bluetooth Record Player

Sale
Victrola Aviator 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center with Built-in Stereo Speakers - 3-Speed Turntable, Vinyl to MP3 Recording, Wireless Music Streaming, Mahogany
  • 8-in-1 ENTERTAINMENT CENTER – With vintage looks & modern features, this turntable not only plays your Vinyls, but also has a CD & cassette player, FM radio, Bluetooth, and Aux & headphone jack for audio streaming from your smartphone
  • NO STEREO SYSTEM OR EXTRA EQUIPMENT REQUIRED. Get it up and running in minutes. Retro looks combined with the convenience of modern technology make this record player a great value - ideal for beginners & vintage enthusiasts alike
  • THREE SPEED BELT-DRIVEN TURNTABLE – This 3-speed (33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm) record player features UPGRADED PREMIUM SOUND QUALITY with minimum vibrations. It is perfect for your living room, bedroom or office and a great choice for vinyl lovers
  • ALL THE CONTROLS YOU NEED – Features a volume knob, FM tuner and easy click buttons for input select, power, play/pause/forward/rewind, eject, program, shuffle, repeat, and a full function remote control
  • EXPANDED CONNECTION OPTIONS – Extend the sound by connecting external speakers or an amplifier via the RCA Line outputs or bluetooth out technology. For personal listening, plug your headphones into the headphone jack.

The Victrola Nostalgic Aviator comes in 6-in-1, 7-in-1 and 8-in-1 variants. Heavier than the portable Vintage, these record players are truly reminiscent of the retro design. Like several other models, the Nostalgic Aviator is a three-speed turntable. Modern features, like Bluetooth technology, CD players, cassette players and an AM/FM radio, all make an appearance within the walls of the Nostalgic. This model is a bit on the pricy side, but for those who want something that looks like it came right out of the 20’s – this will do the job beautifully. As with the Vintage, the Nostalgic Aviator is an all-in-one unit. The speakers, again, are amongst the top complaints, although there seem to be issues with the CD functionality for some as well.

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Other Victrola Honorable Mentions

While the Vintage, Modern and Nostalgic Aviators seem to be the most popular, there are a few other Victrola models worth mentioning due to their unique looks.

The Victrola 5-in-1 Vintage Tabletop record player gives you that 20’s aviator retro style with a few modern improvements. Lighter in weight that the Nostalgic Aviator models, it is still heavier than the streamlined Vintage. As with the other all-in-one units, the speakers for the Vintage Tabletop are acceptable, but not stellar. The Vintage Tabletop incorporates Bluetooth, CD and a three-speed turntable for a multipurpose unit everyone can use.

The Victrola Wall Mount is another option for those looking for something a little different. (These tend to, again, be a bit on the pricy side for a hobbyist.) More reminiscent of a grandfather clock, this unit comes with protective split doors that open wide to allow you access to a vertically suspended platter. The Bluetooth, CD, and three-speed features including in other Victrola models make yet another appearance in the Wall Mount. Perfect for those tight spaces, the Wall Mount save space while still providing the same functionality of the other all-in-one Victrola products. Again, expect acceptable sound quality only. (If you like the look but do not want to mount it on the wall, this model can also stand on a flat surface.)

A Word of Caution Regarding Innovative Technology’s Customer Service

While the majority of all users seem to be happy with their purchase, those that contact customer service repeatedly report issues with them. According to several buyers across multiple online stores, the customer service leaves much to be desired. If your unit is faulty, Innovative Technology does not issue refunds, even if you have proof of your purchase. (If you received a faulty unit as a gift – you are completely out of luck with Innovative Technology. The proof of purchase is a must!) Instead of the refund, they will agree to ship you a new, replacement unit. However, you must pay for all shipping and handling, including the return of your original purchase in exchange for the new one. Because of the weight of most of these units, you are looking at hefty shipping charges. (For many, this meant they spend more money attempting to get a “replacement” unit than they would just buying a completely new one.)

Victrola Record Player: Final Assessment

As previously stated, the majority of Victrola record player owners are happy with their purchase. While the speakers are not top of the line, they are of an acceptable quality. Will the Victrola be good enough for DJ-ing? No, not by a long shot. Nevertheless, are they good enough for a vinyl hobbyist? Absolutely!

The retro-looking Victrola models make for great bonding memories between the old and young. After all, it is an older technology grandparents can teach the younger generation, with the additional benefits of modern technology incorporations. They are neat gifts for anyone interested in learning more about vinyl, interested in retro décor with a bit of functionality, or into eclectic things. (Just make sure you get a gift receipt!)

Victrola record players have undergone decades of evolutions. From the early days as a Victor Victrola to the new Innovative Technology Victrola, there is a model to fit any budget. For those looking to for serious usage, however, the Victrola will likely disappoint. When used regularly, the lifespan of the Victrola is shortened. While Innovative Technology does sell replacement needles, most complaints regarding faulty CD players or blown speakers occurred within a few months. With a full range of prices, designs, and styles – we recommend the Victrola for hobbyists only.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player with Built-in Speakers | Upgraded Turntable Audio Sound| Includes Extra Stylus | Turquoise, Model Number: VSC-550BT-TQ
  • THREE SPEED BELT-DRIVEN TURNTABLE - This 3-speed (33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm) suitcase record player features UPGRADED PREMIUM SOUND QUALITY and sits on sound isolating feet that prevent vibration. It is perfect for your living room, bedroom or office.
  • TAKE YOUR TUNES ANYWHERE - Housed in a vintage suitcase with an easy carry handle, Victrola's blend of retro and contemporary design give you the ultimate flexibility to listen to music where you want and how you want – a great choice for vinyl lovers. Clean only with a dry cloth
  • EXPANDED CONNECTION OPTIONS - Stream smartphone audio through the turntable’s built-in Bluetooth speakers. Easily connect external speakers via the stereo RCA outputs, or use the Line input for non-Bluetooth devices like a CD player. For personal listening, connect your headphones to the headphone jack.
  • NO STEREO SYSTEM OR EXTRA EQUIPMENT REQUIRED. Get it up and running in minutes. Retro looks combined with the convenience of modern technology makes this affordable record player ideal for beginners & vintage enthusiasts
  • ALL THE CONTROLS YOU NEED - Features an Input select knob, Power/Volume Knob & an Auto stop switch that stops spinning records once the record is finished playing.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center, Built-in Stereo Speakers - Turntable, Wireless Music Streaming, Real Wood | Mahogany
  • 8-in-1 ENTERTAINMENT CENTER – With vintage looks & modern features, this turntable plays and records your Vinyls to MP3 (Mac/PC software and USB cable included). It has a CD & cassette player, FM radio, Bluetooth, Aux & headphone jack for audio streaming from your smartphone
  • NO STEREO SYSTEM OR EXTRA EQUIPMENT REQUIRED. Get it up and running in minutes. Retro looks combined with the convenience of modern technology make this record player a great value - ideal for beginners & vintage enthusiasts alike
  • THREE SPEED BELT-DRIVEN TURNTABLE – This 3-speed (33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm) record player features UPGRADED PREMIUM SOUND QUALITY with minimum vibrations. It is perfect for your living room, bedroom or office and a great choice for vinyl lovers
  • ALL THE CONTROLS YOU NEED – Features a volume knob, FM tuner and easy click buttons for input select, power, play/pause/forward/rewind, eject, program, shuffle, repeat, and a full function remote control
  • EXPANDED CONNECTION OPTIONS – Extend the sound by connecting external speakers or an amplifier via the RCA Line outputs or bluetooth out technology. For personal listening, plug your headphones into the headphone jack.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Victrola Nostalgic 6-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center with Built-in Speakers - 3-Speed Turntable, CD & Cassette Player, FM Radio | Wireless Music Streaming | Mahogany
  • 6-in-1 ENTERTAINMENT CENTER – With vintage looks on the outside & modern features inside, listen your way; vinyl records, CDs, cassettes, AM/FM radio or stream music from your smartphone via Bluetooth or 3.5 mm Aux/headphone jack.Motor type : AC Motor
  • NO STEREO SYSTEM OR EXTRA EQUIPMENT REQUIRED. Get it up and running in minutes. Retro looks combined with the convenience of modern technology make this record player a great value - ideal for beginners & vintage enthusiasts alike
  • THREE SPEED BELT-DRIVEN TURNTABLE – This 3-speed (33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm) record player features UPGRADED PREMIUM SOUND QUALITY with minimum vibrations. It is perfect for your living room, bedroom or office and a great choice for vinyl lovers
  • EXPANDED CONNECTION OPTIONS – Extend the sound by connecting external speakers or an amplifier via the RCA Line outputs (cable included). For personal listening, plug your headphones into the headphone jack
  • ALL THE CONTROLS YOU NEED – Features an input select knob, power button, volume knob, AM/FM tuner, play/pause/fast forward/rewind buttons, program & repeat buttons, open/close button for CD tray, eject switch for cassettes - everything is right there
Bestseller No. 4
Victrola Stream Carbon Turntable - 33-1/3 & 45 RPM Vinyl Record Player, Works with Sonos Wirelessly, High Precision Cartridge, Semi-Automatic, Wi-Fi, RCA, Pre-Amp Out, Sleek & Stylish, Matte Finish
  • RECORD PLAYER FOR RICH, VIVID SOUND - Immerse in the soothing sounds of your records with the Victrola Stream Carbon Belt-Driven Record Player Turntable with Sonos compatibility that allows you to stream your vinyl records wirelessly to your Sonos system
  • WORKS WITH SONOS - Enjoy a seamless wireless listening experience on your Sonos system straight from your vinyl player without cables or adapters - just plug in this Victrola record player, power it on, and listen to your favorite LPs, albums, and records
  • PREMIUM CONSTRUCTION - This vinyl record player has a dynamic frequency response & high clarity. With a carbon fiber tonearm, carefully designed headshell, adjustable counterweight & an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, this LP player brings music to life
  • VERSATILE CONNECTIONS - Connect the vinyl turntable with Sonos devices via ethernet or gold-plated RCA ports for a wired connection, or wirelessly over Wi-Fi. Use the built-in Phono preamp & stereo RCA output to connect to non-Sonos speakers & amplifiers
  • EASY SETUP - The Victrola Stream App (Android / iOS) allows easy setup and adjustments. Once setup, connect to the S2 Controller App - the illuminated control knob provides tactile, centralized volume control for your entire Sonos system & playback groups
SaleBestseller No. 5
Victrola Empire Mid-Century 6-in-1 Turntable with 3 Speed Record Player, Bluetooth Connectivity, Radio, Cassette and CD Player (Espresso)
  • 6-in-1 ENTERTAINMENT CENTER - With traditional farmhouse looks on the outside & modern features inside, listen your way; vinyl records, FM radio, CDs, cassettes or stream music from your smartphone via Bluetooth or 3.5 mm Auxiliary/headphone jack
  • NO STEREO SYSTEM OR EXTRA EQUIPMENT REQUIRED - Get it up and running in minutes. Timeless mid-century looks combined with the convenience of modern technology make this record player a great value - ideal for beginners & vintage enthusiasts alike
  • THREE SPEED TURNTABLE - This 3-speed (33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm) record player features built-in stereo speakers that give you well-rounded sound in your home. It is perfect for your living room, bedroom or office and a great choice for vinyl lovers
  • ALL CONTROLS YOU NEED - It has everything you need right there - an analog radio dial in the middle surrounded by LED light and gold accents, input select & volume knobs, music playback buttons & headphone/aux. The front looks clean, uncluttered & simple