A Short Introduction to Crosley Turntables
We don’t want to steal your time…so the answer to the question: “Are Crosley record players really that good?” is Yes! Why do we think so? Just read on and you’ll get to know the answer for that, too!
Before checking some of their best products, below you can read a short historical overview of Crosley as a company. If it is not something you are interested in, and you’re just want to know which are the best, the most popular Crosley turntables, that you should definitely consider in case you want to buy a turntable, just scroll down a bit!
It’s interesting that one of the world’s most influential producers of high quality record players and turntables is a company that was originally focused on building automobiles (and then pretty much everything else) before being inspired to jump into the audio product world.
But that’s the history behind Crosley, one of the most interesting paths that any major titan of this industry could have taken to reach the pinnacle of their marketplace. Powell Crosley, JR was an incredibly influential businessman throughout the early 1900s all the way up until the 1960s when he passed away, and (amongst other things) was responsible for creating the Crosley Radio Company – a company that has changed hands a number of different times, but a company that is today responsible for producing some of the best record players and turntables available.
In fact, it all almost didn’t happen until Crosley was asked by his young son to purchase a toy radio in the 1920s. Visiting the shop he found that all radios were selling for an almost astronomical fee of $100. Rather than paying that much, he instead decided to purchase a booklet about “building your own radio” – and then started a company that sold incredibly cost-effective radios (for seven dollars at the time) that built a business empire.
The company today has very little to do with producing radios, but is still responsible for producing some of the very best professional, high quality turntables and record players that music producers, DJs, and audio enthusiasts enjoy every single day.
Breaking down some of the best Crosley products
It’s almost impossible to pick three Crosley record players or turntables from their offerings, because just about absolutely every one of the Crosley turntable products is considered by so many to be the very best of the best.
In fact, it’s also very difficult to find people online that disagree with those that say Crosley is the true titan of the industry today, even with other great companies like Audio Technica and other top producers.
Anyway, we did our best to briefly show you the pros and cons of three of their most liked turntables, that you should definitely consider in case you’re looking for a quality, stylish, affordable and at the same time reliable machine.
We think it’s fitting that the first Crosley turntable we review in this quick guide is the one that is probably closest to the first original few Crosley turntables that ever rolled off of the assembly line way back in the 1920s.
The Nomad, one of the most popular Crosley record players available right now, is designed to closely mimic the kinds of record players that you would have found in homes all throughout (and just beyond) the Great Depression and leading up to the second world war.
Absolutely everything about this particular record player is simple, straightforward, and very minimalist in a utilitarian kind of way – but don’t let its aesthetic trick you into believing that it’s anything but one of the most accomplished and pure sounding record players on the planet for this price tag.
This is absolutely everything that you are probably looking for in a Crosley turntable and then some!
Driven by a belt mechanism, the sound quality that this record player can reproduce (at 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPMs, no less) is second to none at this price point – a price point that is very, very affordable, even for those that aren’t quite sure that they want to begin jumping headfirst into the world of vinyl record collecting.
Combine that with an intelligently designed NP5 needle system (with replaceable stylus) and the ability to effortlessly plug-in to any stereo system or musical production equipment thanks to the in-line RCA output, auxiliary output, headphone jack, and USB connectivity, and you are looking at a very, very special piece of audio equipment at a price point that is almost too good to be true.
All of this is wrapped up in a very retro looking kind of case (complete with an upholstery exterior), and you’ll notice right off the bat that this Crosley record player is quite unlike anything else you anticipated or have seen on the market today.
- Beautifully designed and even more beautiful sound
- Compact, affordable, and effortless to transport
- Reproduces three different speeds of the vinyl records with no difficulty at all
- A little bit on the pricier side of things for a portable record player that lacks true musical production tools
- Though it is compact and portable, it can be a bit heavier than other portable options
- Retro inspired design aesthetic might not be for everyone
If you are on the search for a very retro inspired portable Crosley record player and aren’t quite satisfied with the less genuine retro design of the option above, the odds are pretty good that you are going to immediately fall in love with everything that the Crosley CR8005A-TU Cruiser Portable Turntable brings to the table.
Not just designed to look like a record player from the 1930s through the 1950s, but actually designed FROM record players from that era, this is as close to the “real deal” as you are going to get to one of those antique record players without having to sacrifice a tremendous amount of money or technological advances that have been made in the last 80 years.
Drop dead beautiful across-the-board, you are going to find it almost impossible to take your eyes away from this “suitcase” record player – and that’s on purpose. Clean lines, a very minimalist approach to its exterior, and a secured locking mechanism hide powerful and advanced audio reproduction internals that make this Crosley record player a force to be reckoned with.
Available in a variety of different colors (nine different ones, for that matter), this retro portable record player from Crosley should not be underestimated. It takes advantage of advanced belt driven turntable mechanisms, comes with an NP6 needle system, and plays three different speeds without any trouble at all.
It does lack USB connectivity (so it isn’t the ideal option for serious DJs or music professionals but that is not the purpose here anyway), but as far as listening to and enjoying authentic and rich sounds from your vinyl collection, it just doesn’t get a whole lot better than this!
- Very, very vintage and throwback feel for a Crosley turntable
- Extremely portable, very compact, and super stable thanks to its innovative “suitcase” design
- Has full dynamic range stereo speakers built right in with a preamplifier as well
- A little bit on the more expensive side of things as far as portable record players go
- Does not include USB connectivity in any way, shape, or form (and only RCA/headphone jack outputs)
- Isn’t quite as flashy as some of the other Crosley turntable products out there
Anytime you are talking about a turntable that has been given the moniker of “The Executive” you are talking about something really special, and this turntable from Crosley is no exception.
Designed to look like the kind of portable record player that a traveling executive would have carried with them all over their travels, and not at all unlike a steamer trunk that may have made a handful of cross country or transcontinental trips all on its own, the Crosley CR6019A-BR Executive Portable USB-Enabled 3-Speed Turntable is a force to be reckoned within the portable turntable community.
Built on the back of a three speed USB enabled turntable (playing 33/45/78 RPM records with zero difficulty whatsoever), it has a built-in preamplifier as well as dual stereo speakers to give you the kind of rich and authentic sound you are looking for with zero extra effort (and no extra equipment) necessary.
Combine all of that with the inclusion of auxiliary input and output options, RCA output and headphone jack output, and the USB connectivity we mentioned above, and you are looking at a Crosley record player that is as fun to listen to as it is to produce music on.
- Traveling suitcase design aesthetic makes this Crosley record player stand out from the rest of the pack (in a good way)
- Incredibly portable design makes it very friendly for those that intend to move around with this Crosley turntable
- USB connectivity, preamplifier system, and stereo speakers open up a lot of versatility
- Options for producing music are pretty basic
- Stereo speaker options on their own aren’t quite up to the task in some situations
- Still requires one to be a little bit delicate so as not to jostle the internal Crosley audio equipment
Why exactly are so many overjoyed at the prospect of using Crosley products?
Individuals that want to be 100% certain that they are listening to the most authentic reproduction of the audio on their vinyl records have fallen in love with everything that Crosley brings to the table – and for good reason.
These people love to hear music in as close to its natural form as possible, and that’s exactly what Crosley record player options (especially the ones above) are able to pull off.
Crosley has an established name in the record player industry for a real reason. They offer some of the best pieces of audio enjoyment equipment on the market today, and have been producing these top options for decades. You really cannot go wrong with a Crosley record player.
Check out the detailed reviews we made about some other Crosley Turntables (Click the Image or the link to read our review):