There's no doubt that vinyl record sales are on the up. Okay, so they're nowhere near their heyday in terms of sales volumes, but that doesn't stop vinyl being the cool antithesis to streaming and MP3s. Only to listen to real, tangible records you're generally stuck using a full-on hi-fi system or a pair of long-wired headphones plugged into an amplifier.
Not so with the Audio-Technica AT-LP60-BT, the Bluetooth-enabled version of the already established LP60 turntable which is available now in black or white for £369. The push of a button and you can sync wireless headphones or speaker systems to output your favourite vinyl, no tether to worry about.
Or you can still go wired thanks to a 3.5mm jack, plus built-in switchable phono amplifier and supplied RCA cable output. So the choice of wired or wireless is yours, even without the need for a separate amplifier.
As turntables go the LP60-BT isn't the ultimate in luxury from every angle, though, but its relatively inexpensive price point is testament to that. It includes the stylus and cartridge which are the typically decent quality expected from the brand - as let's not forget Audio-Technica established itself in cartridge production back in 1962.
The LP60-BT's platter is a rigid die-cast aluminium structure, which is great to minimise vibrations being picked-up during playback, but its construction elsewhere is more budget-feeling. For example: the buttons to stop/start are plasticky to the touch - they're not the kind of classic hi-fi switches that deliver a reassuring “clunk” as they click into place.
Still, that doesn't impact on functionality. Pairing with headphones is easy, as we found when disconnecting a pair to check out the Bluetooth process during a quick play at CES earlier this year. This is mainly thanks to an illuminating switch to the top of the deck. Press-and-hold and it'll go from blue (connected) to white (not connected), with flashing purple showing issues/attempting connectivity.
Available in the aforementioned black or white finish (Adele's 25 on vinyl as pictured is entirely optional), the Audio-Technica AT-LP60BT is available from urbanoutfitters.com. Looks like a decent way for a vinyl wannabe on a budget to start a real record collection.
The higher-end AT-LP5 is also now available, being sold by John Lewis for £329.
The vinyl resurgence continues.