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Victrola vs Crosley: Who Makes the Better Record Player?

Both Victrola and Crosley are well-known brands in the music industry. But how do they stack up against each other? Which of the two is better?

Victrola vs Crosley

Should You Choose a Crosley or Victrola Record Player?

Both Victrola and Crosley are well-known brands in the music industry. They’ve both established themselves as brands and have a reputation for putting out quality products, but how do they stack up against each other? Which of the two is better?

In this post, we will look at this question in more detail and finish off by going through the highlights of three models from each brand. In the end, you’ll get an overview of the differences, an idea of what they offer, and an understanding of which brand is better.

What are good brands of record players?

There are a quite few other brands or record players out there such as:

  • Audio-Technica
  • Denon
  • 1byone,
  • U-Turn
  • Pro-Ject
  • TEAC
  • and many more.

What is the best record player?

That depends on what you’re looking for. Our staff at FatCityTurntables.com went through some of the best offerings by each company to give you a better idea.

We have tried to stay with models that represent a reasonable cross section of what each manufacturer is currently offering. Within certain price ranges, the available models are usually higher in portability but lower in speaker quality.

But for our purposes, we’re going to concentrate exclusively on two of the most popular manufacturers of everyday units for new vinyl enthusiasts: Crosley and Victrola.

Company Profiles

Crosley: Amplify Your Style

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Crosley has proven themselves to be a visionary in the market. They don’t have as long a pedigree as Victrola, but they have been around for over thirty years now. Where they proved visionary was back in 1992, when they started releasing vinyl players.

At that stage, it seemed like an insane move. After all, CDs were the rage and offered listeners a whole new experience. As it turns out, it was a longshot that has paid off in the long run. The recent resurgence in popularity of vinyl has proven them right.

Today, the Crosley company focuses on creating players that work well and also look good. They have several options that look retro, and this can make you feel like the coolest kid at the party.

Crosley

Unfortunately, sometimes the company has a tendency to sacrifice sound quality to stay with the full retro vibe. While we appreciate that they are trying to maintain an image, this means that not all models perform as well as we would like.

That said, even on a bad day, a Crosley will outperform most of the cheaper brands out there.

Price-wise, the company strives to keep things affordable, which is a big mark in its favor. It has a range of products to suit every budget. It also scores big points in the customer service arena.

Crosley offers a one-year warranty on all their items that covers manufacturer’s defects.

Victrola: Turntables, Speakers & Record Players

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The Victrola brand has been in business for over a century. It has gone through a few incarnations. In its latest form, the Victrola company focuses on home entertainment. It does have a range of products at different price points, so you will find something to match your budget.

Victrola also produces a range of styles, but retro styles seem to be more prevalent. When we say “retro” here, we don’t just mean it looks like something out of the sixties. They also have models that wouldn’t have looked out of place at the turn of the last century.

If retro is your thing, this is a great place to start. They also seem to offer a lot of multi-functional products. You’ll see below that they have an entertainment center that will play via Bluetooth or play a cassette, CD, record, or even the radio.

Victrola

We have mixed feelings about these all-in-one models. Sure, they save space and give you many different options when it comes to playing music, but we have to wonder whether there are too many components to sync in these models.

In terms of value for money, you’ll do well with Victrola, but their warranty period is not as good as Crosley’s. For the first ninety days, you’re covered for all manufacturer’s defects.

For the remainder of the year after purchase, they only pay to repair or replace damaged parts.

It’s not clear exactly what this means. Does it mean that after 90 days, they will no longer replace the item if something is wrong? Do you have to pay for the labor if you send it in after this period?

Unfortunately, the company has also gotten something of a reputation for poor customer service as regards warranty claims.

The Best Victrola Record Player Models:

These Victrola models offer both quality sound and an aesthetically pleasing design:

1. Victrola Vintage Suitcase Turntable

This is the least expensive model that we review here, and it is good if you like a plain, unassuming look. It is portable and, when closed, looks like a suitcase.

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable with Speakers, Black

Read What Victrola Vintage Suitcase Turntable Customers are Saying

It features:

  • Three speeds – 33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM –to play any vinyl in your collection
  • Bluetooth to stream through music from your phone
  • Compact, easy-to-carry design
  • RCA Aux-In and a jack for headphones
  • Built-in speakers
  • Electrical, not battery, power
  • Simple set-up and use

If you want something that is easy to take with you, this could work out well. We do suggest managing your expectations in terms of sound quality, however. The portability of the unit means some sacrifice in sound quality and volume. Plugged into a preamp or better speaker system, it will do better.

2. Victrola Nostalgic Aviator Wood 8-in-1 Entertainment Center

One of the more expensive models that we are reviewing, this looks ultra-cool if you like a 1940s aesthetic.

Victrola Navigator 8-in-1 Classic Bluetooth Record Player with USB Encoding...

What Do Victrola Nostalgic Aviator Users Think?

It is a multi-use machine that features:

  • Three speeds – 33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM – to play any vinyl in your collection
  • Bluetooth to stream through music from your phone
  • Plug for your Apple device
  • Record from vinyl, cassette and CD to USB
  • Cassette and CD player
  • FM radio on it
  • RCA Aux-In and a jack for headphones
  • Built-in speakers

Again here, we wonder about the wisdom of incorporating all these different forms of media. We can understand having a CD player as well, but how many people still listen to cassette tapes? The phrase “jack of all trades and master of none” comes to mind.

Read our full review of the Victrola Aviator here.

3. Victrola 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable

This comes in at a reasonable price and is one of the most popular models on this list.

Victrola 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable with CD Player and Speakers,...

Read What Victrola Bluetooth Suitcase Users are Saying

Key features:

  • Three speeds – 33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM – to play any vinyl in your collection
  • Bluetooth to stream through music from your phone
  • Built-in CD player and speakers
  • RCA Aux-In and a jack for headphones

This model looks a lot like the kind of boxes that roadies store their instruments in. It performs reasonably well.

The Best Crosley Record Player Models:

Here are some of Crosley’s offerings when it comes to record players with a vintage appeal.

1. Crosley Cruiser Deluxe Suitcase Turntable

This model has a pleasing vintage look and is not badly priced.

Crosley Cruiser Deluxe Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Suitcase Turntable,...

What are Crosley Cruiser Deluxe Suitcase Users Saying?

Key features:

  • Three speeds – 33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM – to play any vinyl in your collection
  • Bluetooth to stream through music from your phone
  • Adjustable pitch control
  • RCA Aux-In and a jack for headphones
  • Built-in speakers

The sound here is not bad, but it does pay to realize that there is only so much volume that you can achieve from built-in speakers. If you want to rock the whole house, you’re going to have to jack it into speakers with a lot more juice.

2. Crosley CR6019D-BK Executive Portable USB Turntable with Bluetooth

This portable player comes in a cool two-tone briefcase design, but it doesn’t put out a lot of sound. It’s better if used in conjunction with powered speakers or earphones.

Crosley CR6019D-BK Executive Portable USB Turntable with Bluetooth, Black

What are Users are Saying About the Crosley Executive Portable USB Turntable?

Feature highlights:

  • Three speeds – 33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM – to play any vinyl in your collection
  • Bluetooth to stream through music from your phone
  • Adjustable pitch control
  • RCA Aux-In and a jack for headphones
  • Built-in speakers
  • Able to connect to your computer to back up your music

Again, manage your expectations. This puts out some decent sound, but it’s not going to be the highest volume you’ve ever heard.

3. Crosley CR704C-PA Musician Turntable

This model comes in at the top of our price range, but it has some pretty nice features. Of all the vintage models, this one looks the most authentic.

Crosley CR704C-PA Musician Turntable with Radio, CD Player, Cassette and...

Click Here for Crosley CR704C-PA Musician Turntable Customer Reviews

It features:

  • Three speeds – 33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM – to play any vinyl in your collection
  • Ability to plug in your MP3 player or phone (no Bluetooth)
  • CD player and programmable 20-track memory
  • Cassette player
  • AM/FM radio
  • RCA Aux-In and a jack for headphones
  • Built-in speakers

The reviews for this model are largely good. The sound is not bad, and it works well.

Conclusion: Which Company Makes the Best Record Player?

In the battle royale of Victrola vs. Crosley, which brand comes out on top? It’s a tough call – both brands seem to match one another well. Finally, though, we have to look at it from the point of view of the warranty.

We don’t like the wording of Victrola’s warranty and, with our concern about the longevity of multi-functional devices, this works against the company. In the end, we think that Crosley wins by a hair thanks to this point.

Looking for some other good budget options? Check out our review listing the top record players under $100.

All things considered, our favorte would have to be the Crosley Musician Turntable, it simply offers the best balance of all features offered by both companies.

Crosley CR704C-PA Musician Turntable with Radio, CD Player, Cassette and...

View the Crosley Musician Turntable at Amazon!

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3.8

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