We test the Crosley Voyager record player to see whether it sounds as authentic as it looks.
With the vinyl revolution showing no signs of disappearing, we're now flooded with stylish and affordable record players aiming to entice both those who want to adopt the format and anyone who has been inspired to dust off their old collection. But not all of these products, which undoubtedly look beautiful, are great at delivering the audio quality that many would expect.
We've tested a few of these sub-$100 record players to see whether they're really worth the cash, and there has been mixed results. The latest product to be examined is the Crosley Voyager, which has made its presence known with a huge array of fun and colorful finishes.
Keep reading to see what we thought, and head over to our guide to the best record players for more.
CROSLEY VOYAGER: KEY INFO
- Type: Belt drive
- Operation: Automatic
- Speakers?: Included
- Connections: RCA, Bluetooth, AUX, headphones
- Dimensions: H5.9 x W14.9 x D11.9in
- Weight: 5.5lbs
WHAT DOES THE CROSLEY VOYAGER LOOK LIKE IN THE HOME?
The Crosley Voyager has a very appealing retro look with its distinctive suitcase-esque design that requires you to unclip the metal latches on the sides to open it up. This means that as good as the record player looks when open and in use, it also looks super-stylish when closed.
Once open, you'll find a large logo on the inside of the lid, which we think adds to, rather than subtracts from, the overall visual style. As with most compact vinyl players, records will hand over the edges when placed on the turntable, so you won't be able to close the lid when it is in use.
The speaker output is located on the front in the form of a white plastic grille, which looks a little on the cheaper side when viewed up close but blends with the rest of the finish at a distance. The rest of the player has a leather effect, ours with a lovely sage green color.
HOW EASY IS IT TO SET UP THE CROSLEY VOYAGER?
There is very little to do before you can get started with the Crosley Voyager. Once you have unpacked the items from the box, you will need to insert the power cord and turn the volume knob (this also controls turning the player on and off). Then, remove the stylus protector and tie from the tonearm.
To play a record using the in-built speakers, you want the function switch turned to PHONO and the correct speed (33 1/3, 45, or 78 RPM) selected. Release the tonearm clip and use the level to lift it up. Move the arm to the correct position above the record (which should already be spinning), and use the lever to lower it onto the disc. That's it!
While using the Crosley Voyager, it quickly becomes clear that the record player has been designed for slightly younger music fans just getting into vinyl for the first time. The vintage style appeals to the same demographic, with an aesthetic that would look great on a side table storage cart even if it was never used to play music.
That's not to say that this would be its fate in most homes. The Voyager is an easy-to-use record player than adds the convenience of having a two-way Bluetooth system, but there is a little bit of style over substance here. The speakers just aren't up to the standard many audiophiles would want, and we doubt many people would use it as a standalone Bluetooth speaker.
Thankfully there's a way around this, and you can connect the Voyager to external speakers to enjoy your albums to their full potential. You can do this with either the RCA connections at the back of the player or via Bluetooth to another wireless speaker nearby. For some ideas, take a look at our ranking of the best speakers for vinyl.
WOULD WE RECOMMEND THE CROSLEY VOYAGER?
The Crosley Voyager appears to have a very specific demographic in mind, with a lovely and very on-trend design that fits in nicely with the tastes of many new vinyl fans (like this writer). With a ton of colors and patterns to choose from and a deceptively luxe-looking finish for such a budget-friendly product, the only thing that lets it down is the quality of the in-built speakers. Still, if you're keen on the look and ease of use here, then you can always connect up some external speakers.