JBL spins out turntable rocking high-res Bluetooth streaming
Probably best known for its portable speakers, Harman brand JBL announced its first vinyl spinners back in January, including one that allowed for wireless playback via portable speakers, soundbars and headphones "without sacrificing audio quality." The Spinner BT is now available to buy.
Music lovers looking to dive into the increasing popularity of vinyl as a playback format could find themselves missing out on the convenience of cable-free listening in any room using portable speakers or wireless headphones. While there are modern hi-fi amps and turntables that come with Bluetooth cooked in, streaming sound quality could be an issue.
As well as Bluetooth 5.2 technology, JBL has included aptX HD decoding chops for transmitting 24-bit audio to compatible wireless audio gear – allowing listeners "to enjoy their albums without losing the signature sound of vinyl."
Naturally, the Spinner BT also caters for a more conventional wired setup and includes its own phono pre-amp so users don't need to worry about their hi-fi amp having its own, or add expense by seeking a dedicated box to bridge the gap.
The belt-drive motor operates at 33 rpm for albums and 45 rpm for EPs or singles, with an optical sensor monitoring those speeds for reliable playback. The straight aluminum tonearm ends in an Audio Technica AT3600L moving magnet cartridge, while the vinyl spins on an aluminum platter. The black MDF plinth sits on damped feet, and the turntable ships with a dust cover.
The JBL Spinner BT is on sale now for US$399.95, making it cheaper than the Victrola's Hi-Res Carbon model, though that one adds aptX Adaptive into the wireless mix too.
Product page: JBL Spinner BT