Building on a successful crowdfunder last year with its Seed all-in-one turntable, Hym Originals has returned to Kickstarter to fund a turntable/Bluetooth speaker hybrid called the Duo. When not throwing out sounds from the record player, the wireless speaker can be removed from the dock and used for wireless streaming from any Bluetooth music source.
It has to be said, the Duo looks more toy than living room music system. But the turntable's spring-loaded tonearm ends in an Audio Technica MM cartridge, lending an air of quality to the system. That spring effectively replaces the counterweight you'd normally find on a deck for a tracking force of 2.5 g.
The base features an integrated phono amp and a power amp, and the belt-driven turntable's platter has a diameter of just 3.2 inches, with 33.3 and 45 rpm vinyl records locked in place with a clamp.
Hym is promising a rock-steady listening experience from the speaker thanks to a combination of the Duo's CSR8670 audio system-on-chip with Bluetooth 4.2 and aptX for CD-like quality and two 10 W "full range" drivers and passive radiators.
When not using the 1.8 lb (800 g) speaker to belt out tunes from the turntable – either docked with the base or held in the hand – the Bluetooth audio thrower can be paired with any music source device for wireless streaming, such as a computer or smartphone. And the addition of a second speaker to the mix (it doesn't necessarily have to be another Duo speaker, the system can pair with any Bluetooth speaker) can help create a stereo effect.
Listeners are promised up to 10 hours of playback between charges (though it's not clear if that figure refers to the speaker only or speaker/base combined), and Hym has even thrown some voice assistant smarts in for good measure, in the shape of Amazon's Alexa.
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