1byone portable stereo turntable (review)

With today’s technology we all have access to music pretty much anywhere we go, from our cars, computers, tablets and smartphones. With Google Play Music, Pandora, and the likes, we can listen to music for free or relatively cheap with a monthly subscription. But as great as digital music sounds, and as nice as it is to have access to any songs or albums anytime we want, I still miss listening to vinyl records.

Even the man who brought us the iTunes Store and iPod, Steve Jobs, “listened to vinyl” at home according to Neil Young. Some like Young tend to think digital media is degrading the “quality” of music and as an audiophile I tend to agree. Most of our music is compressed these days into MP3 files to minimize storage space and minimize streaming data. For most of us, we don’t care as music is simply playing in the background. But for those of us who love music and love the sound reproduction, vinyl is second to none which is why vinyl has made such a strong comeback.

In my own personal experience, I was recently visiting my parents in the Sacramento area. I went to a local music store who sold music and to my surprise there were two full rows dedicated to new vinyl record albums with one additional row for used vinyl albums. In addition to the music store, I had to go to a couple of local charities where I was donating my parents old stuff that they no longer used, and when I walked into the stores I found lots of used vinyl records. For many people they donated their old records, and luckily for me I picked up quite a few at a dollar a piece. No, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber were not available in vinyl at the thrift shops, but Chicago, Elvis Presley, The Doobie Brothers, Lionel Richie, Madonna, and Michael Jackson were to my delight.

1byone had just asked me if I wanted to review their portable turntable, and I jumped at the opportunity since I have been knackering to start listening to music the way good ol’ Steve Jobs did.

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Design

The 1byone 3-speed portable turntable is the size of a standard briefcase and is not heavy by any means. My unit came in faux baby blue leather with chrome accents which gave it a nostalgic look from the 70’s and 80’s. I was born in 1980 and my entire family listened to vinyl so I was excited to see how well designed the portable turntable turned out. Everything is included from 1byone to start listening to music instantly.

Back in the day, we had record players but they were all hooked up to amplifiers which jacked up the signal to play through large speakers. 1byone included two front facing speakers in the briefcase so all you need to do is plug it into a wall outlet, put on a record and you’re instantly listening to music the way it should be. Music should be enjoyed. Take the time to listen to the words and the instruments. Sit down and relax with this vinyl player.

Included in the briefcase was an adapter for 45rom records, and I found my sister’s stash in the basement and did need this adapter. There’s even a holder for it on top of the briefcase so you don’t lose it.

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On the side of the 1byone portable turntable is an audio out for connecting to an amplifier if you have a home stereo, an audio in for playing music through the built-in speakers, as well as the volume button and 3.5mm audio out jack for headphones. All in all, 1byone added everything needed to this briefcase to enjoy vinyl at home or on the go.

Specs

  • 33/45/78 rpm speed setting
  • Balanced tone arm with damping control
  • Dual front-facing speakers
  • RCA output
  • Headphone out jack

Usage

In a simple phrase, I love this portable turntable. I forgot how much I missed vinyl records. The sound quality is just different, but to me it feels “alive”. Yes you hear the dust and pops on the record, but the music is just lovely when listening to the 1byone portable turntable. The dual speakers are more than adequate, as they do get quite loud, but at higher volumes they can get a bit too high toned for my ears.

Given that the speakers were made for portability, I tried hooking it up to my home audio system. In my home office I have an amplifier with two tower speakers with a 15″ subwoofer. Once I hooked it up to my home stereo I was rocking out like it was 1985. The sound was simply incredible and the record player is definitely worth the asking price of less than $100. I remember buying my own record player as a kid and spending over $300 dollars and that was in the 80’s when gas was something like 35 cents a gallon!

My mom also loved the record player so much so that I had to order her one with my own money. Her eyes lit up when I set it up for her and put on her favorite Barbra Streisand album I resurrected from the basement. She and I sat for hours enjoying listening to music together and that is a memory I will have for the rest of my life. I love making my mom happy and seeing her eyes light up made my day. We listened to Elvis, Chicago, Madonna, Doobie Brothers, Bee Gees and many more for the night.

Summary

Right now, 1byone has the portable turntable listed on Amazon.com for just $80.99. At that price this turntable is a steal. Some of you have vinyl records stored away at home somewhere, or you probably know someone who does that wouldn’t mind loaning you some records for your listening enjoyment. For others, you may have never heard a vinyl record play before and if you’re one of those, I highly suggest you give this portable player a try. Most new music is available on vinyl records as it has made a strong comeback, and those records usually come with a code so you can own the digital copy of the music as well.

The sound quality from this portable turntable by 1byone is top notch, and you cannot go wrong with the price point. For nostalgia, or listening to high quality music, you need one of these players in your music arsenal. I highly recommend it and I highly recommend taking the time out of your day to sit and enjoy your music.

If you love vinyl records like I do, let me know in the comments below.

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