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Should I buy a Victrola record player this Prime Day?

victrola record player in blue
(Image credit: Victrola)

Looking to buy a turntable this Prime Day? While there are many different models available to buy from Amazon, Victrola record players are among the most prolific on the site – and you may be wondering whether you should take the plunge and buy one for yourself.

These popular retro turntables are widely available on Amazon, and come in a range of styles, prices, and configurations to suit any vinyl enthusiast – and some are even portable, bringing some much needed convenience to the timeless form factor.

As Victrola record players are sold on Amazon, it’s possible that they’ll be heavily discounted during Prime Day 2021, which takes place between June 21 – 22. A quick look at last year’s deals shows that the deals on the brand’s turntables were available throughout the sales period, so it’s well worth keeping an eye out for discounts this year, too. 

Choosing a turntable brand can be tricky, though. There are lots of companies to choose from, with companies like Audio-Technica, Pro-Ject, and Denon offering fantastic record players – and that means it can be hard to know whether you should take the plunge and buy a Victrola record player. 

We’re here to help. While we haven’t tested Victrola’s record player for ourselves, we’ve taken a look at the brand’s most popular models, and examined the specs and customer reviews so you can make an informed decision this Prime Day. 

What are Victrola record players?

Victrola has been making turntables since 1906, and today it offers a range of record players in lots of different designs. Here’s an overview of some of its most popular models.

victrola the journey turntable in blue with vinyl collection

(Image credit: Victrola)

Victrola VSC-400SB (The Journey)

A record player you can carry around

Reasons to buy
+Bluetooth connectivity+Comes in lots of colors+Great price
Reasons to avoid
-No USB port

Victrola’s best-selling products include suitcase record players, which take all the components of a turntable setup, including the speakers, and put it into a box with a handle. These portable record players were popular in the 1960s thanks to their portability and affordability – and they’re still worth buying today. 

Victrola’s suitcase record players play up to the retro feel with vintage-inspired designs. One of its most popular models, The Journey, comes in a huge range of colors and styles, from pastel blue to psychedelic tie dye – but every version costs a budget-friendly $59.99 / £59.99.

For your money, you’re getting a three-speed (33 ⅓, 45, and 75 RPM) belt driven turntable that comes with Bluetooth built-in, so you can use it to stream music from your phone as well as play your vinyl. There’s also a 3.5mm AUX-in if you want to play music from a non-Bluetooth device.

Its portable design includes two built-in stereo speakers, but there's an RCA line-in if you want to use your own external speakers, as well as a headphone jack.

Those are some impressive specs for the price, and customer reviews are largely positive, praising its portability, easy setup, and attractive design. You’re not getting higher-end specs like USB connectivity, and audiophiles will likely prefer a model that allows you to tinker with the tonearm, but The Journey could be a great, easy-to-use record player for beginners. 

It’s already well-priced, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for Prime Day deals on this record player, especially if you’re looking for a budget-friendly model to ease into the world of vinyl.

Victrola The Hawthorne vintage style turntable

(Image credit: Victrola)

Victrola VTA-200B (The Hawthorne)

A vintage blast from the past

Reasons to buy
+Lots of connectivity options+Radio, cassette, and CD player+Retro design
Reasons to avoid
-Looks quite bulky

If you want to really dive into the retro aesthetic, The Hawthorne might be the best Victrola turntable for you. This Bluetooth record player is housed in a wooden cabinet, complete with an old-timey radio tuning dial and LED display that lets you know what kind of input you’re using. 

It does look a little bulky, but it comes with so many connectivity options that we can forgive a larger footprint.

As well as a three-speed belt driven turntable, The Hawthorne comes with a CD player, cassette player, and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to stream music from your device wirelessly.While it comes with built-in stereo speakers, you can plug in a pair of headphones, or hook up your own speakers with the included RCA line out cable. For non Bluetooth audio sources, there’s a 3.5mm audio port, too.

It also works as an FM radio player, with a wire antenna tucked away at the back of the device. And, if you want to record your vinyl to your computer, there’s a USB port. Essentially, The Hawthorne can work as an all-in-one music player, and at $149.99 / £139.99, it’s priced very competitively. 

Again, you’re unlikely to get the audio clarity and detail that you’d get from pricier turntables, but it could be a great choice for anyone who loves the retro aesthetic and wants to access all their music sources from one device.

victrola the Eastwood record player

(Image credit: Victrola)

Victrola VTA-72-BAM (The Eastwood)

A sleeker option with Audio-Technica credibility

Reasons to buy
+Audio-Technica cartridge+Built-in speakers+Wireless connectivity
Reasons to avoid
-Plasticky design

Not a fan of the overtly retro look? The Eastwood turntable might be a better option for you. This three-speed record player sports a much more minimal design than the other Victrola record players we’ve looked at, with a modern bamboo finish and transparent plastic dust cover. 

It comes with built-in speakers, though you can connect it to external Bluetooth speakers wirelessly if you want a more powerful sound. At the same time, you can connect it to your smartphone wirelessly to stream your music, thanks to dual Bluetooth connectivity. 

Unlike The Journey and The Hawthorne, this model comes with an Audio-Technica AT-3600LA cartridge, which boasts a 0.6mm conical stylus. Audio-Technica is a well-respected cartridge manufacturer, so you may find that The Eastwood provides a more detailed sound than its siblings.

Reviews are largely favorable, though some do mention its plasticky build – if you’re looking for the very best in build quality, you’ll probably need to spend a little more money than the $99.99 / £115 price tag the Eastwood comes with.

What about the competition?

While we’d recommend looking out for Victrola record players over Prime Day, there are other models out there that will potentially deliver a better listening experience. 

The best turntable of 2021, the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Evo, offers a detailed and revealing listen, with the ability to focus on the minutiae even as it describes the complete picture very convincingly. 

However, it also comes with a $499 / £449 / AU$879 price tag, so it’s not suitable for anyone on a strict budget, even if it is discounted over Prime Day.

A more budget-friendly option is the Audio-Technica AT-LP60XB, which is a fantastic first turntable for any fledgling vinyl enthusiast thanks to its easy setup and $149 / £179 price.

Both Pro-Ject and Audio-Technica are trusted names in the turntable industry, so you can be sure that you’ll get your money’s worth from these models.

It’s possible that both of these record players will be discounted over Prime Day, so it’s worth widening your search beyond Victrola turntables during the sales event – you might just bag a bargain.

Takeaway

While we haven’t tested these Victrola record players for ourselves, an examination of the specs and customer reviews suggests that they could be good options for vinyl beginners.

As they come with built-in speakers and wireless connectivity, they’ll be easy to set up, and you won’t need to mess around balancing the tonearm or tracking down an external preamp. 

For those on a budget that want portability above all else, The Journey is probably the best Victrola turntable to buy this Prime Day, while anyone who loves the retro aesthetic will get a kick out of The Hawthorne’s vintage stylings. 

If you’re more concerned about audio quality than looks, you may want to opt for The Eastwood, which comes with a cartridge from trusted manufacturer Audio-Technica. 

Of course, you’re not just limited to Victrola record players if you want to buy a turntable on Amazon Prime Day. Look out for deals on records players from Pro-Ject, Denon, Audio-Technica, Technics, and Sony – and be sure to bookmark our Prime Day 2021 guide, where we’ll be bringing you the best tech deals we can find, on everything from record players to laptops.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia is TechRadar's Audio & Music Editor, covering everything from headphones to music streaming services. Based in TechRadar's London offices, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, Top Ten Reviews Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine.  In her spare time Olivia likes gardening, painting, and hanging with her cat Ethel and golden retriever Dora.