Hands on: Victrola Revolution GO review

Will Victrola revolutionize the record player?

What is a hands on review?
the victrola revolution go turntable
(Image: © TechRadar)

Early Verdict

The Victrola Revolution GO is unique, as the first turntable to go fully portable thanks to a rechargeable battery, lightweight build, and built-in Bluetooth speaker. It’s not the best-sounding record player we’ve ever tested, but it works well, plays loud, and lets you take your vinyl on the move.

Pros

  • +

    Rechargeable battery

  • +

    Lightweight build

  • +

    Carrying strap

Cons

  • -

    Built-in speaker isn’t the best

  • -

    Plastic-heavy construction

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Record players are one of the least portable parts of a hi-fi system, with many requiring lots of cables and external phono stages and speakers to work. 

Not so with the Victrola Revolution GO. The first fully portable turntable to hit the market, the Revolution GO was just one of the new models showcased by Victrola at CES 2022 - and its unique features, including a rechargeable battery, lightweight build, and Bluetooth connectivity ensured that it would stand out amongst the crowd. 

We’ve spent a little time getting to know the Revolution GO, and so far, we’re mightily impressed by the entry-level record player that lets you take your vinyl on the move.

a closeup of the tone arm on the victrola revolution go record player

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Victrola Revolution Go price and release date 

The Victrola Revolution GO showcased at CES 2022, but actually launched in October 2021. It’s now available to buy now for $199.99 / £199, which works out to be around AU$280 - global pricing still needs to be confirmed.

Record player prices usually start at about $100 / £100 / AU$150 and go up into the thousands and beyond. The Revolution GO sits at the lower end of the price scale - and considering it’s the world’s first fully portable turntable, one that can be used as a Bluetooth speaker for your mobile device, it feels like great value for money.

the victrola revolution go turntable

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design and setup

At first glance, the Victrola Revolution GO looks like a standard record player; a platter sitting upon a plinth with a plastic dust cover to keep everything inside neat and tidy while not in use. 

However, there are a few extra design features that make the Revolution GO suitable for using on the go. For starters, there’s a large grille built into the plinth - this is where the Bluetooth speaker sits, allowing you to hear your records without hooking the turntable up to an external speaker, as well as listen to music streaming from your phone. 

On either side of this grille you’ll find two pegs - this is where you can attach the included guitar strap, which allows you to sling the Revolution GO over your shoulder like a bag and take it out on your adventures. There’s also a folding handle should you prefer to carry the record player like a suitcase.

the tone arm on the victrola revolution go turntable

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Revolution Go’s plastic construction means it feels pretty light, which is great for taking it out on the go. The downside to this is that this isn’t the most robust record player we’ve tested, and the components do feel a little fragile. A weightier, more solid plinth would go some way in reducing unwanted resonance while playing your music, but it makes sense to sacrifice supreme audio quality in a bid to make this turntable as portable as possible.

On top of the grille is a large dial that lights up in different colors depending on which mode the turntable is in. You need to hold it down to turn the device on and off, after which you can press the dial to cycle through the different modes: vinyl, vinyl stream, and Bluetooth. To adjust the volume, you can simply turn this dial clockwise/counter-clockwise.

Around the back of the turntable is where you’ll find an RCA line out jack to connect it to a set of wired stereo speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a DC power input for charging it up, and an LED that lets you see the record player’s battery status. 

the back of the victrola revolution go turntable

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Now let’s get into the turntable itself. A silicone slip mat sits on the platter to protect your vinyl from scratches and general wear and tear; to the left of this is the tonearm, which finishes in an Audio-Technica AT-3600LA cartridge. 

There’s a lift lever to safely raise the tonearm up and down (no need to calibrate it yourself), and a speed switch to select the speed of your record (33, 45, and 78RPM). There’s also a switch to toggle between auto and manual stop; if this is turned on, the record will start spinning when the tonearm moves over the record and stop once playback is finished. With manual stop, the record will begin spinning when the turntable is in ‘vinyl’ mode, and will continue to spin even after playback is finished. 

Handily, the dust cover is fully removable, and doubles up as a holder for your vinyl, with slots for double and single LPs. Initially launched in black and blue, the Revolution Go is now available with the dust cover in red, orange, yellow, and green, too.

Setting the Revolution Go up is very easy; you just need to plug it into the mains and hold down the dial to switch it on. There’s no need to adjust the tonearm, set the tracking weight, or any of that tricky stuff - just set your vinyl on the deck, lower the tonearm, and you’re good to go. 

Alternatively, hit the dial until you’re in Bluetooth mode, and open up your phone’s Bluetooth settings. You should see the Victrola Revolution GO in the list of available devices - select it, and then you can stream music from your phone to the turntable’s speaker. 

the victrola revolution go turntable with the dust cover being used as a record stand

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Audio performance 

We took the opportunity to crack open our 50th anniversary edition of The Beatles’ Abbey Road vinyl, and we’re pleased to say that the Revolution GO sounds loud, warm, and full of energy. It’s not the best-sounding turntable on the market by any stretch of the imagination, but it certainly does the job.

Listening to Come Together, the bass lines sounded reasonably well controlled, though we did notice a little muddiness at higher volumes. The vocals sounded clear, with beautifully blended close harmonies coming through with clarity. 

There is a degree of left-right separation, but the disparate channels aren’t as pronounced as you’d get with dedicated stereo speakers. As a result, the soundstage can sound a bit cramped, but that’s to be expected from a turntable with a fairly small built-in speaker. For our full review we’ll be sure to test the Revolution Go with external speakers - both wired and via Bluetooth. 

the victrola revolution go

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Moving on to Something, and the Revolution Go shows off just how well it’s able to convey vocal lines. However, there’s a little attack and detail missing from the percussion, and the narrow soundstage means the instruments don’t have quite enough room to really shine - which is a shame on a track that has such a rich composition.

Still, we’re hesitant to be too critical of the Revolution Go’s audio performance. It works, it’s easy to set up and use, and it’s a good entry-level turntable for someone looking to get started in the world of vinyl. 

Victrola says you get twelve hours of playback from a single charge - we’ll be sure to test this fully in our full review, but that seems about right based on our initial tests.

the cartridge on the victrola revolution go turntable

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Early verdict

While we’ll need to carry out a full review before we can give a definitive verdict, we’re impressed with the Victrola Revolution GO so far. 

It’s one of the easiest-to-set-up turntables we’ve ever used, and it’s portability and rechargeable battery life make it a true stand-out in the world of record players. As far as we know, no other turntables are capable of doing this. 

Neat design features just add to that sense of portability, and the addition of new colors for 2022 make the Revolution GO a fun prospect for anyone looking to inject a little vibrancy into their music setup. 

No, it’s not the best-sounding record player on the market, but it is the first fully portable model to go on sale - and in that respect, we think Victrola has succeeded.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, 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, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.