When it comes to vinyl and record players, there is a lot of ingrained wisdom, opinions and advice out there. Bringing together music-loving baby boomers and the newly-converted millennial and Gen Z generations, it can be a hard world to get to grips with. Should you go for a component player or something all-in-one? Do you need external speakers? Is it worth the hassle?
The Victrola Eastwood 3-Speed Bluetooth Turntable makes the answers to these questions seem obvious, and for a very affordable price, too. An all-in-one solution that almost everyone can work out how to use, it also makes two-way Bluetooth connectivity part of its feature set.
We tested the Eastwood to see whether it could really make the case for sub-$100 turntables. To see how it measures up against other products at a range of price points, take a look at our guide to the best record players.
Victrola Eastwood Bluetooth Turntable: specs
- Type: All-in-One
- Operation: Manual
- Cartridge: Moving magnet (Audio Technica AT-3600LA)
- Speeds: 33 ⅓ RPM, 45 RPM, 78 RPM
- Dust cover?: Yes
- Outputs: Bluetooth, 3mm jack, RCA
- Dimensions: W12.7 x D12.3 x H 5.2in
- Weight: 4.5lbs
Victrola Eastwood Bluetooth Turntable: set-up
The Victrola Eastwood Bluetooth Turntable is blissfully simple to get going, as it's pretty much assembled straight out of the box. All that needs to be done is to remove the protective needle cover and any other packaging and plug in the turntable. Then just hit the power button.
There is a knob on top for switching between Bluetooth and Phono. The latter is what you want for playing records, while the former allows you to use the turntable as a speaker for your phone or PC. You can also connect via RCA cable and plug your headphones into the 3mm jack for private listening.
Victrola Eastwood Bluetooth Turntable: performance
Controls on the Victrola Eastwood Bluetooth Turntable are pretty self-explanatory and intuitive, and we only needed to give instructions a glance before diving in. Once you have hit the 'on' button and turned the knob to phono mode, you can open the clear plastic dust cover and place your chosen record on the turntable. Don't be alarmed when your disc doesn't fit, this is part of the design.
The tonearm is fixed in place by its holder, which you need to release. You then move the arm to the edge of your record, and it will start to turn. Then use the cue lever to lower the needle onto the disc. It should start playing.
The audio output of the Eastwood is perfectly adequate, and most people won't notice or miss the slight lack of depth and bass. The turntable is very affordable and so you would expect some downsides. The solid and attractive design and ease of use are both fantastic, and so are the connection options, so we weren't expecting a blockbuster sound.
Bluetooth connectivity from your device to the in-built speaker works well, and means that the device immediately becomes a multi-functional music player but, unfortunately, connecting the other way is a little trickier. In order to play your record via a Bluetooth speaker, you basically have to hit the BT OUT button and hope for the best.
An indicator light will flash until it has found a Bluetooth device to connect to, which it will do at random once you have powered on your desired speaker. It's hit and miss, but essential if you have a high-end speaker you'd rather listen to your treasured collection on.
Victrola Eastwood Bluetooth Turntable: design
The Victrola Eastwood Bluetooth Turntable has clearly been designed for beginners, and that's a very good thing. The oak and black design of the model we received for testing manages to make the player look both classic and modern, and we love the way the vinyl disc itself hangs slightly over the edges. The physical knobs and buttons also give it an analogue feel that fits the theme.
The convenience also applies to the lack of need for external bookshelf speakers, which adds a significant additional cost for those who want to get into vinyl at home. Instead, there's the option to add them later if you want to boost the audio quality.
Victrola Eastwood Bluetooth Turntable: maintenance
All going well, the only replacement parts for your record player will be the Audio Technica AT-3600LA stylus, which Victrola recommends you replace after about 300 hours of use or when you notice a downtick in audio quality. This will set you back around $24 on Amazon.
Victrola Eastwood Bluetooth Turntable: our verdict
The Victrola Eastwood 3-Speed Bluetooth Turntable, despite it's basic limitations in audio quality, blew us away during testing with its functionality and design. Able to be used in a matter of minutes after unpacking (instead of requiring an hour of setting up and weighting all of the individual components) and sitting comfortably on the average coffee table, it's ideal for those who are just taking their first tentative steps into the vinyl revival.
About this review, and the reviewer
All reviews on Real Homes are based on hands-on testing within the genuine homes of our writers. The Victrola Eastwood 3-Speed Bluetooth Turntable was tested by Caroline, our smart homes editor, in her small studio space. Despite a lifelong passion for music and a job that requires spending her days testing smart and Bluetooth speakers, she is a relative newcomer to vinyl.