News & ReviewsNews
JBL's first Bluetooth turntable offers aptX HD wireless streaming at an affordable price1/4/2023
Hot on the heels of its first-ever turntable, the TT350 Classic, JBL has also unveiled a new Bluetooth turntable at CES 2023: the JBL Spinner BT.
Featuring an all-black design with orange accents, the turntable boasts aptX HD wireless streaming. This means you can stream your vinyl records to compatible wireless speakers, soundbars and headphones in 24-bit hi-res "without sacrificing audio quality" claims JBL.
The Spinner BT has analogue outputs and a built-in, switchable moving magnet phono stage, so you can use it directly with active speakers or feed into a traditional separates system with an external phono preamp.
It's a belt-drive design with an aluminium platter, an MDF plinth with damped feet to reduce vibration, and a dust cover. The included tonearm comes fitted with a "high-quality" Audio Technica moving magnet cartridge, which is in a removable headshell that makes it easy to replace and upgrade to a cartridge of your choosing.
The turntable's 33 1/3 and 45 rpm speeds are "locked with a speed sensor to guarantee perfect pitch", says JBL.
The JBL Spinner BT will be available in the third quarter of 2023 at £400 / $399 / €450.
That undercuts what was previously the 'most affordable' aptX HD-equipped turntable on the market, the Cambridge Audio Alva ST (£849 / $999 / AU$1799) by a large margin. The Alva ST is similarly a belt-drive design with a built-in, switchable phono stage and a removable headshell with an Audio Technica cartridge – but it's a pricier proposition and we were also disappointed with its overall performance.
Let's hope the Spinner BT fares better, although at its more budget price, it has fierce rivals in form of the five-star Sony PS-LX310BT (£229 / $248 / AU$295) and the new AT-LPW50BTRW (£420 / $485 / AU$713) to contend with. Mind you, these decks both feature standard Bluetooth, not aptX HD.
We look forward to taking the new JBL Spinner BT turntable for a spin later in the year.
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