Legacy audio brand Victrola made waves at CES 2024 by announcing two new turntables with modern connectivity – the high-end Stream Sapphire and entry-level Automatic turntable. The former brings wireless streaming and other premium features at a lofty price point, while the latter aims to make vinyl more accessible.
Stream Sapphire Offers Luxurious Design and Seamless Whole-Home Audio
The showstopper of Victrola’s CES lineup is the $1,499 Stream Sapphire turntable. Encased in an eye-catching sapphire blue finish, it combines the nostalgic analog experience of vinyl with convenient wireless streaming and voice control.
“The Stream Sapphire oozes luxury with its precious gemstone-hued finish and allows audiophiles to conveniently listen to their favorite vinyl records anywhere in the home,” said Victrola CEO Scott Hagen.
Key features of the Stream Sapphire:
- Elegant design with hand-polished sapphire blue lacquer finish
- Built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Spotify Connect streaming
- Compatible with Sonos, HEOS, and AirPlay 2 multi-room audio platforms
- Custom moving magnet cartridge and premium components
- Convenient voice control integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri
- Up to 30 hours of battery life for portable listening
With an integrated preamp and 900mAh battery, the Stream Sapphire gives flexibility to connect wired speakers or stream wirelessly for hours on end. Victrola aims to make playing and listening to vinyl an easy, modern experience through this turntable.
Victrola Stream Sapphire Turntable
- Sapphire blue lacquer finish
- Built-in Bluetooth/Wi-Fi streaming
- Works with Sonos, Alexa, etc.
- 30-hour battery life
Automatic Model Provides an Easy, Affordable Entry Point for Vinyl
In contrast to the premium Stream Sapphire, Victrola also revealed the Automatic turntable – an easy plug-and-play solution aimed at first-time vinyl users. Priced at just $199, it lowers the barriers to entry for the vinyl resurgence.
The Automatic handles everything from playing records to returning the tonearm once an album is finished. It also rips vinyl to digital files through a USB connection. An integrated Bluetooth transmitter even allows streaming music wirelessly to speakers or headphones.
“By automating the playback process, the Automatic lets you truly sit back and enjoy your vinyl collection with simplified operation,” said Hagen.
Through these offerings, Victrola is continuing the vinyl comeback while modernizing the turntable experience. The 121-year old brand, known for innovating the gramophone in 1906, aims to introduce vinyl to a new generation.
What’s Next: More Connected Turntables Expected As Vinyl Growth Continues
Victrola has elevated the turntable by integrating convenient wireless connectivity and multi-room audio capabilities. With vinyl sales hitting a 30-year high in 2021, more brands are expected to follow their lead in 2024.
However, some vinyl purists argue that too much digitization sacrifices analog sound quality. It remains to be seen whether these smart streaming turntables enhance the listening experience enough to justify their higher costs.
Nonetheless, Victrola has staked its claim by catering to both hardcore audiophiles and casual listeners through its new models. With vinyl poised to keep growing over the next five years, more connected turntables seem inevitable.
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