Victrola’s Portable Record Player Mixes Old and New

Fantastic sound you don’t have to leave behind

Key Takeaways

  • I tried the new Victrola Revolution Go record player and was impressed with its sound quality and convenience. 
  • I was pleasantly surprised by the understated look of the Go. 
  • The sound quality of the Go was also immediately apparent to listeners when I set it up at an outdoor BBQ.
The Victrola Revolution Go.

Lifewire / Sascha Brodsky

It’s not quite as portable as an iPhone, but the new Victrola Revolution GO rechargeable record player blows away the sound quality of any smartphone. 

I’ve been trying out the Revolution GO and have been thoroughly impressed with its audio abilities. The fact that this record player is also a Bluetooth speaker should make it a serious consideration for any vinyl fan. It’s also an excellent way for those raised on digital music to dip a toe in the past.

I’ve owned more Bluetooth speakers in my time than I’d care to count and wasn’t expecting much from the relatively drab black monolith that arrived from Victrola. Then, I put a record on the turntable and switched on the power. 

"...I wasn’t prepared how much better the sound quality would be playing a record on the Go. The difference was immediately noticeable, producing a fuller, richer sound."

Beats Many Smart Speakers

It’s not fair to compare the Revolution Go with a full-sized Hi-Fi system. Most people own smart speakers these days, and that’s what the Go is competing with in terms of price and size. The Go is about the size of a full-sized iPad, although, of course, it’s a lot thicker. It’s light enough to carry with one hand easily, and Victrola includes a shoulder strap. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the understated look of the Go. You might get a few funny faces carrying it on your shoulder down the street, but that’s because it doesn’t look quite like any other gadget on the market. The Go doesn’t scream hipster or pretentious. 

I own a plethora of Google and Amazon Alexa smart speakers, as well as an Apple HomePod. The HomePod has by far the best sound quality of any of my smart speakers, so I set up a listening test with The Very Thought of You by Billie Holiday. 

The sound on the HomePod was accurate and crisp, thanks to Apple’s computational wizardry. Even years after the HomePod's release, it’s still surprising how much sound the tiny device can produce. 

I spend most of my time listening to music on the HomePod or through AirPods, so I wasn’t prepared how much better the sound quality would be playing a record on the Go. The difference was immediately noticeable, producing a fuller, richer sound.

On the HomePod, It sounded like I was listening to an excellent recording of Billie Holiday. But on the Go, it sounded like Billie was crooning live in the corner of my living room after taking a cigarette break.  

Portable Pro

When I first heard about the Go, the fact that it was portable seemed like a gimmick. After all, I don't tote my smart speakers around, and almost everyone has access to a vast collection of digital music these days. 

After spending some time with the Go, it turns out that the device's ability to "go" anywhere was a huge plus. I showed up to picnics and friends' houses with the Go, and people were immediately intrigued by its unusual look. 

The sound quality of the Go was also immediately evident to listeners when I set it up at an outdoor BBQ. The natural, crackling sound of a record playing was a more natural and pleasant experience when gathered with friends and family than any smart speaker could have offered. 

Victrola says the Go gets up to 12 hours of battery life, and my testing found it lived up to that claim. I spent several days casually listening to music, plus one marathon disc session, before I had to top up the charge. 

Victrola Go on a table in a living area, hand on the needle

Lifewire / Sascha Brodsky

The Bluetooth speaker ability of the Go is also a bonus. Since I couldn't tote a massive pile of records around, it was great to have the Go stream music from my iPhone. Setup was quick and straightforward, and the sound produced through the Go was far superior to that produced by my phone. 

At $199, the Go is more expensive than most smart speakers, but it's a far better experience if you care about sound quality. The Go is also an easy and portable introduction to the world of vinyl music. 

Was this page helpful?