Dual's fully automatic Bluetooth turntable comes with a world-first app

Dual CS 529 BT turntable with app control on smartphone
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

German-based turntable manufacturer Dual surprised us with two new turntables at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show this year, but even more surprising was a world first: a control app for a Bluetooth turntable.

This app is designed to be used with the new Dual CS 529 BT, a fully automatic belt driven turntable with Bluetooth streaming. 

In our demo at the Bristol Show, Dual's representative showed how the app mirrors all the functions on the deck itself: automatic play and stop, speed selector (33, 45 and 75 RPM) and a Bluetooth pairing button. There's also a repeat function, where you can tell the deck to repeat playback of a record up to 10 times.

The app (available for iOS and Android devices) is laid out on a simple screen with large buttons for every function. During our demo, the turntable responded instantly to every button press on the app – it was pretty impressive and pleasing to use. It works the other way too: selecting a function on the deck itself lit up the same buttons on the app at the same time. We weren't able to pair any Bluetooth headphones in a busy trade show environment, but we did see the fully automatic operation and repeat functions in action, which worked smoothly during the demo.

The automatic mechanism placed under the platter is decoupled from the plinth to minimise vibrations, while an optical sensor that detects the speed is also decoupled from the plinth. We asked why this model is only available in a belt drive design and not a direct drive model, and Dual told us there currently isn't a small enough direct drive motor to fit under/alongside the fully automatic mechanism.

The CS 529 deck has a built-in switchable moving magnet phono stage (so you can connect directly to active speakers or use your own existing phono amp) and comes with an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge fitted. The tonearm has a twin gimbal bearing design (a Dual design trademark since the 1970s) and the deck is available in two finishes, black and walnut.

Available now, the Dual CS 529 BT costs £899 for the black finish and £999 for the walnut version. We can't wait to try the deck and its control app out for ourselves when we get a sample in for a full review.

Dual CS 618Q turntable in black finish on stand

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

The other new turntable model we spotted was the step-up Dual CS 618Q. As a contrast to the CS 529, this deck is a direct drive design and fully manual in operation. 

There is one small exception: it has an autostop function. There is a timer that detects when the record has finished playing and will lift the tonearm up after 30 seconds of inactivity. This is in case you've forgotten to lift the arm up yourself, and will prevent any undue damage to the record or needle in case it's left running in the groove for an extended period of time.

Similar to the CS 529, the CS 618Q has a switchable phono stage built in and comes fitted with the step-up Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge. There's no Bluetooth or app function here, but the switchable phono preamp offers greater flexibility with partnering kit. The Q in the model's name refers to the quartz clock in the speed selector that aims for greater precision, with the 618 capable of playing all 33, 45 and 75 RPM speeds.

The Dual CS 618Q is available now in three finishes: it costs £1099 for the standard black finish, going up to £1199 for the high gloss black and high gloss walnut finishes.

It's a very interesting showcase from Dual, who looks to have all bases covered with different turntable designs and thoughtful, useful features that will appeal to many. The brand has a strong history in turntable design – we particularly liked the CS 418 and CS 518 models in recent years – and we're hoping to put both new turntables through the full review process as soon as we get samples into our test rooms.


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Kashfia Kabir
Hi-Fi and Audio Editor

Kashfia is the Hi-Fi and Audio Editor of What Hi-Fi? and first joined the brand over 10 years ago. During her time in the consumer tech industry, she has reviewed hundreds of products (including speakers, amplifiers and headphones), been to countless trade shows across the world and fallen in love with hi-fi kit much bigger than her. In her spare time, Kash can be found tending to an ever-growing houseplant collection and hanging out with her cat Jolene.

  • Rui
    It´s atractive design and for those who wires are a problem, the Bluetooth solution is for sure the most atractive but you win some and loose some, refering to sound quality through Bluetooth it´s not as good as using the traditional cable, 2 rca´s and a ground wire, the price and cartridge are not that atractive also