The Zephyr Apollo record player promises track-skipping using an app

While many people are enamoured by the sound of vinyl, not everyone enjoys the less-than-convenient playback functionality. The average turntable won't repeat the record when it gets to the end, let you skip tracks or even program 'playlists', all from the comfort of your favourite chair.

The Zephyr Apollo record player is promising to do all of this, saving your knees the journey from sofa to tonearm every time you want to change track while also promising high-end, hi-fi sound.

"Analogue sound, digital technology" is the sell, with the turntable aiming to combine a high-end analogue deck with the digital controls which, while not a new invention - many top-end turntables in the 70s and 80s had automatic return, for example - are rarely seen on turntables now. Control of your vinyl from an app on your phone would certainly be a 21st century twist, however.

For the crucial business of playing your records, the Zephyr Apollo uses a tangential tonearm. This design keeps the cartridge parallel to the turntable throughout playback, mimicking the way a record is originally made during the cutting process. This should mean a more accurate, better sound.

The plastic platter is controlled by a high-end, micro-stepping motor and a belt drive system. There's an auto-balancing actuator tonearm design which should reduce stress on the stylus, which is good for audio quality and the durability of your vinyl.

A 5in touchscreen display gives you access to the smart playback features, working in tandem with an optical scanner on the tonearm to give you track-by-track control. The tonearm can auto-return back to the beginning at the end of a record, or skip to a certain track. You can even program a whole playlist of tracks.

This can all be done via the display, but the icing on this clever cake is the promise of Bluetooth remote control, allowing you to replicate these controls via an Android or iOS app on your phone.

Like the sound of this? You'll need to back the Zephyr Apollo project on Kickstarter to see it come to life. The project, which is the brainchild of the people behind Vinylicious Records (a record shop in Singapore) launched today on Kickstarter. The project needs £37,873 of funding by 1st August to become a reality.


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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).