Audio-Technica is a name that features heavily in our best USB turntables roundup, and now the Japanese audio brand that is responsible for the fine-sounding and fuss-free AT-LP5x has a new proposition: a fully manual turntable (modelled after the firm's AT-LP120X-USB deck) that adds the convenience of Bluetooth wireless connectivity to the existing analog and USB outputs.
It's easy to see the logic: the Sony PS-LX310BT launched just over a year ago – a turntable that brought with it the ability to listen to records on your wireless headphones and crucially, at a price most vinyl newbies can appreciate. Audio-Technica's new AT-LP120XBT-USB will doubtless enjoy the same appeal.
The AT-LP120XBT-USB features Bluetooth 5.0 (so it's compatible with the high-quality Qualcomm aptX audio codec), a USB cable and a dual RCA output cable to give you the option of connecting to wireless speakers and headphones, computers, home stereos, and more alongside the existing analog and USB ports.
This direct-drive, fully manual turntable supports 33, 45 (you get an adapter) and 78 RPM record speeds and comes with Audio-Technica's AT-HS6 universal ½"-mount headshell and AT-VM95E dual moving magnet phono cartridge with 0.3 x 0.7mm elliptical stylus. Audio-Technica says that the AT-VM95E cartridge is compatible with any VM95 Series replacement stylus, thus offering a wide choice of options for every budget and application.
The AT-LP120XBT-USB also features (deep breath) an anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter with felt mat, a balanced S-shaped tonearm with hydraulically damped lift control and lockable rest, a built-in switchable phono preamplifier for phono- or line-level output, stroboscopic platter with speed indicator, variable pitch control with quartz speed lock, a removable plug-type target light (for easier cueing in low light) and a damped base construction for reduced low-frequency feedback coloration.
The AC adapter handles AC/DC conversion outside of the chassis, thus promising to reduce noise in the signal chain, the dust cover is included and of course, you can convert your vinyl records to digital audio files by downloading and using the free Mac- and PC-compatible Audacity recording software – or vinyl-ripping software of your choice.
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