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Unboxing & Review

 

VIBESPIN – Is this any different from the other retro record players?

 

Vinyl record player is one thing that often pops up on Kickstarter from time to time. However the campaigns rarely leave an impression as they are really more or less the same. We get that they all serve the same purpose, but they are no longer commonly sold in stores and we want something special if it is on crowdfunding. So let’s see if VIBESPIN is any special.

 

VIBESPIN is a compact record player that has its own speaker and battery. It can play records all by itself for hours, but can also expand to use most external speakers. Physical 3.5mm jack and Bluetooth 5.3 TWS connections are available to link up to most speakers or headphones. This reminds me of the recently re-released Sound Burger by Audio-Technica, which is an update to the 1980s original with Bluetooth. VIBESPIN however comes with an internal speaker, and is priced at just around 1/3 of the Burger, making it a great choice for beginners into vinyl record players.

The VIBESPIN comes in a standard paper box. The player is tablet-shaped with a clear cover on top, which is usually found only on larger record players. All colorways are pastel with a retro tone, something from the golden era of rock n roll. The turntable is located off-center on one side, placed so that the stylus-arm will touch the vinyl record from the other side, a common design for compact players. All buttons are mechanical and feel solid, pairing well with the retro design overall. The turntable is a standard design and feels solid, the shaft has little to no play. It will play 7” to 12” records at 33RPM and 45RPM, which should cover most common singles, albums and LPs.​

The stylus or needle is often seen as the most important part of a record player. Music is made by the needle interacting with the vinyl record, so it needs to be hard, straight and stable. VIBESPIN uses a replaceable ruby stylus, made by CHUDEN of Japan and is packed inside a cartridge. The setup is pretty standard for players of this price point, gives great sound with a moderate lifespan. It will last for several years with casual use, a huge improvement over the old metal needles. A good diamond stylus could easily last a lifetime, but it costs more than the whole VIBESPIN, so it is reasonable to just use ruby and replace it after wearing out.

As a modern digital record player, connectivity is important. On VIBESPIN, there is the common 3.5mm audio output for physical connection and Bluetooth 5.3 TWS for wireless connection. There is also a USB-C socket, but it is for recharging only and doesn’t transfer audio. While none of them is exactly audiophile, they are the most popular standards by far. We have heard that some reward levels would be paired with a wireless speaker to take full advantage of this.

I have put a record on the turntable. VIBESPIN rotates automatically once the arm is in place, no button required. It will also stop turning once the arm is lifted. This is a simple yet welcomed feature to a compact player, providing similar convenience to the automatic play feature on larger, higher end players at a fraction of cost.

VIBESPIN plays the record at true speed without any noticeable distortion or defect. This is expected from most modern players but this is the most affordable one by far. The sound out of the speaker is crisp clear with the distinctive “rounded” tune of vinyl records, but isn’t very loud due to the compact speaker size. This should be greatly improved with an external wireless speaker, as modern Bluetooth 5.3 will transmit the audio without much loss. VIBESPIN has a large battery and can run for up to 12 hours on its own, which is enough for a whole day out.

Concluding the review, we think VIBESPIN is a decent vinyl record player at a very good price. At a compact size and easy operations, it makes a great first record player for people who want to get into the hobby. It is not for serious audiophiles as the stylus is basic and lacks true aux out, but it will be enough to provide the vinyl experience to beginners, which is vastly different from digital or CD. We like how it can play records all on its own with battery and speaker included. The design and colorway is also appealing enough as a decorative piece. We would recommend it for anyone interested in vinyl records.

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