They simply did not have good enough speakers to make people happy.
But now several companies are making modern versions of this vintage turntable style.
And one of the best is the CMC Portable Suitcase Bluetooth Turntable. It combines the compact and lightweight design of classic suitcase players with modern extras.
Does it solve the issue of low-powered speakers?
No, it does not. So far, no one has been able to create powerful speakers that are small enough to fit in a suitcase model.
But it has Bluetooth connectivity and RCA jacks, so you can hook it up to powerful external speakers and get the power you would otherwise miss with this player.
Let’s take a closer look and see what else this suitcase model offers.
CMC Suitcase Turntable Review: Overview and Features
Suitcase record players were pretty common in the 1950s and 1960s, but these days you won’t come across many modern models. They were made popular due to their portable design that allowed kids, teens, and adults to listen to their favorite records when they were away from home.
These record players remained popular for several years, but their low-powered speakers eventually led to their downfall. Bigger and better record models were introduced, that focused on sound quality and volume as opposed to portability.
This model by CMC offers many of the same features as other units in this price range, but its lightweight, portable design makes it stand out from the competition, especially to the audiophile in need of a record player that’s travel-friendly.
This is a three-speed model that can handle 78, 45, and 33 RPM. It also comes with four built-in stereo speakers and features a classic turntable design. It is beginner-friendly and available at a price that won’t break the bank.
Suitcase Record Player
The suitcase-style turntable is one of the most iconic pieces from the 1950s and 1960s. As the name suggests, these record players were housed in suitcases, complete with the traditional handle.
This allowed users to take their record players with them, wherever they went, including vacations and trips across the country to grandma’s house.
They fell out of favor over the years due to their lower than average volume. The built-in speakers these record players housed weren’t powerful enough to play music for a party or for use in a larger room. Instead, they tended to be more suitable for bedroom use.
Unfortunately, while this model does feature plenty of upgrades, one thing that hasn’t changed is how quiet it is. But despite its low volume, this model still has plenty of great features to offer, including a portable design and the type of versatility modern upgrades of vintage players are known for.
This portable suitcase style record player by CMC is lightweight, highly portable, and equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, so you can both listen to your favorite vinyl record, or stream the latest hits from any Bluetooth enabled device.
This classic-style player can play all types of vinyl records including:
- Seven inch
- Ten inch
- Twelve inch
This is a lower priced record player that’s designed with portability in mind, just like the popular players from the 1950s whose design served as the inspiration. However, while it may look like one of the 1950’s best vintage record players, inside it’s loaded with all the standard modern tech.
Like most models these days, it features a built-in USB port, which allows you to transfer your vinyl music to your PC.
It also offers Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to pair smart devices and stream digital music, or to listen to your vinyl records on a compatible device such as a smartphone.
Finally, it is equipped with an SD slot. What it all adds up to is that you really can listen to any kind of music file from a number of sources.
Realistically speaking, most turntables that come equipped with built-in speakers don’t offer the type of stereo sound that most listeners are looking for. Like competing models, this record player features four built-in speakers located on the sides.
While they aren’t exactly loud, they’re powerful enough for use in a small room. This is pretty standard for most suitcase record players, so it comes as no surprise.
For a little more sound power you can easily pair them with a set of external powered speakers. But, for on the go use, travel, or use in your room, the volume is adequate.
Any record player that’s worth its salt will have the ability to play records that spin at seventy-five, forty-five, and thirty-three RPM. This one is no exception.
As mentioned, portability and a lightweight design are the biggest selling points. If you have places to go and want to take your favorite records with you, this is the model for you.
This model is easy to transport, is made out of lightweight materials, and features the popular suitcase design which allows you to latch the top and carry the record player around by the handle.
On the other hand, that means it is not quite as heavy or durable as higher-priced models that are designed for a permanent spot in a home audio system. It also has plastic components, which can make it feel somewhat flimsy.
Older versions of the suitcase record player were made out of tougher materials. That is one of the drawbacks of this lighter-weight redesigned model. That said it will last for many years with the proper protection during storage and travel.
CMS Vintage Suitcase Record Player Advantages and Disadvantages
- Weighs just seven pounds
- Built-in handle
- Highly portable
- Built-in speakers
- Can play a variety of record sizes
- Comes with a replacement stylus
- Not loud enough for a large room
- Needs additional protection during transport
The record player’s design lends plenty of charm to this vintage-inspired model. The subtle pastel color is very 1950s and can make any audiophile feel a little nostalgic.
Most beginners find record players difficult to use when they first get them. This model is as easy to use as possible. Even so, if this is your first time buying a record player, make sure you read the user’s manual cover to cover before use in order to avoid damaging your vinyl.
This model weighs in at just seven pounds, so you can easily pack it up and take it with you wherever you want to go, whether it’s a friend’s house, a party, or a vacation. The record player itself is made out of lightweight wood and plastic. Storing and transporting this model is a cinch.
The record player’s ability to play a variety of record sizes and it’s multiple playback speed options also add to its versatility.
As I mentioned earlier, this model comes with a headphone jack, so you can enjoy listening to records any time of day or night, whether you’re staying at a hotel abroad or at home in your room, all without worrying about waking your family or the neighbors.
Comparison To The Competition
Other vintage turntables are the main competition, like the Victrola 50’s Retro 3-Speed Bluetooth Turntable with Stereo, which has a retro 1950s flavor that many audiophiles love.
Like this CMC suitcase model, the Victrola is a three-speed player that can handle 78, 45, and 33 1/3 RPM. It also comes with a USB port so you can connect to your laptop, if you want to record your vinyl.
Additionally, it offers Bluetooth connectivity, with a range of thirty-three feet. This allows you to use your smart devices to stream music. But unlike the CMC model, the Victrola features a built-in CD player for added versatility that will allow you to enjoy and revive both your vinyl and your CD music collection.
The drawback of that CD player is a less portable and lightweight design than the CMC. The Victrola is best suited for a permanent setup.
The Victrola’s built-in speakers offer a comparable volume to the CMC model. Essentially, the two players are very similar. If you’re trying to determine which one would be a better fit for you, it comes down to whether you prefer portability or a CD player.
CMC Portable Bluetooth Turntable Review: Conclusion And Rating
The CMC Vintage Suitcase Portable Bluetooth Turntable is perfect for travel, picnics, a day at the beach, trips abroad, and much more.
It may not have the same type of volume power that larger record player systems do, but what it does offer is a great way to enjoy your music, wherever you go.
If you’ve been searching for a retro record player that has all the vintage charm, but with modern upgrades, then your search is over. The CMC portable Bluetooth record player comes equipped with three speeds, four stereo speakers, and a lightweight design that makes it highly portable.
A great buy for travel or bedroom use, the only real downside is the lower volume. Other than that, I this model is a steal considering the price, which is why I give it a Top Record Players rating of 4.5 out of 5.