The Crosley Cuiser is the best-selling portable turntable on the market. The reason for that is the small, lightweight and elegant suitcase design.
- Extremely portable and lightweight
- Made of high-grade and durable components
- Available in 22 colors
- Can play vinyl at 3 different speeds
- Has built-in speakers
- Can play music from iPhones, iPads and tablets via auxiliary input or Bluetooth
- Can connect to more powerful external speakers
- Budget-friendly price
- No AM/FM radio
- Speakers are decent for the size, but lower quality than the competition
- No USB port
The Cruiser plays vinyl records at speeds of 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM. It also plays MP3 files via the 3.5 mm auxiliary input slot (smartphones, tablets, etc) or Bluetooth.
It has a built-in stereo speaker system that provides full-range sounds.
The speakers are good considering the size of the unit, but they lag behind competing record players and they come nowhere near a set of high-quality speakers.
The Crosley Cruiser comes in a variety of fabric types and colors and a few unique designs. Read the rest of our Cruiser review to find out if this is the perfect record player for you.
Crosley Cruiser Review
The Crosley Cruiser portable turntable is the most popular suitcase style player. It is small and extremely lightweight. It also looks cool and with 22 colors to choose from, you’re sure to find one you love.
It plays all three speeds of vinyl, as well as digital files from your tablet or smartphone via auxiliary input or Bluetooth. It comes equipped with stereo speakers, but to be honest, they are not that great. They’re good considering the size, but you’ll probably find yourself hooking the Cruiser up to external speakers via the RCA jack when you’re at home.
The Cruiser is a great player if you’re looking for portability and decent sound from the built-in speakers. For better sound, you’ll want to hook it up to external speakers, or get a player that is not a suitcase style.
But you need to be aware that it is an entry-level player. The sound quality will not match a high quality record player. Read our comparison between Jensen and Crosley turntables for more on these two budget brands.
Among budget suitcase turntables, the Cruiser is great. When compared to other types, it falls a little short, which is the reason for the Top Record Players rating of 4 out of 5.
Crosley Cruiser Key Features
- 14 by 10.5 by 4.63 inches: very small and ultra-portable design
- 5.5 pounds: one of the lightest on the market
- Wooded suitcase design bound in leatherette or velvet material: gorgeous and portable
- 3.5 mm auxiliary input slot: allows smartphone or tablet connectivity
- Bluetooth capable: connect to the same devices wirelessly
- Can play records at speeds of 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM: will play any record
- Dynamic full-range stereo speakers: good sound quality for the size and price
- RCA and headphone jacks: connect more powerful speakers or a pair of headphones
The two most popular alternatives to the Crosley Cruiser are the Electrohome Archer and the 1byone Suitcase Style Turntable.
All three of these record players are suitcase style and they are similarly priced. Amazon sometimes has sales on these units, so any one of them could be the cheapest at any given time. All three also play vinyl records at different speeds and they have built-in speakers.
The 1byone is about the same size and only slightly heavier. The Archer is much larger and weighs almost three times as much as the other two. It is still quite portable, due to the suitcase design, but you’ll definitely notice the difference in weight.
One reason for the added size and weight is improved speakers. While the Archer can’t match high-end speakers, its built-in stereo speakers sound much better than those in the Crosley and 1byone models, with the Cruiser speakers being the worst of the three. All three have RCA jacks, though, so you can easily connect external speakers.
The Archer also has a diamond-tipped stylus, while the other two have a much cheaper stylus. The one on the Cruiser has been improved, but it still lags behind the Archer. We always recommend upgrading the stylus anyway. Read “Do Crosley Turntables Ruin Records?” for more.
The 1byone and the Archer both come in two different colors, while the Crosley gives you 22 colors to choose from and even a few unique designs. Note that the price varies slightly between colors.
One other option comes from Crosley itself: the Nomad. It is a slightly more expensive, and slightly higher quality option. We rate the two about evenly and recommend you get whichever falls in your budget.
Crosley Cruiser Review: Final Verdict
Overall, the Crosley Cruiser is the best option, if you are looking for maximum portability. It is the smallest and lightest player you’ll find.
But you do sacrifice sound quality for that portability. If quality is more important to you, then the Electrohome Archer is easily the better choice. It is still portable enough, despite the size and weight, and is built with better quality components all around.
If you want better sound quality, while still keeping it ultra compact, the 1byone turntable might be a better choice than the Cruiser. That said, the difference in the speakers is not that huge. Personally, I prefer the Cruiser overall, if just for the many color options.
To sum up this Crosley Cruiser portable turntable review in one sentence: if you want maximum portability, this is the best choice. Otherwise, a larger turntable with better speakers would probably be more suitable.