Many of them are retro-styled, including their most popular models.
The Crosley CR6232A Nomad is one of these retro styled models
It is a portable suitcase style record player that sits a few notches above entry-level.
Is it worth the extra cost over a deep budget turntable?
Or are you better off saving your money and sacrificing a bit of quality?
Read the rest of this Crosley Nomad turntable review to find out. We also compare the Nomad directly to the Cruise, which is Crosley’s most popular suitcase style player.
Crosley Nomad Turntable Review: Overview And Features
The Nomad is another Crosley offering that aims to be a portable, suitcase-style record player you can bring with you when traveling or going to a friend’s house.
It is retro not only in design but also in functionality.
It takes you back to the days when people would go to their friend’s house with an armful of records and a portable player like the Nomad and listen to records together. They would trade records and hang out much like kids do today with Pokemon cards.
It is a belt-drive record player with 3 speeds, including 33, 45, and even 78, so you can play those old shellac antiques.
It comes with a USB port and software so you can rip your records to your PC. You did not have that in 1968! It also includes a headphone jack and RCA output, as well as an extra auxiliary output.
- Portable: easy to bring with you as you travel, and small enough to set up with your existing home entertainment system
- Attractive look: this thing looks like they used to look in the late 1960s when people were bringing Beatles albums to each other’s houses and hiding them from their parents; the fabric-wrapped latch-able case screams 1960s to me
- Lots of connection options: all the ins and outs you would need for a portable turntable
- Good sound: it produces decent sound for a portable affordable unit
- Lightweight: not too heavy to carry around
- Does not compare to higher-end players in the audio quality department
The Nomad comes with a decent stylus: an NP5 needle. It is not going to win any audiophile awards, but it is a solid needle that sounds pretty good for what it is. This is better than the stock stylii on most competing portables.
It is USB enabled, allowing you to transfer your records to your PC or laptop. This is a feature that is unique to this model.
Many portable retro-style turntables do not have this option at all. Many have RCA jacks or a switchable preamplifier, but a USB port is not as common as it should be.
Ripping And Editing Software
It comes with the software needed to take your records from the player into the digital domain. The software is compatible with both PC and Mac platforms.
It is not just for ripping, either. It will allow you to edit the audio as you transfer to digital, removing pops and so forth.
Many Outputs (And One Input)
This model includes the following outputs.
As mentioned above, this output allows you to transfer your records directly from the player to a PC or laptop. This is a common practice these days as it is well known that records degrade over time and with repeated spins.
Also, they are sensitive to being dinged, scratched, or broken. When you transfer a record to the digital realm it is called ‘ripping’.
The included RCA output allows you to send the stereo audio signal (left and right channel) to any receiver or amplifier. This comes in handy if you decide to use it in conjunction with your existing home audio listening setup.
The built-in speakers are not bad, but they are never going to sound as good as a real bookshelf or floor speakers.
This is a no-brainer that every portable record player ought to have. But surprisingly, some do not have this.
f you live with another person, or several of them, in a smaller space and do not have a dedicated room to yourself, it is necessary to use headphones to avoid making your roommates angry.
A great feature for today’s world. This allows you to hook up your phone’s output, or any other device, to the Nomad’s built-in speakers. It is not a feature I see too many people using, but I would use it all the time personally.
Every time I listen to something on YouTube, I would hook my phone up to these speakers. They are not awesome speakers, as I mentioned before, but they are miles better than your phone.
Crosley Nomad Vs Crosley Cruiser
These are two similar units by the same manufacturer, but they are not the same in every aspect. In form and function, you could say they are nearly identical, but when you look deeper, they are very different machines.
- Both are portable units with built-in speakers and hard cases that you can close
- They are both belt-driven turntables which keeps their weight down a little bit; direct drive turntables tend to be a bit heavier because the motor needs to be beefier for direct drive operation
- They are both made of wood and plastic
- Both have headphone jacks and RCA output jacks
- Both will play 3 speeds: 33, 45 & 78
- The Cruiser has Bluetooth included, with Bluetooth in and out as an optional upgrade for a little more money
- The Cruiser has pitch control where the Nomad does not
- The Nomad is fancier looking, with more sophisticated design elements; it is sleeker and longer, and the suitcase handle is a more accurate representation of the handles seen in the 60s
- The Nomad has USB connectivity and software included to rip albums to the digital domain; the cruiser does not offer this feature
- The Nomad is bigger than the Cruiser
- The Nomad sounds a bit better (this is subjective, of course)
- The Cruiser is significantly cheaper than the Nomad
Which Is Better?
If we are judging just by sound, the Nomad wins. If we are judging by features, the Nomad wins again.
If you are choosing between these two portable record players, there are only three reasons to choose the cruiser over the Nomad:
- If you need to have adjustable pitch control
- If you need something very inexpensive
- If you need something much smaller than the Nomad
Crosley Nomad Review: Conclusion And Rating
The Crosley CR6232A Nomad is a solid choice in the portable retro turntable market.
It has a good sound compared to many others and a period-accurate look and feel that is quite impressive.
It will play any speed record, and it allows you to rip your vinyl to PC or Mac while even including the software to do it.
If you are in the market for a portable retro-style turntable with a USB, this is a solid choice that comes at a great price. That gets it a Top Record Players rating of 4 out of 5.