When you put a record player, a CD player, a cassette deck and a radio all into one unit, each of them obviously has less space available than they would in their own dedicated unit. They also end up being lower quality to keep the overall costs down.
Is this true of the Jensen JTA475W Turntable Music System?
Yes. In fact, it has more drawbacks than many. But that is to be expected given the low price.
You will not find another all-in-one model at a price this low. If you want a player that does everything, but you do not have a ton of money to spend, this is your only real option.
Just be aware that you will have to make some sacrifices. What do you have to sacrifice?
Let’s take a close look.
Jensen JTA475W Turntable Review: Overview and Features
Jensen’s latest model isn’t about portability or style. Instead, they focus more on functionality, which is evident once you look at all of the basic features and playing options.
Instead of just listening to your vinyl, you can also listen to AM and FM radio, play a cassette in the single deck setup, or play a CD. This versatility makes this model appealing to buyers who are looking for a sound system and not just a turntable to add to an existing setup.
But considering the price, you should have realistic expectations in terms of what this system can really do. It doesn’t quite deliver on the type of functionality that the manufacturer claims it does.
This system is very basic. It doesn’t come with any flashy features and the media options it does offer do not come loaded with many playing options. As an example, the CD player doesn’t allow you to repeat a track and the included remote doesn’t control anything but control the system’s volume.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one system with all the bells and whistles, this model definitely isn’t it. That said, for the price, you’ll be hard-pressed to another system that comes with this many media playing options.
The single aux input is perfect for plugging in external devices including your smartphone or MP3 player, so you can stream your digital music collection. This is a standard feature you’ll find on most all-in-one systems, and it gives you more playing options, which is always a plus.
If you’re not looking for a major system that allows you to shuffle from disc to disc, then this single deck CD player should be more than sufficient. This is a front loading disc player that doesn’t come with some of the fancy options you’ll find on a dedicated CD player. That said, you can choose random play, you can skip a track, search for a track, go back a track, or use repeat.
Use the single deck cassette player for your old cassette collection. The deck comes with basic features such as fast forward, play, and stop. There is no record option and you won’t be able to pause or rewind a track.
This is pretty disappointing for any potential buyer looking for a system that can handle their cassette collection. The inability to record is also a big loss since you won’t be able to record programs or music from the radio or use cassettes to record music from your turntable or CD player.
The bass boost button can be used when you’re listening to bass heavy tracks, whether via CD, cassette, or vinyl.
Many listeners are unable to tell much of a difference between when the bass boost is used and when it isn’t, but it does add a bit more bass to a track, without adding any unwanted distortion.
If you’re not playing bass-heavy tracks such as hip hop or R&B, then the amount of bass this feature offers is more than adequate. If you are in need of speakers that can handle some serious bass, look into purchasing external speakers and subwoofer.
The receiver portion of the system is where you can breeze through AM and FM radio stations to find your favorite radio talk show or podcast, listen to music, or catch a traffic or weather update.
The receiver’s blue display is large and backlit, which makes it easier to read in bright or low lighting conditions and gives the unit a high-quality look that makes the system really stand out.
Obviously, anyone who purchases this system is primarily buying it for the turntable. The platter has a nice weight to it, as does the tonearm, so you won’t have to worry about skipping.
The turntable itself features some basic controls and comes with a stock quality tonearm, cartridge, and stylus. However, these components are upgradeable.
Overall, the turntable is the best thing about this system. It performs the way you’d expect it to and comes with all the standard features, which is a relief for audiophiles and casual listeners who are buying this system mainly for the turntable.
If you’re interested in upgrading components on your turntable, head here to read my article on how record players work.
The built-in speakers are decent considering the price, but they aren’t able to deliver the power of a full audio setup. They work well if you plan on setting the system up in a bedroom or small apartment, but if you’re looking for louder sound, I recommend purchasing some external speakers.
Although they are much bigger than the type of speakers you’ll find on portable turntables, they only deliver a comparable volume. That is disappointing and will be an issue if you’re looking for an all-in-one system that comes with speakers that can provide sound for an entire room.
That said, while the speakers prevent you from really cranking up your favorite tunes, for the price, they offer better than average sound quality.
Jensen JTA475W Advantages and Disadvantages
- Cassette deck
- CD player
- AM/FM radio
- Remote control
- Built-in speakers
- Bass boost
- Low price
- Remote only controls volume
- CD player is noisy during use
- Cassette deck is lacking many features
For a low price, you can play your vinyl, CD, and cassette collection, but don’t expect to be blown away by the features.
Some owners found this system to be seriously lacking in terms of even some of the most basic features and connectivity options. First off, it doesn’t come with a USB port, which is vital if you were planning on uploading your vinyl collection to your PC.
In terms of the cassette player, it’s a single deck setup that doesn’t actually play like a traditional cassette deck. Back in the day you could record, fast forward, rewind, and pause a track. This deck is incredibly basic and lacks most of these features.
To start, you can’t rewind a song. If you want to play the same song again, you have to fast forward through the whole cassette and hope you don’t pass the song you’re looking for, or you have to go all the way around again.
As you can imagine, this makes using the cassette deck pretty frustrating. It also doesn’t have a pause button or a record option, which would have been nice for buyers who want to record their vinyl or CDs, or even music off the radio.
The CD player is also pretty basic. You can skip, play, pause, or repeat a track. It also makes a loud humming sound, which can be difficult to ignore unless you turn the volume all the way up.
I was pretty excited to see that this system came with a remote control, but it only does one thing: operate the speaker volume.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one system, but need one with more features, or you are interested in other styles of turntables with speakers, head here to read my buyer’s guide.
Comparison To The Competition
There aren’t many all-in-one systems in this price range, which is one of the reasons this particular model is such a big seller. As a budget all-in-one player, it really can’t be beat.
But if you’re not looking for an all-in-one model, then you are definitely better off with a basic standalone unit or a portable player, like the popular suitcase-style turntables.
The suitcase turntables are by far the most popular option for beginners or audiophiles who want to hit the road with their vinyl collection, so it comes as no surprise that one of the biggest competitors in this price range is a suitcase player from Wockoder.
The Wockoder Classic suitcase turntable is one of their big sellers, but it doesn’t exactly offer the number of playing options that this all-in-one system does.
Instead, with the suitcase turntable, you’ll get a model that’s portable and easy to use. It offers the same three speed playing options as this model does, and comes with two built-in speakers instead of two larger detachable speakers.
In terms of portability, it’s clear that the Wockoder model is the winner, but if you’re looking for a turntable in the same price bracket that offers more playing options so you can enjoy your old cassette and CD collection, then this Jensen system is the better fit.
Jensen 3-Speed Turntable Music System Review: Conclusion and Rating
If you can get over the fact that Jensen JTA475W 3-Speed Turntable Music System doesn’t come with many of the bells and whistles of more expensive models and if your main reason for buying it is for its turntable, then it’s an excellent buy.
There are definitely some kinks in this system, but for the price, you’ll get a solid turntable all-in one-system that allows you to listen to the radio, play cassettes, vinyl, and CDs, and control the volume of your system using the included remote.
It’s a great entry-level model and one that I would recommend to the casual listener or beginner interested in starting a vinyl collection. I gave this model a Top Record Players rating of 4 out of 5.