The Holiday's Most Popular Home Audio Gadget Was a Cheap Turntable

Illustration for article titled The Holidays Most Popular Home Audio Gadget Was a Cheap Turntable

This year, tons and tons of people will be bringing in the new year, not blasting tunes through a high-end audio system tricked out with all the latest Bluetooth tech and wifi capabilities, but rather with a $50 turntable.


Don’t get me wrong, the Jensen JTA-230 is quite the steal. For the price of a reasonable pair of sneakers, you get basic features like tone adjustment and pitch control, making it ideal for people want to dabble with vinyl but aren’t ready to sink too much cash into the elder medium.

But the fact that a turntable beat out a wifi-connected Sonos speaker, or really any other home audio product, is staggering and is just another piece of evidence that vinyl is no longer the niche obsession of aging audiophiles. British retailer HMV also said earlier this month that they’d sold one turntable a minute during the ramp up to Christmas.


With the expectation that Panasonic is going to revive the legendary Technics turntable—possibly at next week’s CES—it looks like 2016 could be the best year for vinyl in decades.

[Factmag via Amazon]

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Disclaimer: If you like the way vinyl sounds, then that’s fine with me; I’d never presume to dictate your personal tastes. That said: WTF?!?! Back in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s when I was growing up we had no choice but to put up with all the crap of vinyl: low bandwidth, low dynamic range, surface noise, rumble, surface wear... the list goes on and on. When CD players became available in the ‘70s we jumped on them to get away from all that. Now people are rhapsodizing about how “warm” vinyl sounds, not like that icky perfect digital. Don’t get me wrong; digital can be done badly, but when done well it’s streets ahead of analog any way you want to measure it. I just don’t understand why people want to go back to all of that.