Of all the ways to connect a turntable to a home’s worth of Sonos wireless audio gear, Victrola’s new Stream Carbon must be the easiest. This innovative $800 record player (Victrola’s model number VPT-3000) is outfitted with its own pre-amp and a Wi-Fi module that connects directly to wireless Sonos components, making a whole-home stereo setup quick and simple.
A certified “Works with Sonos” device, the Stream Carbon streams music to Sonos speakers over either Wi-Fi 5 (2.4- or 5GHz, but not the newer and faster 6GHz band) or an ethernet cable (up to 100Mbps). For analog traditionalists, the unit has RCA outs for use with an old-school amplifier.
The Victrola Stream Carbon is a major step up from Victrola’s previous offerings. We’ve evaluated several of the company’s turntables recently, but none have wowed us. This belt-drive model with a sturdy steel frame, an MDF plinth, a die-cast aluminum platter, and recessed 2-inch vibration-damping feet could be a different story.
It’s outfitted with an 8.9-inch carbon-fiber tonearm with a tracking error of less than two degrees, and it comes with a removable headshell and an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. It has a tracking force of 1.8-grams and frequency response from 20 to 20,000 Hertz. It can spin at 33 1/3 or 45 rpm and comes with a machined adapter for 45s.
The sleek silver and black turntable comes with a black dust cover to shield the platter and tonearm, but the cover can’t be used while you’re playing a record. Its single knob is backlit by LEDs and can act as a master volume control for all connected Sonos speakers. You can also use the Sonos app to adjust the volume and bass and treble levels.
Our in-person demo
Victrola demoed the turntable for the assembled press in a Manhattan apartment, with the turntable connected to nearby Sonos products as well as speakers in the kitchen, an upstairs bedroom, and a TV soundbar. Overall, its audio output was clear and clean, with no hum or rumble and sounded just as good with the Beastie Boys as with Bruce Springsteen. The turntable-Sonos pairing would have better suited my listening tastes if it had some deeper midrange tones, but don’t consider this a review.
The Victrola Stream Carbon is available for pre-order now, with a manufacturer’s list price of $799.99. For it to catch on, the Stream Carbon doesn’t need to be the best-sounding turntable, just the easiest to use. TechHive will publish an in-depth review as soon as we receive an eval unit.