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The good news about the Electrohome Kingston RR75 7-In-1 Vinyl Record Player is that the unit includes a few formats missing from contemporary music players and even excels at some of those usually forgotten options.
For a surprisingly affordable price, you get a wood cabinet (MDF with veneer) and a turntable, CD player, Bluetooth streaming, AM/FM radio, an AUX input, and a USB slot that allows you to play MP3s from the stick or record music to MP3 while the USB is inserted.
How does the Kingston 7-in-1 Vinyl Record Player look?
The system emphasizes looks and ease of use. The Kingston employs a throwback design that recalls a 1940s table radio and looks remarkably solid for gear in this price range. The “hand-crafted” and “acoustically tuned” cabinet, available in mahogany, natural walnut, and black finishes, measures 12.25 x 17.3 x 13.5 inches (HxWxD) and weighs almost 24 pounds, so it’s not engineered for portable use.
Once you’ve plugged in the unit, there’s a Quick Start guide in the shape of a turntable mat that should help you get an LP spinning in just a few seconds. However, it’s the multitude of options that will be the selling point for the Kingston, and you’ll need to read the manual to learn everything the system can do.
Does the Kingston 7-in-1 Vinyl Record Player come with a remote?
The Kingston features a control panel on the front of the unit and a remarkably useful remote.
Push the volume button on the left side to power on and off (once the rear master switch is turned on) and push the Tuning knob on the right to switch between sources.
What kind of media will the Kingston 7-in-1 Vinyl Record Player play?
It’s hard to figure whether Electrohome added a CD player to the Kingston 7-in-1 because it’s betting on a comeback for the five-inch optical discs or because it thinks its customer base still has piles of CDs left over from the previous century. In any case, once you close the tray, the CD automatically starts playback, and you can press the skip buttons to switch tracks or hold down to fast-forward or rewind within a song. You can access shuffle play with the presets button.
You can connect a cassette or MP3 player via the AUX input on the rear of the unit. You’ll have to provide your own cable to connect an external device. The AUX works as expected.
The Kingston system truly shines with its radio function. Most importantly, the attached antenna gets far better reception than you’d expect from a modern unit, where the radio is usually an afterthought at best. The Kingston’s receptions equaled the dedicated Denon tuner I use with my home system and stayed locked on a station once tuned.
There are 9 presets each for AM and FM, and digital tuning is easy with the dedicated tuning knob. Once you’ve completed your presents, it’s easy to cycle through them with either the presets button on the unit or via the remote. The only possible drawback comes if you have fewer than 9 stations you want to preset. If that’s the case, you’ll have to cycle through some empty presets when tuning the radio.
The first time you set the unit to its Bluetooth function, it’s ready to pair with your external device. Once paired, the connection was solid. The Kingston uses a Bluetooth 4.2 connection, so it’s not the most current version of the standard, but performance was never a problem.
If you’ve got a USB drive loaded with MP3 files, you can play music from a thumb drive. You can’t browse albums or playlists, but it’s fully functional if someone wants to bring a playlist to your party.
Can the Kingston 7-in-1 Vinyl Record Player create high-bitrate MP3 files?
The Kingston 7-in-1’s recording function sounds like a great option, but it’s an extremely limited in practice. You can record from a vinyl record, AUX, Bluetooth, or CD source but you must use a FAT32- or exFAT-formatted USB 2.0 drive that’s just 32GB or smaller.
You can use buttons on the unit or the remote to split tracks during recording, but it would be far easier to use desktop audio software like Audacity to clean up the files, especially since you’re likely to want to tag songs with artist, title, and other metadata.
If you’re still interested in recording with your Kingston after all that, there’s one final caveat: All MP3 files are saved in 128kbps quality. If you’re looking to party like it’s 2003, this may be just the solution you’re looking for.
How does the Kingston 7-in-1 Vinyl Record Player play records?
The turntable is dead simple. There’s no option to balance the tonearm, so you can just start a record spinning at either 45, 33 1/3 or 78 rpm and drop the needle. The turntable is set to auto-stop at the end of a record side.
Do you want to use this turntable to play your rare and pristine vintage vinyl? No way. You probably want something up the price ladder if you’re buying new or reissue vinyl at $30-$40 apiece.
How do the Kingston 7-in-1 Vinyl Record Player’s speakers sound?
For all its versatility, the Kingston 7-in-1 system just sounds okay. At this price, you’re getting amazing versatility and a nice-looking cabinet, but not anything approaching audiophile listening quality.
I plugged a pair of old Realistic Minimus 7 bookshelf speakers into the rear output ports and the performance improved dramatically. If you’ve already got some good bookshelf speakers, the Kingston system still delivers a lot of value for its price.
I got the same improvements when plugging a pair of Sony MDR-7506 headphones into the headphone jack. The source audio here is pretty good if you can listen via other speakers.
You can also use the Kingston as an input source for a home stereo system. Turn the volume down to zero and plug an RCA cable into the outputs and into non-phono input on your receiver or pre-amp and you’ve added several more options to your system.
Is the Kingston 7-in-1 Vinyl Record Player worth the cash?
If you want to digitize your music collection, look elsewhere. The Electrohome Kingston RR75 7-In-1 Vinyl Record Player is complicated to use for this purpose, and the files you get are too low-resolution to be worth the trouble.
That said, the handsome and substantial-looking Kingston unit might be ideal for someone who’s downsizing and still has a vinyl and/or CD collection that they enjoy. It’s also a nice radio for listening to news or sports, or for streaming tunes from your phone via Bluetooth.
Since CD players seem to have disappeared from thrift store shelves, the Kingston might also appeal to a young listener who’s interested in both vinyl and digital listening. A solid pair of external speakers might turn this into a great first system.
Best Prices Today: Electrohome Kingston 7-In-1 Vinyl Record Player (RR75)