Got vinyl? New turntable streams high-quality sound over Bluetooth. | Cult of Mac

Got vinyl? New turntable streams high-quality sound over Bluetooth.

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Great record-player sound over Bluetooth? Yes, according to Cambridge Audio.
Great record-player sound over Bluetooth? Yes, according to Cambridge Audio.
Photo: Cambridge Audio

Cambridge Audio just released a new turntable that can play vinyl records the old-fashioned way or over Bluetooth, streaming audio wirelessly to speakers, headphones or amplifiers.

The new Alva ST follows the company’s Alva TT, which the world’s first aptX HD Bluetooth turntable.

And the Alva ST uses the same codec technology for high-quality sound — the kind that until recently could only be had through wires.

Cambridge Audio Alva ST Belt-Drive Turntable with aptX HD Bluetooth streaming

The new Cambridge Audio Alva ST Belt-Drive Turntable with aptX HD Bluetooth plays your records over traditional hi-fi systems — via wires — but it can also stream vinyl wirelessly to Bluetooth headphones, speakers or amplifiers at 24-bit/48kHz.

So you can put it anywhere and not have to worry about wires — unless you want to play it that way. It may be worth it to check if it sounds better wired or not.

Vinyl records have made quite a comeback after newer music media replaced them long ago. And while some audiophiles may never accept that wireless sound can be good enough, the new turntable incorporates a codec that more and more music players, headphones and earbuds have adopted for better sound: Bluetooth aptX HD.

The new model follows Cambridge Audio’s well-regarded Alva TT, which was the first aptX HD Bluetooth turntable. But the new Alva ST brings good sound at a more affordable price, in part because it has a belt drive rather than a direct drive.

Easy setup

The British company said it designed the Alva ST for vinyl enthusiasts who want to listen to records with high sound quality but not much fuss. With essential components already fitted out of the box, it lets users skip assembly and start cranking tunes right away.

The product’s quick setup is partly due to the pre-installed Audio-Technica moving magnet cartridge. And the diecast aluminum platter is milled to ensure a level and smooth surface and finished with a rubber mat to reduce vibrations.

The turntable’s electronic speed control lets you quickly switch speeds to play full-sized albums and singles.

The system’s new high-mass, low-resonance tonearm helps keep resonance to a minimum.

And for those who have newer amplifiers without a phono stage, the Alva AT has a built-in phono preamp. It’s based on Cambridge Audio’s Alva Duo phono stage. You can deactivate it if you already have one or wish to upgrade.

Price: $999

Where to buy: select retailers or Cambridge Audio