The opinions on this site regarding Crosley Turntables are fairly outspoken, so providing a fair and balanced opinion on the Crosley CR49 may be a difficult feat to achieve. Nonetheless, in the efforts of improving as a reviewer, the Crosley CR49 will be objectively examined with sarcasm kept to a bare minimum. Away we go.
Looking For Positives in the Crosley CR49
Being somewhat of an audiophile myself, I have never seen any of the portable turntables from the 1950s that the Crosley CR49 is apparently based on. No doubt they were the picture of convenience, not unlike a boom box of today. Boom boxes can hardly be described as high quality audio devices, and neither should they be described as such. They serve a certain purpose, which is convenience in a box. They take up little room, and can serve a multitude of functions, including CD player, radio and others. With vinyl being the only form of music at the time, portable record players would have been an innovative piece of technology, allowing people to be mobile with their music in an era of relative inconvenience. That inconvenience is no longer existent in the era of the mp3, and thus the Crosley CR49 as a concept is outdated.
People have various reasons for enjoying vinyl. For some, audio quality has absolutely nothing to do with the attraction to vinyl. The Crosley CR49 clearly fills this niche and allows lovers of vinyl for emotional reasons to take their love outdoors. Showing off your vinyl collection is a difficult task, and why not show them off since vinyl is a beautiful format. As is to be expected though, the sound quality of the Crosley CR49 is pretty poor. The inbuilt speakers in the unit are okay at low to middle volumes, but aren’t great much louder than that. As is typical with a lot of cheap turntables, tone control is included unnecessarily.
Dangerous Design Flaws in the Crosley CR49
The main concern with the Crosley CR49 is the possibility of doing some serious harm to your vinyl. The tonearm is completely not adjustable, so there is nothing to prevent the stylus from shredding across the surface of your records if bumped or dropped. Consider the cost of replacing a ruined record or the impossibility of replacing an irreplaceable collectible or sentimental record when considering the cheap price of this record player.
The Crosley CR49 is a toy or novelty item, not a legitimate record player. Apparently 78s sound good on a Crosley CR49, but being beyond my scope of vinyl fetishism I will refrain from commenting. The Crosley CR49 will appeal to some, but those looking for sound quality will have to look toward Music Hall, Rega or Pro-ject for quality sound.