At IFA 2022, Japanese audio specialist Audio-Technica unveiled two new affordable turntables, both with Bluetooth connectivity.
Priced at £280/€329, the new AT-LP3XBT is the successor to the brand’s popular AT-LP3 turntable.
The deck can wirelessly connect to speakers or headphones thanks to Bluetooth 5.2, with the turntable supporting Qualcomm’s aptX high-resolution audio codec.
In addition to including Audio-Technica’s trusted AT-VM95C pen cartridge, there’s also a built-in switchable phono/line preamp, a hydraulically damped tone arm, plus a removable hinged dust cover.
Available starting today, the AT-LP3XBT comes in black and white color options.
An even higher tier in the new range is the AT-LPW50BTRW, which is £419.99 / €499 slightly more expensive.
Featuring the same connectivity as its little brother, the extra spend offers a “high-performance” black AT-VM95E dual moving magnet cartridge, as well as a more luxurious rosewood-finished wood veneer pedestal made from anti-resonance MDF. 30 mm thick.
There’s also a carbon fiber straight arm with adjustable tracking force, with the motor featuring a speed sensor system to maintain accurate platter rotation, plus a matching ½” matte silver AT-HS4 universal mount head.
Like the AT-LP3XBT, the AT-LPW50BTRW is now available at retailers.
Review: These new decks might put audiophiles in a whirl, but they offer the best of both worlds
Turntables with built-in analog-to-digital converters and Bluetooth connectivity have started to become commonplace in recent years, with everyone from Pro-Ject to Elipson offering wireless ready-to-go decks.
Purists will no doubt argue that a wireless recorder negates the purpose of playing analog vinyl in the 21st century.
While that’s an understandable argument, they wouldn’t understand what a deck set like these two new steel wheels from Audio-Technica bring – flexibility and convenience.
Both new turntables give the user the option to set up a conventional wired system for all that analog richness, but they also give you the flexibility to stream directly to Bluetooth headphones and smart speakers scattered around your home.
While this could result in a possible drop in fidelity due to compression when connecting wirelessly, with both decks having Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and high-bandwidth Qualcomm aptX support, only the most discerning audiophiles are likely to hear the switch.
IFA 2022 is Europe’s biggest tech trade show, and is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and announcements, as well as our hands-on first impressions of the new TVs, wearables, audio devices and other gadgets on display.