Record Player Reviews, there’s been quite a few Crosleys featured. And the reason for this, is, quite simply, that they continue to be popular, and are one of the leading names when it comes to all in one retro record players. So how does this Crosley CR249 measure up to others from the same stable?
Let’s start with the look. This Crosley comes in two colors – tan and black. The player is encased in a solid case, which has a handle to help you carry it around. The case itself feels solid and durable, and the finish seems to be of high quality. Dimension wise, it’s 22 x 16 x 11 inches, so the Crosley CR249 is not going to occupy a lot of room. It also feels quite light, so it’s easily transported.
So what does the Crosley Cr249 actually do, I hear you ask. Well, it plays records, 33/45/78′s (although we’ll return to the 78′s later in the review). So far so good. But the other main feature of this Crosley is the ability to record your old vinyl into MP3 format. Maybe you want to listen to your vinyl on your mp3 player (if you like rare vinyl, it’s surprising how much of it is just not available in any other format, making it all the more precious) or you may want to simply preserve your vinyl for posterity. As any vinyl devotee will tell you, there’s wear and tear involved in listening to vinyl, which makes looking after it all the more important.
Returning to the playing of vinyl, the sound is fine. As has been stated in other record player reviews, everyone has differing needs when it comes to sound. What is fine for one person in terms of sound quality may not be as satisfactory for someone else. As with all stand-alone, all in one retro record players, the speakers are internal, so they aren’t going to be the loudest.
What comes with the Crosley? Well, there’s the all-important A/C adaptor for powering the record player. There’s a 45 RPM adaptor, and there are a USB cable and software for the recording of vinyl.
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Ease of Use
Another positive that the Crosley Cr249 has going for it is that it’s incredibly simple to use. In terms of controls, there’s an on/off switch beside the turntable that also acts as a volume control. Besides this, there’s a dial for the tone. There’s a speed control switch for 33/45 and 78. In terms of actually playing records, there’s a cue lever which you use to lift the arm off the rest; manually, you move the tonearm over the record, then use the cue lever again to lower the tonearm onto the record – the record will start to spin when you do this. A nice feature is that if you fall asleep whilst listening to your vinyl, the arm will return to its rest automatically when it reaches the end of the record.
When it comes to recording music, the process itself is simple enough. Load the enclosed CD into the computer and connect the included USB cable from the jack at the back of the Crosley to the computer. It’s then a case of opening up the software on the computer and following the instructions. If more detail is required, there is more information included in the software folder. In terms of setting the process up, it really shouldn’t take much more than a few minutes, and you should be able to start recording your vinyl.
As previously mentioned, the sound can sometimes appear slightly tinny and occasionally lacks clarity – high fidelity, it is not. At the risk of repeating the obvious, check out the price of this Crosley Cr249 in relation to other high-end systems – there is a bit of a difference. If it doesn’t sound like an expensive system, it’s because it isn’t. Another point to make is that there is no headphone jack on this record player, which is a bit annoying, but perhaps only a problem if you’re playing music very late at night and don’t want to annoy someone.
Also, it would have been nice if there had have been a way of propping up the lid, rather than having to lean it against something. It is, however, detachable. Earlier in this record player review, mention was made of the ability of the Crosley to play 78′s – because of the needle included, the sound on 78′s didn’t seem as good as the other speeds. However, the good news is that a needle for playing 78′s is available (and can be found here, if you play a lot of 78s, the Crosley 78 NPR replacement needle or the slightly less expensive, but which seems to work just as well Crosley Radio NP4 Diamond Stylus replacement needle.
So that’s the Crosley Cr249. It’s an affordable, portable, old school, sturdy ‘party in a box all-in-one retro record player. For such an affordable price, the sound quality is decent. And it looks as good as anything else out there. Not only that, being able to record your vinyl into digital format is a great example of bridging the old with the new. For those just starting to discover the pleasure of listening to vinyl, this represents a good introduction. If you haven’t a lot of space or move around a lot, this ticks all those boxes. It would of course make a great gift, especially for those of us who can remember when these all in one Crosley record players were all the rage. And to the discerning customer, they’re still an attractive and stylish retro addition to any household. With its USB connection, the Cr249 is a modern Crosley, but still retains the retro features of the older models, and is all the better for it.