Vinyl records have made a comeback in a big way, and with so many people getting into vinyl, it makes sense that Victrola would offer an affordable, easy-to-use model for first-time turntable owners. That said, the Victrola Re-Spin is more than just an entry-level record player.
Victrola’s turntables revisit classic designs with modern sensibilities, and this remains the case with the Re-Spin. This is a take on the classic suitcase-style turntable, though with technology you’d never see on those older turntables. The Re-Spin also has an eye toward sustainability that classic turntables did not.
Is the Re-Spin a perfect buy for vinyl-curious music fans, or should this design have stayed in the past?
Build and Design
- Dimensions: 325 x 307 x 115mm (12.83 x 12.09 x 4.53in)
- Weight: 2.30g (5.09lbs)
All it takes is a glance at the Re-Spin to notice its retro-inspired style, but it’s more modern than it looks. To start, it’s much more environmentally friendly than your typical turntable, as it’s partly made of recycled plastic and comes in 100% recyclable packaging.
The Re-Spin weighs in at just over five pounds, so carrying it with the built-in handle is easy. This lightweight is noticeable in the feel of the plastic—it’s thin, but not insubstantial. You probably don’t want to drop it, but it feels like it will hold up to everyday use just fine.
Like Victrola’s Revolution GO, the Re-Spin features a removable lid that pulls double duty. In its normal function, it keeps your turntable clean and dust free. Take it off of the turntable, however, and it works as a stand that holds up to five records, including two slots for double albums.
Unlike many turntables, you have a choice of colors to choose from for the Re-Spin. We’re looking at the turntable in Light Blue, but it’s also available in Basil Green, Poinsettia Red, and Graphite Gray.
When I first took the Re-Spin out of the box and removed the dust cover, I couldn’t help but notice the tonearm and a few accessories were taped down. Considering this is supposed to be portable, I was curious how well everything would stay in place when the player was on the move.
Fortunately, packing up and moving the Re-Spin a few times, I never noticed anything out of place. The tonearm has a clip to hold it in place, so you don’t need to worry about damaging the cartridge. If you’re taking the Re-Spin on a hike, you may need to worry, but it should be fine for everyday use.
As I mentioned earlier, the Re-Spin is a suitcase-style turntable, complete with a built-in handle. This implies that you’re supposed to take it with you, but it suffers from a drawback you’d encounter with older suitcase turntables.
While the Victrola Re-Spin does feature a built-in speaker, it doesn’t have a battery. Yes, a battery would add weight and may not fit with Victrola’s eco-goals for the Re-Spin, but it’s impossible not to wonder how much better this would be with a built-in battery.
- Bluetooth version: 5.0
- Outputs: RCA stereo jack, 3.5mm headphone jack, Vinyl Stream
While the Re-Spin is a turntable, it’s also much more. This starts with the built-in speaker that lets you listen to records regardless of whether there’s a hi-fi system nearby.
Like other Victrola turntables with similar form factors, the Re-Spin also features Bluetooth 5.0. This works two ways. The first is what you’d typically think of: you can stream music from your phone or other devices to the Re-Spin as you would any other Bluetooth speaker.
The other way is more interesting. Victrola’s Vinyl Stream turns the Re-Spin into the streamer, letting you beam music wirelessly to any Bluetooth speaker nearby. This is especially useful if you want to play a few records at a friend’s house, but they don’t have a turntable.
Of course, you also get the standard connectivity you’d expect from a turntable. On the back of the device, you’ll find an RCA line-out to plug the Re-Spin into a stereo system. There’s also a headphone jack to let you listen to your records solo.
Turntable and Playback
- Playback speeds: 33, 45, 78 RPM
Like most consumer turntables, this is a belt-drive model. For some turntables, this means a tricky setup process, but this isn’t the case here. The Victrola Re-Spin comes ready to play out of the box, complete with a pre-weighted tonearm.
While a tonearm without an adjustable counterweight means easy setup, it also means less adjustability down the road. This, combined with the unbranded cartridge, indicates that Victrola doesn’t necessarily intend this play for frequent playback for years and years.
When it comes to playback, the Re-Spin offers the typical 33 RPM and 45 RPM speeds. That said, this turntable also features 78 RPM, which is useful if you’ve got some older records in your collection. The turntable doesn’t offer automatic start, but it does feature a switch to automatically stop playback when you get to the end of a record.
To the right of the platter and tonearm, you’ll find a few controls. The volume control doubles as the on/off switch, just turn it all the way down to turn it off. Above this is a selector for vinyl playback, Bluetooth playback, or Vinyl Stream playback.
While the Re-Spin features a built-in speaker, it’s a mono speaker, which means some of your records might sound unbalanced. To test the speaker, I figured that I’d dive right into the deep end and play something well outside its comfort range.
Listening to Power Trip’s “Soul Sacrifice,” it sounded thin and on the ragged side. I had assumed that aggressive metal wouldn’t sound the best through the speaker, and I had assumed correctly. Fortunately, this is just the speaker, as playing the same record on the turntable through my stereo sounded fine.
Next up, I decided to try something that would work with the mono speaker, choosing “King Harvest” by The Band. This worked perfectly with this speaker. All the instruments were well represented, even the bass, and even as I pushed the volume past comfortable volume levels, I didn’t notice any audible distortion.
Finally, I tried something more complex musically, but not necessarily in choice of instrumentation, playing Faraquet’s “Parakeet.” The clean guitar sounded great, and the bass came through loud and clear. There is still a quality here—some might say “vintage” while others would say “lo-fi”—but it worked for the sound.
Something I’ve noticed with other Victrola turntables is that the built-in turntables are surprisingly good, both when it comes to sound quality and pushing power-hungry headphones. That’s still the case here, as the headphone jack offered superior sound to the built-in speaker.
Overall, this is far better as a turntable than it is a speaker. The built-in speaker works in a pinch, but chances are decent that you already have a better-sounding Bluetooth speaker you could pair with the Re-Spin.
Should You Buy the Victrola Re-Spin?
The Victrola Re-Spin performs far better than its entry-level price might suggest. The built-in speaker isn’t going to blow you away, but plug in a set of headphones or play the Re-Spin through a proper stereo system, and it sounds great.
Unfortunately, the portability of the suitcase design is let down somewhat by the lack of a battery. The Victrola Revolution GO offers a built-in battery in a similar design, and it has a better-sounding speaker, but it is twice the price of the Re-Spin.
That said, not everyone needs an ultraportable turntable to carry while they’re digging through vinyl crates looking for a rare find. For most people, the Victrola Re-Spin is a great entryway to the world of vinyl, and it has style to spare.
Here’s What We Like
- Plenty of connectivity options
- Fun, retro-inspired look
- Multiple playback speeds including 78 RPM
- Built-in speaker is handy to have
And What We Don’t
- No battery limits portability
- Speaker sound quality isn’t great