Victrola’s Stream Carbon turntable works seamlessly with Sonos, at a price
My solely criticism in regards to the Stream Carbon’s design is its considerably wonky mud cowl, an unremarkable piece of plastic that covers the platter and tonearm. It’s not linked to the turntable in any manner, and I typically discovered myself questioning what to do with it once I was really taking part in data. Not an enormous deal, however value realizing about forward of time.
Setup was fairly easy. The tonearm counterweight has two marks on it, every of which corresponds to the cartridge the Stream Carbon consists of; my evaluate unit got here with the Ortofon Purple 2M. Then it’s only a matter of placing the belt into place and dropping the platter and mat excessive. If I have been utilizing customary audio system, I’d simply plug them in, however the entire level of testing the Stream Carbon was to get it hooked as much as my Sonos community. Luckily, that too was simple.
After putting in the Victrola Stream app on my iPhone, it was only a matter of tapping “add a turntable” and including it to my WiFi community. You then want to inform the turntable which Sonos speaker or group to make use of by default; I had arrange two Play:1 audio system subsequent to the turntable for this check. At that time, I didn’t must do anything within the Victrola app as all the pieces playback associated went by way of my Sonos system.
I kicked issues off with my vibrant pink Carly Rae Jespen EMOTION file; shifting the tonearm robotically began the file spinning, and after a brief delay the tunes began coming by way of my Sonos audio system. From there, I may use the Sonos app to bounce that music anyplace I wished in my home. I’ve audio system on every ground of my residence and will play all of them without delay, or only a single set. It felt fairly bizarre and moderately indulgent to placed on a file on the primary ground and hearken to it up in my third-floor workplace, however it’s positively one thing I attempted. Placing apart that considerably odd use case, although, the Stream Carbon reliably labored with any and all Sonos merchandise I’ve in my home – that features a pair of older Play:1s, some gen-2 One audio system and the first-gen Beam soundbar.
After getting arrange, I noticed there was no actual must have a pair of audio system situated immediately subsequent to the Stream Carbon. That ought to have been instantly apparent once I began setting issues up, but it surely felt somewhat bizarre to have music robotically begin taking part in on the Beam under my TV (the one different Sonos speaker in my front room). However there’s positively one thing liberating about with the ability to place the Stream Carbon anyplace you need with out having to fret in regards to the bodily proximity of the audio system you’re utilizing. It didn’t make sense to place the turntable anyplace else in my front room, however I’d positively think about a much less conventional placement if I used to be constructing my setup from scratch.
As for audio high quality, that depends upon your audio system and the situation of your data. When taking part in my newer vinyl, although, the Stream Carbon sounded nice. I jumped between the sparse acoustic tones of Gustavo Santaolalla’s rating for The Final of Us Half II and Howard Shores majestic orchestral compositions for the Lord of the Rings movies to pop tunes just like the aforementioned Carly Rae Jepsen file and a best hits compilation from Canadian electro-rock outfit Metric.
I’m no audiophile, however I used to be constantly impressed with the detailed soundscapes I heard with the combo of my Sonos audio system and the Stream Carbon. Noise from the data themselves was additionally minimal – my older albums like an authentic urgent of Metallica’s Grasp of Puppets and a late ‘70s copy of Pink Floyd’s Animals didn’t sound almost as pristine, however the crackles and different sounds you hear from well-kept data have been barely noticeable.
One of many extra uncommon issues about sound high quality I observed whereas utilizing the Stream Carbon was that the Sonos Trueplay speaker tuning applies to file playback. Should you haven’t used it earlier than, Trueplay makes use of the microphone on an iPhone or iPad to hearken to how a Sonos speaker sounds and modify the audio to optimize it for the speaker’s placement in a room. When you do that, the setting applies to something being performed by way of the speaker, whether or not it’s streaming audio by way of the Sonos app, audio from a linked TV or the Stream Carbon turntable.
Whereas I nearly at all times use Trueplay on my Sonos audio system, having it turned on whereas utilizing the turntable felt prefer it additional abstracted the idea of “listening to a file.” I used to be already turning the analog audio into ones and zeros by streaming it to the Sonos, and now I used to be making use of a layer of digital enhancement to that music. At this level, I would as nicely have simply streamed an album immediately from Spotify or Apple Music to my audio system.