If you’re an old-fashioned music lover with a taste for vintage items, a turntable is likely to be a prized possession for you. Although some would say that turntables and record players are relics of an age gone by, there are many modern and sophisticated models that you’ll come across in the homes of people with a passion for music.
The modern Voyager and Cruiser portable turntables by Crosley prove that record players and the like aren’t obsolete. But which one should you choose?
This article provides you with an in-depth comparison of the Crosley Voyager vs. Cruiser, so let’s get started.
What’s the Right Type of Record Player for You?
Every buyer has their own personal preferences and requirements. Therefore, no specific model can be universally declared as the best one. You would have to consider certain factors and then pick the most suitable one for yourself. Here are some of the features that you might want to consider before buying a record player.
The modern Crosley turntable models come in the form of a briefcase and can be carried around. However, their portability would depend on certain factors, including their weight.
You might want to keep in mind that the audio quality might get a little compromised for the sake of greater portability in some cases. Depending on how you plan to use the Crosley record player and how often you intend to travel with it, you would have to narrow down your options.
Your budget is one of the most important factors to consider. Turntables in various price ranges are available on the market. Setting your budget in advance would help to make the shortlisting process much easier. Keep in mind that generally it is advisable to go for a better model even if it costs a little more. The quality of the product will determine its durability and audio quality.
Depending on your vinyl records collection, you might want to pick the speeds that you want your turntable to come with. Most modern record players can run at three different speeds: 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm. Although 78 rpm discs are now becoming rare, you might need a turntable capable of running at that speed if you own a collection of old records.
The turntables can be paired with speakers or other devices through Bluetooth or cables. Although the branded record players offer decent audio quality, you might want to use external speakers if you would like really polished and clear sound.
In that case, you should pay attention to the pairing options that a turntable offers. If you already own the system that you would be pairing with it, you may also take it to the store to test which record player would work best.
There are primarily two mechanisms that are found in turntables: belt driven or direct driven. DJs typically use the directly driven record players as they pick up speed quickly.
However, if you are not a DJ, then a belt-driven turntable is the right one for you. In these record players, the platter is turned using a belt, which removes the noise of the motor and delivers finer details in the audio.
The leading manufacturers like Crosley build turntables in various designs to cater to music lovers with different tastes. Some prefer to strictly stick to vintage-looking models, while others might want to go for a more stylish and trendier one.
When buying a turntable, you may also consider the interior décor at your home and see which record player would suit your home the most.
A Closer Look at the Crosley Voyager
The Crosley Voyager looks aesthetically pleasing with its vintage design and style. For those who are into the old styles, the Voyager is certainly a good option. It comes in many colors: black, amethyst, brown, dune, grey, sage, washed blue, and pink with floral patterns. The classy finish of this model would make the Voyager suitable for most interior décor settings.
You can plug the Crosley Voyager into a stereo system for better sound quality and higher volume. Auxiliary cables can be plugged into the record player, too. It also comes with the provision of Bluetooth connectivity.
The users may wirelessly connect their digital devices to the turntable via Bluetooth and play the music through its speakers. This makes the record player quite versatile. Apart from the RCA ports, the Crosley turntable also comes with headphone jacks for output.
The Crosley turntable has been integrated with a pitch control feature, which is one reason behind its popularity. The audio quality of the Voyager is quite good, and the belt-driven mechanism works smoothly. The box-like structure is quite sturdy and is capable of keeping the unit safe and secure.
Weighing just 5.5 pounds, the Crosley Voyager is highly portable, and you can easily carry it around to various places. It comes in dimensions of 14.5″ x 12″ x 6″. The top is attached by hinges and is not immediately removable. However, it can be removed by manually removing the hinges if you wish.
What We Like About the Crosley Voyager
Known to be the most popular turntable by Crosley, the Voyager beats its rivals in several ways. Here are some of the best things about this record player:
- The audio quality is great and offers a pleasant experience for music lovers.
- This model is quite portable due to its dimensions and weight.
- The turntable is very simple and easy to use, ensuring a hassle-free experience, even for new users.
- The several means of input and output add to the convenience of the users.
What Could Be Improved
The Crosley Voyager does have a few drawbacks which the brand can work on fixing. These are:
- Often, the Voyager skips portions while playing the records. This means that you would have to be careful while playing music on it.
- The turntable does not come with a tonearm auto-return feature. This can be a disadvantage for some users.
- The built-in needle looks a little cheap, but it works just fine. However, the users can always replace it with a needle of their choice.
A Closer Look at the Crosley Cruiser
The Crosley Cruiser is cute and stylish, and is designed with a touch of modern fashion. Crosley launched this suitcase-style record player in over 30 colors or themes. Apart from the basic colors like red, black, or blue, this turntable also comes in certain special textures and designs, such as purple velvet, chalkboard, and even a Star Wars-themed model (unfortunately sold out at time of writing). The Crosley Cruiser is perfect for those who seek a trendy and stylish record player.
What really makes the Cruiser stand out from the rest is its build and portability. Built with the dimensions of 13.78″ x 10.24″ x 4.72″, it is compact and can easily fit inside small spaces or carried around with the attached suitcase handle.
The Cruiser comes with a ceramic cartridge and an NP6 needle, and pitch is controlled using a single knob.
This Crosley model’s outputs include RCA outputs and a headphone jack, allowing the owner to play their music through high-end external speakers or listen privately as they wish. However, the built-in stereo system is quite good, too, with the dynamic full-range speakers delivering a rich audio quality with a retro touch.
You may also play music on the record player’s speaker from your digital devices through the stereo system in this turntable via the Bluetooth receiver or aux cable.
Made of wood and leatherette, this record player is durable and of a quality finish. Due to the wide variety of finishes and themes in which it is available, you can choose one that would match the settings at your home or your tastes perfectly. The Crosley Cruiser record player is also quite easy to use and is perfect for beginners.
What We Like About the Cruiser
The Cruiser has indeed become popular among those with a taste for modern styles. This model certainly comes with several good features.
- The built-in stereo speaker delivers good audio quality.
- The portability of the Crosley Cruiser makes it very convenient to carry around as needed.
- Considering the vintage and unique designs, the lightweight, the build quality, and the durability, this record player is impressive.
- The advanced pitch control adjustments and the multiple means of input and output deliver an optimal experience.
What Could Be Improved
Like the Voyager, the Crosley Cruiser comes with a few drawbacks, as well. Some of these are:
- The quality of the speaker is not as great as you might like it to be.
- The headphone jack in the Cruiser has been known to malfunction.
- While the model is compact, the vinyl records can get damaged as the lid can’t be pushed back far enough and some customers have reported the lid coming in contact with the underside of the vinyl record.
Crosley Voyager vs. Cruiser Comparison
Manufacturing turntables for more than thirty years, Crosley is one of the most reputed brands in this field. Two of their most popular models, the Voyager and the Cruiser, are good options for music lovers. If you plan to buy a new record player, these two should certainly be on the list of models to check out.
Both of these have their own advantages and disadvantages, just like any other product. When it comes to the Crosley Voyager vs. Cruiser, which of the two is better for you depends on your personal tastes and requirements.
Both of these turntables can play records at three different speeds. You can play them at speeds of 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm.
Dimensions and Weight
The Crosley Cruiser turntable comes in dimensions of 13.78″ x 10.24″ x 4.72″ and weighs 5.5 pounds. The Crosley Voyager is slightly larger all around with the same weight, with dimensions of 14.5″ x 12″ x 6″ and also weighs 5.5 pounds.
Due to its design, dimensions, and carrying handle, the Cruiser is smaller and easier to carry around, and therefore more portable. In fact, it is considered to be the most portable turntable among the wide range of models by Crosley. It can easily fit in cramped places, making it perfect for those who travel a lot or want to store their record player between listening sessions.
Both the Cruiser and the Voyager include dynamic, full-range stereo speakers. The audio quality is decent, and both record players can deliver a nice overall experience, but the Cruiser compromises a bit in terms of audio quality. If you want an improvement on the audio over the included speakers, an external speaker can make up for that.
The Voyager produced relatively better audio quality but has been known to skip more often than the Cruiser while playing vinyl records. Both models come with an audio pitch control knob which you may use to fine-tune the sound the way you like it.
In addition to the built-in speakers, both turntable models come with provisions for plugging in headphones via a headphone jack, and external speakers via RCA cables.
Both models feature bluetooth input as well as auxiliary (aux) inputs to play music through the included speakers, or through a connected speaker. A 3.5mm aux in cord is provided with the Voyager model.
Bluetooth Wireless Connectivity
Both the Voyager and the Cruiser feature Bluetooth connectivity and can function as Bluetooth speakers. Connect your smartphone to your turntable and listen to songs through the Crosley speakers, or through external speakers connected to the Crosley.
Both models now offer an optional upgrade to allow Bluetooth transmitting in addition to the standard Bluetooth receiving. That means you can play your vinyl records from either Crosley record player to external bluetooth speakers or headphones. To have that desirable option, make sure you select “Bluetooth In/Out” as the product option on the Amazon product page for either the Voyager or the smaller Cruiser.
The Cruiser and Voyager are both powered with a 5V AC input, each drawing 9W of power when being used.
Both of these Crosley record player models run on a belt-driven mechanism, and come with an NP-6 needle. The diamond stylus and the ceramic cartridges can be upgraded for a better experience.
Although neither model has an auto-return feature on the tonearm, both the Cruiser and Voyager have an auto-stop platter which will stop the record from spinning once it is complete.
Design and Color
The Crosley Voyager is a blend of vintage and modern designs and suits most interior décor themes. The Crosley Cruiser, on the other hand, has more color and styling options so it can be more stylish and aesthetically pleasing. While the Voyager comes in 10 different colors, you can choose from over 30 colors or themes while buying a Cruiser.
The Crosley brand has built both the turntables in the suitcase-style, which, together with the lightweight design, makes them easy to carry. Despite how compact these models are, they are quite durable. The suitcase-style build allows the users to set up the record player anywhere with ease.
Established in 1921 by Powel Crosley, this Kentucky-based brand was discontinued in 1956. However, it was back in business in 1992, producing vinyl record players. Over the years, they have proven themselves to be a reliable brand for electronic audio gadgets for home entertainment.
Crosley is particularly noted for the retro turntable designs, making them stand out from the rest. Very few manufacturers are a match for this brand in terms of quality and popularity. Moreover, Crosley is also well-known for proper warranty coverage.
The Benefits of Owning a Record Player or Turntable
When it comes to record players, there are actually a few benefits to owning one of these timeless musical machines. Some of these benefits include:
You Can Revive Old Records
Whether you have dozens of records that have been kept in the family, or you’ve found yourself collecting some of the classics, owning a record player allows you to revive the music of old. With a record player, you can hear music as it was heard by your parents or grandparents and in its original composition.
You’ll Have Another Way to Play Music
If you’re looking for ways to distance yourself from your smartphone or computer, having a record player is one way you can limit screen time. Rather than spending time looking at a screen, you and your friends and family can gather around the record player and enjoy the nostalgia and sound that it brings.
You Can Live the Way You Want To Live
Living a vintage and old-school life has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and with a record player, you can set aside your smart electronics and live a simpler, analog life. Having a record player is also great for turning your house into a vintage wonder by using mid-century style furniture that resembles the old days.
Overall, listening to music using a record player offers many benefits for those who love the classic sound of vinyl and living in a way that is long passed.
Final Thoughts on These Crosley Record Players
In the battle between the Crosley Cruiser vs the Voyager, both turntables deliver great value for money despite their individual drawbacks. If you prefer a more vintage theme and better quality, the Voyager is the way to go. The Crosley Voyager is also safer considering the Cruiser’s issue regarding the potential damage to the records.
However, you may want to buy the Cruiser if you prefer a smaller size and better portability with the included handle.
Whichever of the two you pick, either of these are nice entry level record players.
We feel that their pros far exceed their cons, and either record player will be a great option!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the Crosley Voyager ruin records?
A: As with most technology there isn’t really a short answer. There seems to be some discussion that the needles are lower quality so there is a chance that over a period of time it can ruin newer records if played on the Voyager a lot.
However, others dispute it is the stylus and state it is because there is no adjustment for the tracking force, so there can be more significant damage.
The good news could be if you enjoy crate digging or $1 record finds, then a Voyager can be perfect for you! Because of the low fidelity sound of the older records, they sound just fine!
Q: How can I make my Crosley Cruiser sound better?
A: You can’t. At least not on newer hi-fi records. The built-in pre-amp isn’t great for the signal. It is also said that the needle will eat through the grooves.
You could get some really good play out of older records though. Those that you find at yard sales, used record shops, and thrift stores will put out a decent sound as they aren’t trying to push out the hi-fi sound of the newer vinyl.
Crosley isn’t a forever player but is a solid entry level or beginner record player. Many audiophiles don’t think you should put any money into it. Use your Crosley record player for the time you have to, and upgrade to a better record player when you can!