CES 2022: This Bluetooth turntable delivers audiophile cred for a realistic price

Cambridge Audio's new Alva turntables offer next-generation sound for less than you might expect

Cambridge Audio TT V2 and ST lifestyle image
(Image credit: Cambridge Audio)

Being an audiophile brings many joys, because you really can experience more from music than lesser kit offers. Unfortunately audiophile equipment is often frighteningly expensive, so it's nice to see some really impressive audiophile turntables from Cambridge Audio at more affordable prices. The new Alva TT V2 is £1,700/$1,999, but we're most interested in the Alva ST is £850/$999. In a market where the best turntables can cost many thousands, that's pretty incredible.

The Alva ST is designed to bring Cambridge Audio's hi-fi smarts to a wider audience. It's a belt drive turntable with a 1mm aluminium top plate, a layer of EVA to absorb vibrations and a pre-installed Audio Technica VM95e moving magnet cartridge. It shares many of the features of its more expensive Alva TT V2 stablemate including a switchable, built-in photo stage, a new tone arm design, and the attractive Lunar Grey finish… plus aptX HD wireless hi-res streaming, which is the most exciting part.

With built-in Bluetooth, you don't need an amp or speakers to enjoy vinyl: you can just pair your headphones and get playing. And if you have aptX headphones, you'll get really high quality even over wireless.

A serious turntable for serious music

The Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 takes the already impressive specification of the original Alva TT to a whole new level. It retains the original direct drive system and aluminium top plate, but the improved tone arm and switchable phono stage are new and improved, and both enable it to work excellent out of the box, but also provide an upgrade path by switching your headshell or adding your own phono stage if you get into tinkering with such things.

A lot of the specs of these two turntables are similar, with the Alva TT V2 mostly offering improvements in vibration-reducing construction rather than features. Its more serious top plate and platter, plus the direct-drive system, are all designed to reduce any chance of unwanted movement or vibration when playing so you get the cleanest possible read from the records.

Both models will be available this spring.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).