If like me you love vinyl you'll also be aware that you can't really compromise for convenience: while there are Bluetooth streaming turntables out there, their streaming quality doesn't come close to the sound you get from your wired stereo or surround system. JBL has the solution. Its new JBL Spinner BT turntable is a Bluetooth-enabled turntable with aptX-HD support for much better sonic streaming.
aptX-HD is a feature in some of the very best headphones you can buy, and being able to stream to them using that standard makes an enormous difference to the sound you experience. It's increasingly common in high-spec smart speakers too.
There are several big benefits to aptX-HD streaming. The biggest one is sound quality, especially at higher frequencies where the air and sparkle in recordings lives. But it's also more efficient, promising improved battery life from portable devices such as headphones.
aptX-HD is still compressed, but it's much less compressed-sounding than lesser codecs. And that's a good reason to want it in a streaming turntable: it gives you better sound without sacrificing the convenience of wireless streaming.
JBL Spinner BT: key specs and features
The JBL Spinner BT has a belt-driven aluminium platter with a built-in optical speed sensor to monitor playback speed, and it comes with a pre-installed switchable Audio-Technica moving magnet cartridge. There's a built-in phono preamp for easy connection to active speakers as well as the traditional phono outs for your amp, and the whole thing looks impressive thanks to its black MDF plinth with gold or orange accents.
It's an impressive specification even without the Bluetooth codec, and it's priced keenly too: the RRP is £349, which is a little higher than Sony's PS-LX310BT, its most likely rival in the streaming stakes. That's a nice turntable too, albeit very black and obelisk-like in typical Sony style, but its Bluetooth is aptX rather than aptX-HD; the difference between the two codecs is subtle but there is still a difference. That means it might be wise to compare the two turntables in a real-life test before deciding which one to spend your money on.