GeekDad Review: House of Marley Stir It Up Wireless Turntable

Two years ago, I reviewed House of Marley’s first turntable, the Stir It Up. Since then, vinyl has only become more popular. So it’s not surprising that the company has come back with a new model, the Stir It Up Wireless Turntable. As the name suggests, this one adds Bluetooth connectivity as an option.

House of Marley Stir It Up wireless turntable review
The Stir It Up Wireless is a unique and attractive turntable. (Photo by Brad Moon)

A Focus on Environmental Sustainability

One of the things I really like about House of Marley is the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

The packaging is recycled cardboard with no foam or plastic in sight. The cover and body are clad in REWIND fabric made of 40% recycled PET plastic, 30% reclaimed hemp, and 30% organic cotton (although I would prefer a traditional hinged plastic cover, personally). The tonearm is recyclable stainless steel and the platter recyclable aluminum. The plinth is bamboo. The platter mat is REGRIND silicone, made of reclaimed post-process and post-consumer waste material.

Being green also gives House of Marley products a unique appearance, and the use of natural materials can make them look pretty fantastic. The turntable looks pretty special with that bamboo plinth, but look at the Exodus headphones I reviewed a few months back for another example of how stunning these designs can be.

Key Specs

  • Dual speed, Servo-controlled belt drive
  • Auto start/stop
  • Aluminum alloy platter
  • Audio Technica ATN3600L diamond tip conical stylus
  • Adjustable counterweight and tracking
  • Integrated phono pre-amp
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Headphone jack
  • USB to PC recording
  • Regrind Silicone slip mat
  • Rewind fabric dust cover
  • Includes USB cable and dual-RCA to 3.5mm cable
  • Weighs 8.8 pounds

Setup

The Stir It Up turntable should be pretty easy to set up, but my review unit was a little more complicated than it needed to be. The belt comes already on the platter, so that part’s easy: slip the platter on the spindle, reach through a cut-out to stretch the belt over the pulley. The cartridge—featuring a user-replaceable Audio technic ATN3600L diamond tip stylus—is pre-mounted. However, it’s up to the user to install the counterweight, balance the tonearm and set the anti-skate level. Unfortunately, the instructions in my review unit had zero detail and the instruction manual link on the website was dead.

I’ve done this quite a few times, so it wasn’t the end of the world, but they’re definitely should be more comprehensive instructions included. I found the anti-skate was “pullier” than usual as well, and I had to dial it back almost to zero to prevent the tonearm from pulling back before the end of a side.

Should have been easy, but ended up being a little fussy…

Performance

Once set up and optimized, everything worked as expected. The Audio Technica ATN3600L is a very popular stylus and helps the Stir It Up to produce decent audio. It’s not meant to compete against an audiophile turntable, but it produces sound that’s superior to most beginner record players. Your records will sound pretty

House of Marley Stir It Up wireless turntable review
The Bluetooth connection button and volume control are easy to access. (Photo by Brad Moon)

With its built-in preamplifier, you can output that audio to anything with a 3.5mm AUX port. House of Marley even includes an RCA to 3.5mm cable in the box. Of course, you do have the option of PHONO output to a compatible amplifier or receiver as well. And there’s a USB-B port for connecting to a computer.

Of course, the star feature with time around is “wireless” in the form of Bluetooth. It’s pretty easy to pair a speaker or headphones. Turn on the Bluetooth (there’s a button near the speed switch), press the button to seek, bring a Bluetooth device in pairing mode near to the turntable, and let them connect. Once paired, there is a master Bluetooth volume knob on the turntable itself—although you can control volume on the speaker as well. The Bluetooth worked well and although you lose some of the vinyl nuance (you’re digitizing and compressing the audio then playing it on a single speaker), it’s still recognizably a record you’re listening to.

Should This Be Your New Turntable?

House of Marley Stir It Up wireless turntable review
House of Marley’s Stir It Up wireless turntable and Exodus wireless headphones. (Photo by Brad Moon)

Like all house of Marley products, the new Stir It Up wireless turntable checks off a lot of boxes in terms of green cred. And that solid bamboo plinth isn’t just environmentally sustainable, it looks great too.

This isn’t a turntable aimed at hardcore vinyl fans, but if you’re building a record collection and you want turntable with a decent stylus, decent performance, and all the connectivity options you might need—including Bluetooth and USB—then the $249.99 Stir It Up should be on your shopping list. The dust cover isn’t for everyone and setup was a little lacking in documentation, but otherwise it’s a great option, especially at the $249.99 price point.

Disclosure: House of Marley provided a turntable for evaluation but had no input into this review. As an Amazon Associate, I earn affiliate fees from qualifying purchases.

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