Looking for an all-in-one audio system that will let you play your garage sale record and CD finds, along with the modern convenience of Bluetooth wireless streaming? Or maybe you’re tired of the standard black plastic + LED wireless speaker look and want a system with more of a vintage vibe. Electrohome is covering off these scenarios with its Kingston 7-in-1 Vinyl Record Player.
Compact (If You Consider Everything Included)
When you look at the Kingston 7-in-1 (or pick it up), it seems rather large. Especially beside a typical wireless speaker. It measures 12.3 x 17.3 x 13.5-inches and weighs nearly 24 pounds.
However, let’s put that in some perspective. This is a 7-in-1 system. It includes a record player, a CD player, an AM/FM radio, and Bluetooth. There’s also an AUX input, a headphone jack, and a USB port that lets you playback MP3s or even copy record/CD tracks as MP3 files at the push of a button. In addition, the system includes integrated speakers and an amplifier.
It’s all housed in an MDF cabinet covered with real wood veneer (available in natural walnut, mahogany, or black finish). A remote control is included, with AAA batteries.
The footprint of the system is roughly that of a turntable. Given all the components it covers off, that actually makes this a compact system. When you place it, just factor in an extra foot or two of vertical space to accommodate the hinged lid and to give you space to change records.
Just the Right Amount of Vintage
Manufacturers can go overboard with the retro approach, and I find makers of wood cabinet all-in-one systems are often guilty of using a heavy hand. The Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 is refreshing in this respect.
It’s clearly inspired by old-fashioned cabinet stereos and it includes vintage nods like the cloth mesh speaker grill that covers the upper two-thirds of the front face and two prominent control nobs. However, it’s not garish. It’s restrained. There’s even a familiar digital display that shows selected inputs and other information such as track number, depending on the audio source.
I had samples in mahogany and walnut finish, and black is also available. I found the mahogany was a bit bright for my taste, but the natural walnut looked very good.
How’s the Record Player?
The CD player, Bluetooth streaming, and AM/FM radio work as you might expect. But the headline feature for this system is the record player.
As you might expect on a system priced at $200—about the same as an entry-level turntable on its own—the record player is basic. That’s not to say it isn’t capable. It’s a three-speed unit, too it can play not only 45s and LPs but also older 78s. It has a cue lever and auto-stop functionality. However, there are giveaways like the hard plastic platter (several rubber bumpers take the place of a platter mat to keep records in place), and the sapphire-tipped ceramic stylus.
Don’t get me wrong, the record player does a fine job. I wouldn’t think twice about spinning those old records gathering dust in the attic.
However, if you’re a record collector and you want your vinyl to sound its best and to last as long as possible, I would skip this all-in-one and invest in even an entry-level turntable instead. Fluance makes some great options, starting at the same price as the Kingston.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much out of an all-in-one audio system at this price point. However, Electrohome has done a great job here. The company does cite its 100+ years of building audio products, and clearly, it’s learned a thing or two during that time. The MDF enclosure is acoustically tuned, and inside are two 2-inch drivers, two 3.5-inch drivers, and a 35W amplifier.
No one is going to mistake this for a high-end audio system, and there’s no fancy DSP to pull off any simulated stereo/surround effects, but music sounds pretty good. The MDF enclosures helped to add some warmth to the audio—even with digital sources–which adds to the retro appeal. You can adjust the bass and treble to suit your preferences. With 35W on tap, you can play music loudly enough to fill a mid-sized room.
Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 Recommendation
I wouldn’t recommend buying the Electrohome Kingston 7-in-1 to play a valued record collection. An entry-level turntable will do a much better job, and its stylus will be kinder to the vinyl over time.
However, as an all-in-one audio system that includes the ability to casually play records, the $199.99 Kingston 7-in-1 is a great deal. It delivers quality on par with a decent wireless speaker (but with added warmth), and its versatility is tough to beat. And if you like retro, the Kingston pulls off a vintage-inspired look without going overboard.
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