The vinyl resurgence of the past decade has been an interesting thing to watch – particularly as my wife and I raise two daughters in an age where music is known for coming from a flat piece of glass and circuits in everyone’s pocket. I grew up with vinyl, and as a kid it was played from a turntable housed inside a wooden stereo console that was probably six feet long and weighed a ton – it wasn’t just audio equipment, it was furniture. Over the years, I would own my own turntables, from low-end Kmart style (actually purchased at Kmart) all-in-ones to high-end audiophile components and some of the more recent USB-connected models. But, like many, I parted ways with much of my vinyl collection somewhere in the mid-90s, a move that I now regret as our girls really like listening to records with us. In recent years, the biggest challenge has been finding turntables that legitimately have the right balance between quality, sound, price and size. Having owned a lot of turntables, I’ve been very surprised at how much I love the new Rock ‘N’ Rolla UFO turntable, one of which was recently sent to us for review.
While Rock ‘N’ Rolla is known for their 50’s-inspired portable turntables, the UFO could be thought of as being 60’s-inspired. It’s like that space-race era vision of what the future could’ve become – and the large clear dome on top of this turntable recalls the bubble windshields from the concept vehicles of the day, much like the Lincoln Futura, which eventually became the 1966 Batmobile.
Available in white, black or red, there’s a nice weight to this player, and there’s a good-sized handle for portability. The exterior is a faux-leather texture, with two dynamic speakers built-in. Check out the video below to the UFO in action…
With a built-in rechargeable battery, the UFO is truly portable and will last for up to four hours on a single charge. There’s a headphone jack, auxiliary input for portable devices, RCA outputs for connection to an amplifier or external speakers, and my favorite non-vinyl function – Bluetooth connectivity. There’s also a USB output, though I have zero interest in using that function. Playing records is where it’s at, and this 3-speed (33/45/78) turntable delivers.
Our collection is diverse, and everything we’ve played in the three weeks that we’ve had the UFO so far has sounded fantastic. Metal, pop, country, rap, soundtracks – it’s all impressively clear and robust when played through the on-board speakers, an area where other players often fall short.
The one area of criticism for me is the defining feature of the UFO, and that’s the clear lid. It looks great, but it can be a little hard to open. That said, all it would really need is some kind of little lip or handle added to it to make the process easier. It’s a small gripe for an otherwise great unit that’s affordably-priced at just $129.99 MSRP.
Whether you’re new to vinyl or an old-school listener seeking a new turntable, the Rock ‘N’ Rolla UFO certainly warrants a look. It’s one of 2018’s biggest surprises!
Buy now at MyRockNRolla.com or Amazon.