Orange is the new black

At least as far as JBL is concerned. The bright orange Quadrex grills of the L52 Classic speaker adorned our listening room for the recent Darko Audio review.  Then there was the subtle highlighting on the JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth speaker reviewed for the Radio Listeners Guide. Now the Spinner BT turntables follows suit, looking decidedly natty with its orange detailing. If it sounds as good as it looks – the L52 Classic and Charge 5 certainly did – then JBL might just be onto something.

With a price of $399/£375/€425 the Spinner BT is smack in the middle of HiFi Starter territory. And its Bluetooth capability widens its appeal, enabling it to be slotted into an existing Bluetooth setup with ease. Note the use of apt-X Bluetooth to optimise sound quality. Alternatively use the Spinner BT’s RCA outputs – switchable between phono and line-out – to hook into a normal system.

From the press release: –

Playing records in perfect time at 33 1/3 rpm for LPs and 45 rpm for EPs and singles, the SPINNER BT’s speeds are locked with a speed sensor to guarantee perfect pitch from the belt-driven aluminium platter. The tonearm features a high-quality Audio Technica moving magnet cartridge pre-installed on a removable headshell for easy replacement and upgrading. The turntable’s feet are damped to reduce vibration ingress to records.

It all makes for a pragmatic option for the HiFi Starter wanting to get into vinyl. We’d certainly like to hear one paired with a Charge 5 Bluetooth speaker (or the monster Boombox 2). Even if the Spinner BT’s Q3 2023 availability means we’ll have to wait a while to try it.

New Classic series electronics

Also announced today for delivery in Q2 2023 are new models in JBL’s Classic series of electronics. Orange begat Walnut for a more toned-down chic vibe. Very nice it looks too. And with a turntable, CD player, streamer and integrated amplifier JBL has most bases covered. Pricing is below; all bar the amplifier come in just below the self-imposed £1k per device for HiFi Starters equipment, so are worth considering.

    • SA550 amplifier      $2,000/£1,599/€1,899
    • CD350 CD player    $700/£799/€899
    • MP350 streamer    $800/£875/€999,
    • TT350 turntable     $1,000/£925/€1049

TT350 turntable

SA550 amplifier

MP350 streamer

CD350 CD player