Unveiling the Truth: is crosley a good record player?

If you have read my previous blog about How to use Crosley turntable, you would already know that Crosley was my second turntable, not the first one. When I first saw it at my local store, I was fascinated by its compact design (suitcase-like). Considering its price and the blue colour (blue is my favourite colour), I knew I immediately wanted to buy it and test if Crosley is a good record player.

After using it for a few months, and comparing it with my proj-ect E1 in terms of sound, built quality and wear and tear caused during the vinyl playback. I can now tell you a lot about the pros and cons of owning a suitcase record player. 

is crosley a good record player

Crosley is good for anyone who is just entering the vinyl world. They are budget-friendly, have features like built-in speakers and Bluetooth connectivity, are easy to set up, and can be taken anywhere. 

But as it’s said, when the price is low, you need to compromise with the quality somewhere. The same goes for these suitcase record players. They are priced as cheap as 58 USD. As they are offered at this price, average quality components like a stylus and motor are being used to build them. If you plan to use the record player occasionally, then it’s not a big issue. But if you are a serious vinyl enthusiast like me and have dedicated time in a day to play your favourite records. Then Corsley is not the one for you. 

So, is Crosley really a good record player? To answer this question in depth, we first need to understand its pros and cons. 

Pros of Crosley record player


The players made are quite reasonable in price compared to the high-end turntables available in the market. For anyone who is just starting up, Corsley can be a good entry-level player for them.

Easy to setup and use

Because of the compact design, it is extremely easy to use. You just need to plug in the power cord, turn its switch on, choose the appropriate settings, place the vinyl and lower the tonearm. It’s that simple. 

You can check the article for a more detailed guide on How to use a Crosley

Built-in features

Corsley comes loaded with built-in features like speakers and Bluetooth connectivity. Some also come with an FM receiver, making them a good purchase option if you don’t want to play only vinyl records.

Easy to carry

Due to their suitcase-like design, they are compact and easy to carry anywhere, unlike other turntables that need a proper setup and external speakers to play the music.

Cons you can’t miss

Boxy sound

Because of their suitcase-like design, the sound generated from the built-in speakers is usually boxy. If you cannot compromise with the sound quality, the only option you have is to connect external speakers or upgrade to a better turntable.

Average quality components

The components used in the Crosley record players are made up of plastic and are of average quality if we compare them to mid-level or high-end turntables available in the market. Due to the average quality, components can easily wear and tear over time with excess use.

Low-quality stylus (Needle)

The stylus or needle used in Corsley players is of low quality and can easily wear out. Some models (red-tip ones) have a sapphire stylus, which easily wears out in 50-100 hours.

A worn-out needle is not good for the health of your vinyl records. It can easily damage the grooves and cause skipping during playback. 

If you still want to keep playing your precious records with minimum damage, replacing the stock stylus with a better one is a good idea. You can read the article for more information on different stylus types.

Absence of counterweight

One big problem with the Corsleys is the absence of an adjustable counterweight at the back of the tonearm. Due to this, the downforce is sometimes a bit excessive, which damages the vinyl grooves. With excessive use, it can ultimately damage your precious vinyl collection.

Alternatives available

Many other turntable options are available, and they are the best alternatives to the suitcase record players. You can either go for a turntable from Pro-Ject or an Audio Technica. Both are good brands and offer high-quality turntables, although you need to spend a little more on price. While an Audio Technica AT-LP60X-BK will cost you around 149 USD, for a Project E1, you need to spend around 350 USD.

As I own a Project E1 myself, let me tell you. It’s amazing, sounds good, and your records stay in fairly good condition after playback. The same goes for the Audio Technica AT-LP60X-BK, as my cousin owns one, and I was also impressed by its sound and build quality.

Final Beat

Corsley can be a good option for you if you are starting up. Its features like built-in speakers, Bluetooth connectivity and suitcase-like design make it a good purchase at this price point.

Crosleys are fine if you don’t plan on using them much. Over time, they can mess up your records.

Once your hobby becomes a passion, move on to a better mid-range turntable like Pro-ject and Audio Technica. They sound much better and ensure your vinyl stays intact longer.

If you have questions about Corsley’s, please ask me in the comment section.

Till then, keep playing your favourite records!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do Crosley record players scratch?
Crosley record players have been a subject of criticism due to the inferior quality components used especially in suitcase models such as low-quality stylus and plastic platters. They also exert excess tracking force on the record surface that combined with low-quality components over time causes scratches on the vinyl surface.

Q: Why is my Crosley record player scratchy?
There are chances that the stylus of your Crosley record player is either dirty or already worn out. Cleaning or replacing the cartridge can fix the issue.
You can also read the article on more detailed ways to fix a distorted record player.

Russel Hawkins - About the author

About the author

Russ Hawkins is a passionate audiophile who loves to collect vinyl records. In his leisure time, you will find him either listening to his favorite music albums or playing with his dog Max. He loves writing about vinyl, turntables, record players, and everything music!

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