The vinyl revival shows no signs of abating, yet streaming services remain the most popular means for most people to listen to music these days. As a result, smart speakers like the Amazon Echo, HomePod mini, and Sonos devices make a lot of sense for the majority of consumers. However, most of those speakers do not function with turntables, which might make things difficult if you want to play records as well as stream music.
Victrola, which has been manufacturing record players for over 100 years, is best known for its entry-level turntables with built-in speakers in a range of vintage-inspired styles. However, the business recently released the Broadcast Carbon, a $799 turntable that can directly link to a Sonos system, allowing you to stream your records around your house. Victrola claims that this is only the first of several Stream devices in the works.
You'll need to configure the turntable with a Victrola Stream app first, but after that's done, you'll be able to manage the Stream Carbon with the Sonos app or a control knob on the device itself. You'll be able to transfer music from the turntable to any combination of Sonos devices in the same way that you can play music on any single Sonos speaker, a group of speakers, or everything in your system.
Concerning compatibility, Victrola informed me that it is compatible with any Sonos speaker, regardless of whether it is compatible with the previous S1 system or the current S2. Given that the great majority of speakers function with the newer S2 system software, most users won't even have to consider this – the Stream Carbon should work seamlessly with your existing setup.
The hardware of the Stream Carbon is a belt-driven turntable with an aluminum platter and an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge. If you wish to connect it to older speakers, it offers a built-in preamp and classic RCA outputs. It includes wireless connectivity, but you may also connect it to Ethernet for a more solid connection. Given the Sonos integration, it's hardly unexpected that the Stream Carbon lacks a Bluetooth connection and a USB output.
It's a minimalist turntable with no full dust cover and only a guard for the arm. It should complement any of Sonos' equally simple speakers. The aforementioned control knob is positioned directly on the front of the device — it's unclear how it works yet, but Victrola claims it can manage both volume and speaker playback groups so you don't have to go around in the app once you're up and running.
The Stream Carbon is currently available for pre-order, and the firm claims it will begin arriving in October. If the $799 price tag puts you off, Victrola promises additional Stream turntables will be released, perhaps at a cheaper cost.