Recently, more and more audiophiles from younger generations are showing an interest in the world of vinyl. That’s partly due to the modernized record players that are sweeping the market with cute designs and high-tech features.
As it happens, Crosley Radio comes high on the list of brands that cater to this specific market with turntables like the Cruiser and the Voyager. That’s why I just had to see what the fuss was all about.
So, how would each record player perform in a Crosley Cruiser vs. Voyager head-to-head comparison, and are they actually worth the shot? That’s what I set out to find!
Both the Cruiser and the Voyager run on belt-drive, three-speed motors, but the Cruiser’s suitcase design has an edge in portability. Meanwhile, the Voyager’s main appeal is the Bluetooth-out feature that increases the speaker compatibility range over traditional RCAs and 3.5 mm jack input.
|Turntable Dimensions||14.25” W x 15.5” D x 6.25” H||17” W x 12.75” D x 6.75” H|
|Spin Speeds||3–Speed (33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM)||3–Speed (33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM)|
|Bluetooth Pairing||Built-in receiver only||Built-in receiver and output|
|Connectivity Cables||RCA, Aux||RCA, Aux|
|Power Adapter||Power adaptor on DC output 12V 0.5A||Power adaptor on DC output 5V 1A|
|Function Indicator Light||Not available||Four color indicators for different operation modes Purple: Aux mode Red: PHONO mode Flashing Blue: Bluetooth Connection Pending Solid Blue: Bluetooth Connected|
|Needle/Stylus||Crosley NP6 diamond-tipped stylus||Crosley NP6 diamond-tipped stylus|
|Carry Handle||Present||Not available|
What Is the Crosley Cruiser?
This model is one of the company’s most notorious turntables, thanks to its classic design as a suitcase record player. Yet, it’s been gaining fame as a kid’s setup more than a tool to satisfy older audiophiles.
The Voyager is yet another belt-driven three-speed vinyl record player by Crosley Radio. It takes all the basic aspects of the Cruiser Deluxe and pushes up a notch with extra Bluetooth-out connectivity.
However, the Voyager ditches the suitcase style for a more sleek box design in a slightly heavier build. Yet, it maintains the vintage touch with a selection of colors and patterned finishes between florals, washed blues, amethyst, botanicals, and timeless tans.
In principle, both vinyl record players are highly similar, but still, there are a few variations in the specification list that might sway you one way or the other.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the main differences between the Cruiser and the Voyager turntables:
Although both the Voyager and the Cruiser are around 5.5 lbs, the Cruiser wins this round if we’re judging by portability.
So, if they both weigh roughly the same, why is that?
For one, the suitcase design with a handle makes it much easier to carry around from room to room. Meanwhile, the non-handled design on the Voyager requires a bit more care when you’re lifting it.
Additionally, the whole Cruiser body is more compact than the Voyager, with a 2.75” difference in both width and depth. However, the turntable height is similar in both Crosley models.
You’ll get to play standard full-size LPs on either Crosley turntables. However, since the Voyager box has a bit more depth, fitting vinyl records is usually less of a hassle.
Meanwhile, on the Cruiser, you might even need to tilt the cover lid all the way back to make room for the vinyl. Otherwise, the cover could get in the way of the spinning record.
So, the compact design of the Cruiser can be a double-edged sword in that case!
A whole lot of the connectivity options on the Voyager and Cruiser are pretty much the same, but the main distinguishing point is the Bluetooth pairing.
Both models can receive signals from compatible devices via Bluetooth. This option means that you can ditch the vinyl altogether and stream something from your mobile to the Crosley speakers.
However, the Voyager (and the Cruiser Plus) take things up a notch by offering a Bluetooth-out connectivity feature that you won’t find on the Cruiser Deluxe.
This way, you can even play your vinyl to a more powerful external Bluetooth speaker if you’re not happy with the built-in one, making it a nice addition for parties. Alternately, you can always opt to throw the audio output to wireless headphones to hear your vinyl music privately.
On the Cruiser, you’ll have to settle for hooking up wired speaker cables in the jack at the back of the turntable if you want to use external speakers.
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Most Crosley’s record players have more-or-less the same control knobs and switches. That said, there’s one major thing on the Voyager’s turntable controls that you won’t spot on the Cruiser Deluxe, and that’s the function indicator.
This indicator ties back to the connectivity features since it changes colors based on the mode that’s currently activated. It’s actually a very nifty addition that smoothes out the function switching!
For instance, if you connect an Aux input to the Voyager, the indicator will be purple. Meanwhile, it goes red for regular turntable operation in the PHONO position.
If the light is solid blue, it indicates that the input source is Bluetooth, but if it flashes blue, it’s still pending pairing with a compatible device.
Many of Crosley’s turntables require a standard 9W power consumption. Yet, it’s important to note that the Voyager (and the Cruiser Plus) both need an adapter with DC output 5V 1A.
Meanwhile, the Cruiser Deluxe models (CR8005D) run on DC output 12V 0.5A.
So, that’s something to watch out for before you decide to swap power adaptors between the two vinyl players. After all, you probably don’t want to fry the motor before you even get a chance to hear it go!
On both the Voyager and the Cruiser, you get a 4Ω, 3W speaker output. While this might look like a similarity on the specifications list, you might appreciate the speakers on the Voyager a bit more.
That’s because the larger frame on the Voyager gives more room to enhance the speakers inside the vinyl record player than the more portable Cruiser models. It’s not really a major difference in audio quality, but if you keep your ears open for it, you’ll spot it.
Plus, some people tend to criticize the stereo functionality of the Crosley Cruiser models since the speakers are too close together to give you an actual stereo experience.
In most cases, you’d expect at least four feet of separation like you would with regular bookshelf speakers.
The main appeal of Crosley turntables is that they’re affordable and make good options for starter kits. So, neither the Voyager nor the Cruiser is particularly expensive.
However, the Cruiser Deluxe comes with a smaller price tag than the Voyager. That’s actually understandable when you consider the difference in features and specifications.
Now that we’ve covered all the significant differences, let’s take a look at what both Crosley turntables have in common:
Visually, the Voyager and the Cruiser have similar knobs and controls. The control board on the right on both turntables has:
- Spin speed switch
- Pitch control knob to “fine tune” the spin speed up to 10%
- Hold-down clip
- Shared knob for on/off and volume
- Auto-stop switch
- Cueing lever
The Voyager and the Cruiser have a belt-drive motor that caters to three spin speeds at 33 1/3, 45, or 78 RPM.
Plus, both Crosley turntable models allow you to adjust the speed by up to 10% using the pitch control knob. If you turn it clockwise, you’ll increase the RPM rate slightly and vice versa.
This adjustability allows you to play various vinyl records on your Crosley players. Just note that the 78 RPM might not be as common as the 33 and the 45 ones, but it’s still better to have the feature around for when you need it!
For the 78 RPM speed setting, you’ll mainly get to play old gospels and kids’ records. However, if these 78 vinyl records are particularly valuable, it might be better to save them for a more advanced turntable with a higher-quality needle.
So, for the most part, you’ll be switching between the 33 and 45 spin speeds on either the Voyager or the Cruiser record players.
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The operating system on the Voyager and the Cruiser requires manual operation instead of the auto-return tonearm you might see on something like Crosley’s T200 turntable.
So, to get the turntable going, you’ll have to rotate the on/off/volume knob to the power position, set the function, choose the desired spinning speed, and move the arm manually.
To do that, you need to release the hold-down clip to be able to lift the tonearm, remove the stylus protector, and then slowly drop the needle on the vinyl.
That said, the auto-return feature is slowly disappearing from many other brands’ product categories, not just Crosley. That’s mainly because some people see that fully manual operation adds to the experience of playing vinyl records.
However, they do have an auto-stop feature that keeps the platter from spinning after the record plays to the end.
Keep in mind that the counterweight isn’t a strength point in either the Voyager or the Cruiser since they’re not meant to be part of an advanced setup.
On the back of both Crosley vinyl record players, you’ll find a cable and wireless connections slot.
This slot includes:
- RCA outputs
- 3.55 mm Aux jack
- Power adapter input
- Built-in Bluetooth receiver
For the RCA, the setup is pretty much standard, with the red plug to the right channel and the white to the left. So, you don’t really need much experience to figure it out.
Of course, you’ll need to hook those up to an active speaker, not a passive one. Otherwise, the audio will be nearly inaudible. Alternatively, you can use the built-in speakers.
Meanwhile, the most important thing to watch out for with the Aux jack sources is that it overrides all the turntable and Bluetooth operation modes.
This override often confuses people when their turntable seems unresponsive just because they forget that an Aux cord is plugged in.
Like many other Crosley vinyl players, the Voyager and the Cruiser are compatible with the NP6 needle, which has an ABS plastic body with a sapphire/diamond tip. Meanwhile, the cartridge is a standard ceramic set.
You might hear a lot of people dragging this needle and cartridge setup through the mud, saying that it ruins vinyl records and makes the whole turntable impractical.
However, it’s not really all that terrible, especially considering that its primary target audience is first-time turntable owners. In that case, most of the vinyl records in the collection won’t be antique valuables, anyway.
When you start to notice a drop in the needle’s precision, it might be time to get a replacement piece. However, according to Crosley, each needle can last for a whopping 1000 hours of playback!
If you’re into the Cruiser’s suitcase design, here are the main highlights to look forward to in this Crosley three-speed vinyl turntable:
- You can take the Cruiser on the go. The compact body and easy-to-carry design make the turntable highly portable.
- You don’t have to compromise features and designs. The Cruiser comes in two models (Deluxe and Plus) with varying features, colors, and price points.
- Its price tag is easier on the pocket. The Cruiser is a bit more affordable than the Voyager, especially as a part of a starter kit.
Aside from the timeless and sleek design, there are many things to love about the Crosley Voyager vinyl record player.
Here are the highlights:
- Offers a wider speaker compatibility range. With the Bluetooth-out feature, the turntable can send signals to even more external speaker models.
- Has a slightly higher audio performance. In a way, when you get the Voyager, you’re stepping up from both the Cruise Deluxe and Plus models by adding a bit of space to let the speakers shine.
- Switching between modes and functions is smoother on the Voyage. The indicator lights on the control board might make the operation easier for first-time vinyl turntable users.
- Larger base = more room to fit in the vinyl records. Unlike on the compact Cruiser turntable, you’ll be able to fit vinyl records without worrying about rubbing on the cover.
Both turntables aren’t really made to replace a professional record player. So, don’t get either turntable with the expectation that it’ll perform like a high-end setup.
Instead, turntables like the Voyager and Cruiser are suitable for people who’re still exploring the world of vinyl music and don’t want to break the bank on an advanced record player.
Soon, it’s only natural that you’ll want to upgrade to something with a wider feature range and better performance.
With that in mind, you might find one of the two vinyl record players better suited for you, depending on how you prioritize features like aesthetics, portability, speaker compatibility, and private playback.
Here’s where I see both Crosley turntable models fitting the best:
All in all, I’d recommend the Crosley Cruiser Deluxe for people who need to take their vinyl playback gear on the go. Its compact body and sturdy handle make carrying it around a breeze, and it scores a major win in terms of portability.
It’s also a decent fit for bedrooms and offices where you’ll be sharing your music with someone else and don’t really care about listing privately.
Additionally, the cute designs make the Cruiser vinyl record player an ideal setup for younger kids and teenagers. The Cruiser Plus model even caters to all tastes with over 20 color options to pick from.
While the Voyager is lightweight, it might not be the best choice in the Crosley catalog for someone who prioritizes portability, especially when there are other options like the Cruiser out there.
Instead, the Voyager would be an ideal fit for someone who needs to balance the experience of vinyl playback with the convenience of streaming to a Bluetooth headphone.
It’s also a great option for someone looking for their very first turntable and won’t mind paying a little more for extra performance in terms of audio quality and connectivity options.
Keep in mind that the Bluetooth-out feature serves more than just the private playback. It also means that the turntable is going to be compatible with a wider range of external wireless speakers.