A solid record player with Bluetooth

Key takeaways

  • The Victrola Hi-Res Onyx turntable delivers high-fidelity wired and wireless vinyl experiences with Bluetooth 5.4, Bluetooth LE, and aptX Adaptive support.
  • The turntable features a simple, all-black design that fits well with various decors.
  • Although the Hi-Res Onyx has a built-in preamp and offers a convenient Bluetooth option for wireless streaming, it is recommended to use it with a high-end Bluetooth speaker for optimal sound quality.

Turntables aren’t supposed to be known for their wireless connectivity, but more often than not, in 2023, the inclusion of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi isn’t a niche feature of a record player. Victrola has already ventured into this space with its Sonos-compatible models, but now it has a more universal Bluetooth option with its Hi-Res Onyx.

Victrola Hi-Res Onyx

Victrola Hi-Res Onyx

$299.99 $399.99 Save $100

Hi-Res Onyx expands Victrola’s premium turntable offerings with high-fidelity wired and wireless vinyl experiences, including Bluetooth 5.4, Bluetooth LE, and aptX Adaptive support.

Integrated preamp

Bluetooth 5.4; Adaptive aptX support

Speeds (RPM)
33 and 45

Bluetooth and RCA


  • A simple, all-black design should fit in with many decors
  • RCA and Bluetooth connection options
  • Integrated preamp
The inconvenients

  • Dust cover does not block dust in all areas
  • aptX is not widely available on all listening devices

High-resolution Onyx design and features

Top View of Onyx High Resolution
Tyler Hayes / How to Geek

Whether that was the plan all along or not, the Hi-Res Onyx copies the design of the Stream Onyx, which uses Wi-Fi to connect directly to Sonos speakers. The high-resolution version matches the low-key, all-black aesthetic and is virtually indistinguishable from casual viewing, aside from the fact that it only has a button on the front, instead of a button rotating.

Although Bluetooth is the touted highlight, the Hi-Res Onyx turntable still has RCA connectors and comes with the cables in the box. I’m all for fewer wires for most things, but it seems a bit silly to make room for a turntable and vinyl records, but not for some speakers to be nearby. (This is just a small aside and does not affect this product in any way.)

If you want to use Bluetooth, Victrola offers best-in-class aptX support to justify wireless streaming due to the high transmission rate offered if your playback device also supports it. This means you can connect a pair of headphones directly to the turntable, not just speakers.

The sound of a Bluetooth vinyl turntable

close-up of the tonearm and Hi-Res Onyx cartridge
Tyler Hayes / How to Geek

I connected the Hi-Res Onyx to several different speakers in several ways, including the very popular Edifier R1280DB bookshelf speakers with RCA and Bluetooth ports.

However, my first use of wireless listening with this turntable came with the Marshall Stanmore III. I put on Georgia’s “Euphoric” album and, frankly, it reminded me of how bombastic this speaker could sound. Thanks to the Bluetooth connection, songs sounded and played with impressive clarity. Sometimes, while doing other tasks, I even forgot that it was a turntable that was spinning the music I was hearing.

The existential question then arose: Should I listen on a vinyl record if I couldn’t tell the audio was coming from plastic grooves. Part of this minor crisis could have been caused by the album’s unapologetic electronic music, but not in its entirety.

I listened to at least a dozen records wirelessly and there was some analog presence coming through the digital passthrough. Leon Bridges’ “Coming Home” stood out for its ability to retain some of its vinyl qualities.

Back of the Hi-Res Onyx turntable
Tyler Hayes / How to Geek

Personally, I preferred to connect the Hi-Res Onyx using its wires, but the Bluetooth option was absolutely viable for people who wanted it. There should be no judgment on how people use a turntable. A high-end Bluetooth speaker is definitely recommended, especially if you’re considering this turntable that costs as little as $299.99, but listen to your music however you want.

There’s no automatic arm return, but I appreciated the automatic shutdown at the end of a recording. This gave me time to return to the room and change sides. The counterweight was easy to attach with pre-marked lines. A simple button to switch between speeds of 33 and 45 rpm felt solid to handle.

the dust cover of the Hi-Res vinyl turntable
Tyler Hayes / How to Geek

The worst aspect of the Victoria Hi-Res Onyx was its dust cover. When I first saw the design, also used with the Stream Onyx, I was intrigued, but now, after a while, I’m absolutely no longer a fan. This doesn’t make the product worthless to purchase, but I much prefer the more traditional dust covers that cover the entire turntable.

Connecting Bluetooth devices

It’s worth mentioning that connecting the Bluetooth speakers was much easier than expected. I would press the front button so it would flash blue, then I would put the speaker into Bluetooth connection mode and the two devices would automatically connect. The next time I turned both on, they were still paired and working instantly.

I didn’t experience any signal interference, audio delays, or connection drops. Overall, I was impressed with how easy the wireless technology was to use.

Pricing and availability

The Hi-Res Onyx originally retailed for $399.99, but currently retails for $299.99. Its more premium sibling, the Hi-Res Carbon, currently sells for $499.99, down from $599.99.

Hi-Res Onyx vs Hi-Res Carbon

Fortunately, Victrola launched the Onyx and Carbon models of Hi-Res simultaneously. When it launched its Sonos-compatible Stream models, it did so separately, which could have affected some people’s purchasing decisions.

This time around, potential buyers have the opportunity to compare choices directly from the start. There are two main differences and $200 between the two turntable choices: the tonearm and the cartridge.

I deliberately chose to try the cheaper Hi-Res Onyx model so I could hear what the lower end model had to offer. I liked the sound of the Audio-Technica AT-VM95E cartridge. While I can’t comment on the Ortofon 2M Red, it is priced as the premium option. Any research will show that every cartridge has its supporters and detractors. So I wouldn’t worry too much about that aspect.

The Hi-Res Carbon has a silver metal faceplate, meant to look more premium than the all-black Onyx model. The namesake feature is the carbon fiber tonearm, which Victrola also touts as a “vibration dampener.” Depending on my mood while browsing Victrola turntables, I might be tempted to splurge on the Carbon model for its lightweight tonearm. Most of the time I would probably save money and stick with the Onyx model.

Should you buy the Victrola Hi-Res Onyx turntable?

close-up of the counterweight on the Hi-Res Onyx
Tyler Hayes / How to Geek

At a price of $300, I like the Victrola Hi-Res Onyx turntable as a good starter option. It has plenty of modern conveniences like auto-off and Bluetooth, but it also gets the basics right and sounds great no matter how it’s connected to the speakers. At its full retail price of $400, it’s a much harder sell than entry-level offerings from other companies like Pro-Ject or Audio Technica.

It’s an option that can grow with someone as they explore the world of vinyl records. The Hi-Res Onyx probably shouldn’t be anyone’s permanent turntable, but there’s no reason why it can’t facilitate many listening sessions.

Victrola Hi-Res Onyx

Victrola Hi-Res Onyx

$299.99 $399.99 Save $100

Hi-Res Onyx expands Victrola’s premium turntable offerings with high-fidelity wired and wireless vinyl experiences, including Bluetooth 5.4, Bluetooth LE, and aptX Adaptive support.

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