My solely criticism in regards to the Stream Carbon’s design is its considerably wonky mud cowl, an unremarkable piece of plastic that covers the platter and tonearm. It’s not related to the turntable in any approach, and I typically discovered myself questioning what to do with it after I was truly enjoying information. Not an enormous deal, however value understanding about forward of time.
Setup was fairly easy. The tonearm counterweight has two marks on it, every of which corresponds to the cartridge the Stream Carbon contains; my assessment unit got here with the Ortofon Purple 2M. Then it’s only a matter of placing the belt into place and dropping the platter and mat excessive. If I had been utilizing normal audio system, I’d simply plug them in, however the entire level of testing the Stream Carbon was to get it hooked as much as my Sonos community. Luckily, that too was straightforward.
After putting in the Victrola Stream app on my iPhone, it was only a matter of tapping “add a turntable” and including it to my WiFi community. You then want to inform the turntable which Sonos speaker or group to make use of by default; I had arrange two Play:1 audio system subsequent to the turntable for this check. At that time, I didn’t have to do the rest within the Victrola app as every part playback associated went by way of my Sonos system.
I kicked issues off with my vivid pink Carly Rae Jespen EMOTION document; transferring the tonearm mechanically began the document spinning, and after a brief delay the tunes began coming by way of my Sonos audio system. From there, I might use the Sonos app to bounce that music anyplace I needed in my home. I’ve audio system on every flooring of my dwelling and will play all of them directly, or only a single set. It felt fairly bizarre and slightly indulgent to placed on a document on the primary flooring and take heed to it up in my third-floor workplace, however it’s positively one thing I attempted. Placing apart that considerably odd use case, although, the Stream Carbon reliably labored with any and all Sonos merchandise I’ve in my home – that features a pair of older Play:1s, some gen-2 One speakers and the first-gen Beam soundbar.
After getting arrange, I spotted there was no actual have to have a pair of audio system positioned straight subsequent to the Stream Carbon. That ought to have been instantly apparent after I began setting issues up, nevertheless it felt somewhat bizarre to have music mechanically begin enjoying on the Beam under my TV (the one different Sonos speaker in my lounge). However there’s positively one thing releasing about with the ability to place the Stream Carbon anyplace you need with out having to fret in regards to the bodily proximity of the audio system you’re utilizing. It didn’t make sense to place the turntable anyplace else in my lounge, however I’d positively contemplate a much less conventional placement if I used to be constructing my setup from scratch.
As for audio high quality, that is determined by your audio system and the situation of your information. When enjoying my newer vinyl, although, the Stream Carbon sounded nice. I jumped between the sparse acoustic tones of Gustavo Santaolalla’s rating for The Final of Us Half II and Howard Shores majestic orchestral compositions for the Lord of the Rings movies to pop tunes just like the aforementioned Carly Rae Jepsen document and a best hits compilation from Canadian electro-rock outfit Metric.
I’m no audiophile, however I used to be constantly impressed with the detailed soundscapes I heard with the combo of my Sonos audio system and the Stream Carbon. Noise from the information themselves was additionally minimal – my older albums like an unique urgent of Metallica’s Grasp of Puppets and a late ‘70s copy of Pink Floyd’s Animals didn’t sound practically as pristine, however the crackles and different sounds you hear from well-kept information had been barely noticeable.
One of many extra uncommon issues about sound high quality I seen whereas utilizing the Stream Carbon was that the Sonos Trueplay speaker tuning applies to document playback. When you haven’t used it earlier than, Trueplay makes use of the microphone on an iPhone or iPad to take heed to how a Sonos speaker sounds and regulate the audio to optimize it for the speaker’s placement in a room. When you do that, the setting applies to something being performed by way of the speaker, whether or not it’s streaming audio by way of the Sonos app, audio from a related TV or the Stream Carbon turntable.
Whereas I virtually at all times use Trueplay on my Sonos audio system, having it turned on whereas utilizing the turntable felt prefer it additional abstracted the idea of “listening to a document.” I used to be already turning the analog audio into ones and zeros by streaming it to the Sonos, and now I used to be making use of a layer of digital enhancement to that music. At this level, I would as nicely have simply streamed an album straight from Spotify or Apple Music to my audio system.