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Mbeat MB USBTR118 review

Priced at $109.

CHOICE Expert Rating

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What is the CHOICE Expert Rating

CHOICE Expert rating

This is the product's overall performance score, based on key tests conducted by our industry experts in the CHOICE labs.

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Good points

The product's best features and benefits

Bad points

Drawbacks or issues you need to know about
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CHOICE Expert Rating View more details.

This overall score is made up of:

Encoded MP3 audio quality – 60%

Ease of use – 40%

Vinyl playback score does not contribute to overall score.

Encoded MP3 score View more details.

Audio quality of encoded MP3 files.

MP3 files encoded at 128kb/s 44.1kHz. Audacity used to record audio for units that exported to PC via USB. Can be cumbersome to set up for the first time, and LAME MP3 encoder must be downloaded and installed separately.

MP3 and vinyl playback audio quality assessed by panel of in-house experts, using built-in speakers if available. Units without built-in speakers assessed using Mordaunt Short Aviano 1 bookshelf loudspeakers through a Yamaha RX-A840 receiver.

Ease of use score View more details.

Effort required to convert one side of each record to MP3 using PC connection or USB/SD port, initial setup, manual details and controls. Vinyl skip during recording influenced score.

FM radio
Good points
Bad points
Recommended View more details.

Top scoring products are usually chosen as 'CHOICE buys', but each turntable in our test failed to rate higher than OK. Therefore, we can't recommend any of these products, but if you've got your heart set on a cheaper USB turntable, these are the "best" of a pretty average, relatively low-cost bunch.

Vinyl playback score View more details.

We bought brand new pressings of the Pixies’ greatest hits compilation Wave of Mutilation (2011) from The Record Store in Sydney, and allocated a copy to each turntable. Each turntable was assessed by an expert panel in-house, who listened to the same track through each unit’s built-in speakers. Those without built-in speakers were connected to a set of external entry level bookshelf speakers through a mid-range home theatre receiver.

Vinyl playback score does not contribute to overall score.

Inbuilt speakers View more details.

Inbuilt speaker types noted if specified by manufacturer.

Crosley Revolution: No speakers; earbuds supplied.

2 x ns
Stylus type
Tracking force measured (grams) View more details.

The amount of downward pressure the stylus puts on the record during play. Too much force and the stylus may not follow the groove correctly; too little could cause it to lose contact with the groove. Both can damage your records. A decent record player lets you adjust the tracking force as the optimum level can vary between different types of records, turntables and cartridges.

Can play old LP without skipping View more details.

Can the turntable reliably play an older, worn LP without skipping?

Test LP: The Lexicon of Love by ABC

Remote control
AM radio
Cassette deck
SD/MMC support View more details.

Can the turntable write to SD and/or MMC.

SD: Secure Digital

MMC: MultiMediaCard

Tonearm clamp
Stylus model specified
Playback View more details.

Applies to tonearm.

Fully automatic Can place itself on record, retracts when it reaches the end.

Auto stop only Requires manual placement on record, retracts when it reaches the end.

Manual only Requires manual placement and removal at start and end of record.

Auto stop only
Damped cueing View more details.

Adds a spring or hydraulic lever to the tone arm, so you can gently lower the stylus onto the record, rather than doing it by hand.

78RPM support
Software supplied View more details.

Encoding software for PC supplied with turntable. Some did not supply software but recommended users download Audacity.

Numark TTUSB: Supplies own software – EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter (Windows), EZ Audio Converter (Mac). Was not used during testing (Audacity used to retain consistency for comparisons).

Line out (external speakers) View more details.

Can the turntable connect to external speakers via line out?

RCA stereo

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