Retrolife, as a brand, prides itself on designing and producing high-quality audio equipment. Founded with the aim of reviving vinyl music, it blends the nostalgic charm of vinyl with the latest advancements in audio technology. In light of this, I will review one of the company’s products—the Retrolife record player. I want to see if it lives up to its reputation.    

Retrolife Record Player Overview

RetroLife is a record player that comes with 2 built-in 3W stereo speakers and promises to deliver premium sound quality. It features a headphone jack for listening to music privately and a portable suitcase design, giving you the ultimate flexibility to enjoy music wherever you want. The record player supports 7/10/12 inch records and can play records at three different speeds—33 1/3, 45, and 78 rpm.

The record player costs $55.99, but there are cheaper options that go for as little as $31.19 and $39.99. Retrolife is generally liked by vinyl enthusiasts if the multiple positive reviews it has received on Amazon are anything to go by. Most users praise its decent sound quality, ease of use, nostalgic aesthetics, Bluetooth connectivity, and more. As usual, you cannot miss some complaints here and there. For instance, several users are unsatisfied with the player’s sound quality, terming it poor. There are also a few concerns about the needle skipping during playback.

Technical Specifications

Here are the features that the record player offers:

  • 3 Speed- (33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM)
  • Supports 3 sizes of 7/10/12 inch records
  • Built-in stereo and Bluetooth speakers
  • Headphone jack
  • Auto Stop function
  • RCA outputs
  • A 3.5mm Aux-In
  • Portable suitcase design

At a glance, I can tell that Retrolife is a nice record player with some decent features. First, I am impressed by the Bluetooth technology, which enables users to stream music without the hassle of messy cords. Turning on Bluetooth lets you enjoy your songs from digital gadgets like laptops, smartphones, and tablets through the unit’s speakers. Another likable feature is the suitcase design, which allows me to move the player around without worrying about damaging its delicate components.

I cannot fail to mention the convenience the auto-stop function offers. Whether you are nearby or attending to other tasks at a distance, the player will automatically stop spinning once your music ends, protecting your records from potential damage. Unfortunately, I am afraid that the stylus’ quality might be subpar, given the record player’s price point. This may affect the quality of sound produced, but you have the option of replacing it.

Retrolife Record Player Drive Mechanism

The record player relies on the belt-drive mechanism to play records. This is where the motor indirectly runs the platter with the help of a belt attached to it. In this case, the belt acts as a buffer to absorb motor noise and prevent it from reaching the stylus and the records, ensuring smoother sound. The belt mechanism also seeks to deliver consistent rotation, although it doesn’t always achieve this, especially if the belt is misaligned or worn out.   

Is Retrolife Record Player Automatic or Manual?

Retrolife is a manual record player with an auto-stop function. It requires you to lift and place the tonearm onto the record by hand to start playback. The record automatically stops spinning when the music finishes playing. When this happens, you can lift the tonearm and return it to rest. As I always say, manual queueing offers a unique experience by enabling users to interact with their music hands-on. The addition of an auto-stop is also a good idea, as it ensures your stylus and records don’t get damaged.

Usability and Portability of Retrolife Record Player

This unit provides a user-friendly experience that enables effortless setup and operation. With the intuitive controls, you can easily adjust playback settings to your liking and switch between various record speeds and sizes. In a way, Retrolife aims to help you enjoy your vinyl collection with minimal hassle.

Portability is one of the many features the record player offers. This is evidenced by the suitcase design and a carry handle that enables you to cover, lock, and transport the unit effortlessly. It’s also very light, weighing only 6.45lbs (2.9 kg). This ensures you don’t get tired when carrying it around. However, it’s worth noting that the unit needs a power source to operate, as it lacks built-in batteries for on-the-go use.   

Retrolife Record Player Design & Build

I am more than impressed by Retrolife’s overall appearance. It boasts a delightful vintage aesthetic with a suitcase-style design. Crafted from advanced PU leather material, the outer casing provides good air permeability, waterproof performance, and high-wear resistance, with a soft texture for added appeal.

You have a few retro-inspired colors and finishes to choose from, including blue, brown, black, and gray. I prefer the blue option, though. It gives the record player a nice and vibrant vibe compared to the other dull colors. The front of the base hosts two speakers, separated by a convenient carry handle. The surface is compact, with a few control buttons and the tonearm mechanism along the edge. 

Connectivity & Sound Performance of Retrolife Record Player: Decent, but… 

With Retrolife, you have versatile connectivity options. For one, it supports Bluetooth connectivity, enabling you to listen to music without the inconvenience of wires. Also, there is a 3.5mm Aux-in port for connecting to external audio sources for enhanced listening experiences. A headphone jack is available, too, for private listening.

Overall, the record player’s sound performance can be described as decent. It effortlessly produces music from your records. However, the quality of the stylus may prevent the player from bringing out the details in the music. No wonder some users express disappointment with the sound, with others terming it terrible. You can solve the sound issue by using a higher-grade stylus.

Main Technology Perks of Retrolife Record Player

One of the main technological advantages of Retrolife is the auto-stop function. This ensures the unit stops spinning after the music ends, so your records aren’t destroyed. The built-in speakers are also a good addition. They provide a complete audio solution within the record player, so you don’t have to necessarily connect external speaker systems. Bluetooth connectivity is another technological advantage that you can appreciate. It enables wireless music streaming for compatible gadgets like tablets, laptops, and smartphones. Lastly, the belt-drive mechanism minimizes motor noise and vibrations for a cleaner sound.


At an attractive price point of $55.99, Retrolife provides new vinyl enthusiasts an affordable opportunity to immerse themselves in music without stretching their budget. The pricing is more than fair, considering the valuable features this record player offers.

How to Setup & Use Retrolife Record Player

Setting up the Retrolife record player is straightforward. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. After unpacking the player, place it on a stable and level surface.
  2. Carefully insert the adaptor’s DC plug into the DC in jack, and the AC plugs into a power outlet. Then, turn on the power switch.
  3. Put the record on the platter and choose the preferred speed option. Remember to use the 45 rpm adapter if playing a 45 rpm record.
  4. Remove the cover on the cartridge and release the tonearm by opening the tonearm clip.
  5. Push the lift lever backward to raise the tonearm and move it over the record. Push the lift lever forward and lower the tonearm onto the record to start playing. Ensure the auto stop is turned on.
  6. The player will automatically stop playing music when the stylus finishes tracking the grooves. 

Now that you know how to put the record player together, it’s essential you apply some strategies to improve your overall listening experience. One is to minimize unwanted vibrations by using vibration isolators. Not only will they prevent vibrations from reaching the needle, but also remove any rumble that may be transmitted from speakers, amps, or other devices.

Also, clean the stylus frequently to prevent the accumulation of dust since this can easily interfere with the efficient tracking of grooves. Consider upgrading the stylus. You can do this if you notice the current one doesn’t produce the details or smooth sound you want. Ensure you handle records carefully to avoid scratching or damaging them. The best way is to hold them by the edges and not touch the grooves with your fingers.

Overall Impression About Retrolife Record Player?

Retrolife is a pretty decent record player that can offer you more value for money with its multiple features. It produces good sound at best, and you will hardly be disappointed if you don’t mind much about music depth. It also looks great, so it can enhance your home décor or any other place you use it.


The advantages of this player are highlighted below:

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Supports Bluetooth connectivity
  • Budget-friendly
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Plays records of all sizes
  • Portable
  • Looks stylish


These are the setbacks of the unit:

  • Limited color options
  • Concerns about sound performance
  • Poor-quality stylus

Who Is It For?

Retrofile is ideal for newbies, but advanced audiophiles on a budget can use it to listen to their vinyl records.

Final Verdict

I think Retrolife is a decent record to own if you have a few bucks to spare and are looking for an entry-level unit. It offers several desirable features that you are sure to appreciate. You can also use it on the go, thanks to its portable design. My main concern, however, is the likely inefficiency of sound reproduction. It doesn’t seem satisfactory based on what some users say. Therefore, investing in a good stylus may be necessary.