An intriguing blend of the retro and the ultra-modern, the DUO: Turntable is a turntable and a Bluetooth speaker combining to produce a record player with the music playing capabilities of a smartphone. Exploding in popularity after the launch of its Kickstarter campaign in September 2018, the DUO eventually raised $103,364 from 410 backers, far surpassing its initial goal of $20,000.
The Team Behind the DUO
The DUO is the brainchild of Taiwanese company HYM Originals, a team that is deeply passionate about making vinyl records easily accessible to all in the modern age of streaming. Frustrated with traditional record players that are often weighed down with hefty amplifiers and speakers, HYM Originals sought to unshackle the turntable so that music lovers everywhere can experience the joys and wonders of vinyl.
How Does the Turntable Compare to Traditional Record Players?
Breaking free of the technological limitations of the past, the team at HYM Originals have managed to create an unprecedentedly compact setup. The ingenious integration of a phono amplifier and a power amplifier removes the need for additional bulky amplifiers, making this an ultra-portable device. Even more impressively, DUO’s 80mm diameter platter is only a quarter of the size of a traditional turntable, yet it will play music smoothly at 33⅓ rpm and 45 rpm with all common vinyl sizes. This is due to the unique design of its deceleration belt and its innovative rotational stabilization system that ensure that all vibrations on the record are minimised.
The DUO’s petite frame doesn’t mean a compromise in sound quality either, as it features an Audio-Technica AT3600L cartridge which enhances a record’s vibrational energy to provide you with superior audio quality. Additionally, DUO’s tonearm unusually balances the tracking force at 2.5g with a spring rather than the traditional counterweight, allowing for greater precision and an accurate signal reproduction with less than a 0.9% distortion rate. This works to give the DUO’s sound a stable and even tone, and reduces the risk of any equipment damage from excessive pressure on the needle.
Open Up a World of Capabilities With Bluetooth Connectivity
The Bluetooth speaker itself defies the prevailing notion of inferior Bluetooth audio quality with the inclusion of both a Qualcomm CSR8670 chip and aptX Bluetooth protocol, which combine to give the DUO lossless sound dispersion with a flat frequency response. Featuring two full-range drivers and two low-frequency passive radiators in just one speaker, the DUO is capable of delivering a premium auditory experience with deep powerful bass. The speaker also features the option to listen in stereophonic sound with True Wireless Stereo Bluetooth support. Simply set up two DUO speakers, and listen as they are automatically configured into left and right channels for a truly multi-dimensional experience.
You won’t be limited to just the records you own either, as the DUO is compatible with any Bluetooth device - meaning that you can stream your favourite songs with the touch of a button. The Bluetooth connectivity also gives you control over the turntable’s built-in Amazon Alexa assistant, allowing you to control your music and more without even lifting a finger. Even better, the Bluetooth speaker is detachable with a range of 10-15 metres so you can keep the music going wherever you go. Weighing only 800g and with a 10-hour battery life, and available in neon yellow, bright orange, and sleek black, the DUO is the perfect companion for those looking to add a bit more colour to their day.