One of the biggest disadvantages of vinyl is the inconvenience of using it on the go. With the exception of things like the late Audio-Technica AT727 portable vinyl player, you pretty much have to lug around an entire turntable to listen to vinyl records anywhere outside of your living room.
The RokBlok is a creative Kickstarter project solution for portable vinyl. It’s a small block that moves along your records, serving as both a needle and a speaker for playing audio. And while it still needs a flat surface to function, it’s infinitely more portable than carrying a full-size turntable.
The idea is very reminiscent of the VW Soundwagon, a miniature vinyl player from Japan that also rolls on top of your records. But while the Soundwagon had to rely on the small speaker inside, the RokBlok has Bluetooth, allowing it to be used for decent sound music through a connected speaker.
The main concern I have with the RokBlok is the same issue that plagued the Soundwagon – also known as Vinyl Killer by fans – that dragging extra weight on top of your records seems like a bad thing. thing when it comes to their pursuit of longevity. RokBlok developer Logan Riley commented The edge that the RokBlok was designed specifically for this problem, using rubber wheels and ensuring that the center of gravity does not rest on the needle to avoid widening the grooves. Riley claims that testing his current prototype on a single recording “several hundred times” won’t have any ill effects, but it may still be a good idea to be careful when using the RokBlok on more expensive recordings.
The RokBlok is available on Kickstarter for a pre-registration price of $ 59 – 40% off the expected total retail price of $ 99. It is estimated that it will ship in September 2017, but given that this is a company’s first hardware project for the first time, the usual recommendation is to use your best judgment when the save is still valid.