If you are in search of a great new turntable to play your record collection but always thought Pro-Ject was a little out of reach, I have great news for you. There’s an all-new, Best Buy exclusive Pro-Ject turntable that’s not only affordable, it also offers the option of wireless connectivity. I just wrapped up my evaluation of the Pro-Ject T1-BTXW Belt Drive Turntable with Bluetooth and it’s the perfect choice if you’re ready to upgrade your vinyl listening experience beyond a beginner record player or entry level turntable.
Learn more about Pro-Ject
Pro-Ject is an Austrian audio company founded in 1991, and renowned for its audiophile turntables. Pro-Ject has also become the design and manufacturing partner of choice when high-end boutique audio brands launch their own turntable. With many of Pro-Ject’s turntables priced into the thousands of dollars, they are prized by serious vinyl enthusiasts.
What does this translate to when it comes to the Pro-Ject T1-BTXW Belt Drive Turntable with Bluetooth? The company says the new turntable’s deck contains no plastic parts, it’s hand-assembled in its European factory, and it features many premium Pro-Ject components. In other words, you can count on experienced engineering, strict quality control, and high-end performance.
The Pro-Ject T1-BTXW is special because it is aimed at record fans who want a premium experience, but don’t have an unlimited budget. It also offers Bluetooth connectivity, adding to its accessibility for those who may not own a traditional stereo system.
First impression: a minimalist masterpiece
Out of the box, the Pro-Ject T1-BTXW is a visually striking turntable. Its plinth is only 2 cm thick and the blasted glass platter only 8 mm. Despite being so thin, it feels solid. Pro-Ject says the plinth has been CNC machined to eliminate any hollow spaces, and the turntable tips the scales at a respectable 3.8 kg. The walnut finish adds warmth; it’s unmarred by any controls. Power and Bluetooth switches are underneath and on the sides, and there is no speed switch. The straight aluminum tonearm and mounting hardware are black, contrasting nicely with the wood and the slightly green tinted glass.
Vibration is the enemy of record players and even though this turntable is thinner than most, it has been carefully designed to resist resonance and vibration. Everything from the elimination of hollow spaces in the deck to the integrated head shell, its new sub-platter system, and noise isolating feet minimize vibration and resonance.
My review unit had already been assembled, but setting up the Pro-Ject T1-BTXW would be much easier than most turntables in its class. The cartridge is pre-mounted and the counterweight locked in position at the factory. All that remains for the buyer to do is slip the belt over the pulley, set the platter and mat on, and fit the dust cover to its posts. I would say you are looking at under five minutes of setup time, with no tools required and no fussing with tonearm balancing required.
Pro-Ject T1-BTXW Key Specs
An Ortofon OM 5e cartridge is included
One of the big benefits of the Pro-Ject T1-BTXW is the inclusion of a factory installed Ortofon OM 5e moving magnet cartridge with a diamond elliptical stylus. It is rare to find a cartridge of this calibre included with a turntable in this price range. Many record enthusiasts will pay extra to upgrade to this cartridge, which sells on its own for more than some entry level turntables.
I’ve owned a number of turntables equipped with Ortofon cartridges—including one made in partnership with Pro-Ject that was equipped with the same Ortofon OM 5e—and they always bring out the best in my vinyl.
Connect your way, including wirelessly with Bluetooth
As you would expect, this turntable includes an integrated pre-amplifier. You can connected to the PHONO input of a traditional amplifier, but you can also connect to the AUX input of virtually any stereo or powered speaker. Instead of the typical off-the-shelf RCA cables that most turntables ship with, this one comes with Pro-Ject’s own super shielded, semi-symmetrical, low-capacitance phono cables to ensure optimal performance.
It also offers Bluetooth connectivity. This was quite easy to use. There’s a Bluetooth switch on one side. Turn it on, then bring your Bluetooth speaker near and put it in pairing mode. Leave the two devices alone for a few seconds to do their thing and you’ll soon be listening to your records wirelessly. I tested this with an Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 speaker (you can read my review of it here), and the feature worked flawlessly. You can also use this method to connect Bluetooth headphones.
Hands-on with the Pro-Ject T1-BTXW
Based on my experience with Pro-Ject turntables, I was expecting the T1-BTXW to sound good, and I wasn’t disappointed. Records sound fantastic, with all the warmth and detail vinyl is renowned for. Of course you won’t get the full effect over Bluetooth (there is a price to pay for convenience) but hooked up to a good pair of self-powered speakers the performance was excellent.
Just don’t expect anything in the way of automation. There is no auto start or stop (when you turn on the power the platter spins up), and there is no switch to change from 33-1/3 albums to 45 rpm singles. Instead you must physically remove the platter, move the belt between two pulley settings, then replace the platter. That’s a Pro-Ject thing … it’s not a big deal when playing the occasional 45, but if you constantly flip back and forth between the two speeds, you would probably be better served by a turntable with a speed switch.
Is this your new turntable?
If you’re ready to move beyond a beginner record player or turntable without spending audiophile-level bucks, the Pro-Ject T1-BTXW is an easy recommendation. It looks incredible, it feels solid, it sounds fantastic, it can connect to virtually anything, and it has the coveted Pro-Ject label on the dust cover. There’s not a lot more you could ask for in this price range.