PROS / This is a multifunctional unit that plays the radio as well as records.
CONS / This unit makes it difficult to split up audio tracks.
VERDICT / The Pyle PLTTB9U doesn't create high-quality digital conversions like our top products, but it can play the radio and has built-in speakers which make it convenient for listening to audio.
The Pyle PLTTB9U turntable converter offers more features than vinyl to MP3 conversion. This turntable also doubles as a radio and can play audio files from storage devices such as USB and SD memory cards. It also features an aux input so you can play audio from an iPod or other portable media devices through the built-in speakers. The Pyle is a compact and lightweight unit that has a retro feel with a black and silver front, silver tabletop and a black half platter.
The unit has three different play speeds – 33, 45 and 78 – with an auto on/off switch. This means the record will stop playing once it reaches the end. Not all turntable converters we reviewed have automatic off switches, so it's a nice added convenience.
The Pyle converter turntable has two built-in speakers on each side of the record player. Unfortunately, these speakers simply don't sound good, even at low volumes. When we played back our records, there was a lot of distortion, even at low volumes.
We used the device to convert three different records – two 33s and a 45. One of the 33s was in brand new condition, one was scratched and the 45 was both scratched and slightly warped. We chose records with these different conditions to simulate real-world conversion scenarios because your old records are probably not all in perfect shape.
Converting vinyl to digital is a much more difficult task with this converter turntable compared to the others in our lineup. The output source of your digital file must be either a USB card or an SD card. You can't export to a computer via USB as you can with other turntables in our lineup. The process of conversion is strange, too. After you insert your USB or SD card, you press Record, then choose your source, hit Record again, then play the record.
There is no automatic track detection on software that is used with this turntable. This means that if you want to break up your record into individual tracks, you will need to press the Stop button after each song, then start a new recording from that spot. You have to be very hands-on if you want clean breaks between your songs.
We also listened to the audio quality from each conversion we made. Pyle falls to the back of the lineup in terms of audio quality. There was significant static and distortion that took over midway through the converted 45; in fact, the converted file was unlistenable. The conversion of the scratched-up 33 was much better than the 45, but much of the static associated with old LPs – including pops, clicks and hisses – were prominent throughout the recording. Since your digitized audio files are recorded onto your USB instead of an audio program such as Audacity, you'll have to take the audio from the USB and manually import the audio into an audio editing program with noise removing tools to clean up the tracks. Other programs record straight into audio programs, which makes it easier to edit the audio after conversion.
We really enjoyed the overall aesthetics of this unit and the fact that it is compact and lightweight, but the sound quality of the speakers and the digital conversions is not on par with the other units in our lineup. This Pyle turntable can be used to listen to the radio as well as audio from USB, SD and auxiliary devices – features not many other turntables boast. This turntable comes with a lot of extras, but it doesn't excel at the main purpose of buying a converter turntable – converting LPs to MP3s.