The Lenco LS-410 combines the retro delights of vinyl with the latest wireless streaming technology, adding a speaker array and plenty of amplification, packing it all into a box that looks and feels better than it actually has for the price.
It is easy to install, connects to an external system and has an input for another music source. And a dust cover is also included. What more could you want from a record player?
It would be rude to ask for more when it comes to Bluetooth sound. The Lenco sounds quite expansive, muscular and detailed when streaming wirelessly – it’s not the most practical $260 / £220 Bluetooth speaker out there, but it’s far from the least enjoyable.
But it all falls apart when playing vinyl. The tonearm and associated controls feel inconsiderable – and that’s how the Lenco sounds when playing records. And it’s further undermined by a slight, but unmistakable tendency to stray a bit in terms of rotational speed.
Very unfortunate, because in principle the Lenco LS-410 is a great idea. We would have gladly accepted a more expensive device if the technology had been more robust – that would make the LS-410 a real competitor. Read on for our full Lenco LS-410 review.
Lenco LS-410: price and release date
- now available
- $259 / £219 (about AU$360)
The Lenco LS-410 is on sale now for $259 / £219 – although there’s no official Australian price yet, that works out to around AU$360.
There’s an awful lot of technology in the LS-410 for that modest price – if you have access to a power outlet, a smartphone and a vinyl record, you have an all-in-one multi-source system ready to go. But offering features and functionality is of course only half the battle…
Lenco LS-410: design and features
- 33.3 and 45rpm for vinyl
- Bluetooth 5 for wireless streaming
- 50 watts for four speaker drivers
The Lenco LS-410 is more functional than luxurious in terms of materials, but the combination of metal, plastic and wood is beautifully constructed and well finished. There’s really nothing to complain about when it comes to build quality, especially when it comes to the case.
Dimensions: 192 x 425 x 360 mm
Motor: belt drive
Phono Preamp: Yes
Speeds: 33 , 45rpm
Stylus: Audio-Technica Moving Magnet
Beneath the aluminum plate (which comes with a felt mat) is a fairly sturdy box in which the turntable stores 50 watts of amplification, a four-strong speaker driver array (each flashing through the criss-cross metal grille on the front), a switchable phono stage, and Bluetooth reception-related circuits. It stands on four bendable legs designed to isolate the cabinet from vibration, much like the classic ‘half squash ball’ insulation solution so loved by high-fidelity tweekers.
On top is a sturdy plastic dust cover. Lift it up and you can access the turntable itself. This is a belt-driven design and there’s a straight tonearm that comes pre-fitted with an Audio-Technica cartridge – all you need to do to set it up is fit and adjust the counterweight. Under the tonearm is a small control panel: an on/off/input selector, play/pause, a speed control of 33.3 or 45 rpm and a rotary knob to adjust the volume.
As much as we love the way the cabinet is constructed and finished, we need to be a little more qualified about some fixtures and fittings. The tonearm itself doesn’t feel quite as substantial, the mechanical lift that raises or lowers it feels even thinner, and the clip to hold it firmly in its holder feels the thinnest of all.
The rubbery control buttons move under your finger more than we’d like. The entire tonearm mechanism and drive motor are attached to a suspension plate that contains a (perfectly acceptable) amount of movement, but there is more movement in the tonearm assembly itself than expected or sensible.
On the back of the cabinet is a mains input, a switch to turn the integrated phono stage on or off, and stereo RCA outputs – the LS-410 is a standalone system, but when you add it to a larger system or more powerful amplifier, the option is there. There is also a 3.5mm analog input for auxiliary equipment.
As we said, $259 / £219 buys you plenty. Good luck finding many other standalone vinyl/bluetooth systems with speakers for this kind of money.
Lenco LS-410: audio performance
- Vivid, pleasant Bluetooth sound
- Vinyl sounds dull and insecure by comparison
- Rotation speed is not consistent
At this price you won’t be short of choice for wireless speakers, but the Lenco LS-410 is one of the better ones. Granted, the fact that it works from a wall outlet and comes equipped with a turntable makes it a lot less portable than most other Bluetooth speakers for this kind of money, but the fact remains: give the LS-410 a decent digital audio stream to handle. and it does a very decent job.
Bluetooth 5 proves more than capable of getting a nice big hi-res TIDAL Masters file of Robert Wyatt’s Old Rottenhat on board, and once it’s there, the Lenco gives a full report of it. It has an impressive presence in the low frequencies, but doesn’t let bass sounds get carried away or stay welcome for longer. Instead, they are well controlled, reasonably detailed and give the midrange plenty of room to do its thing.
In this case ‘Its thing’ turns out to be a communicative and detailed representation of the characterful vocals. The voice is nicely isolated yet integrated into the rest of the performance, and the LS-410 creates a soundstage large enough for a singer to stretch out a bit. On the high end, it’s played fairly safely, with highs sounding just a little blunt compared to the rest of the frequency range – which, while not ideal, is preferable to overt harshness or harshness.
This is certainly not the most dynamic sound you’ve ever heard, but it’s also not the most inhibited. And put into context, the LS-410 is a perfectly likable and periodically quite impressive Bluetooth speaker.
Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case when listening to vinyl. The solidity of its low-end presence is undermined when listening to a copy of Devo’s Are We Not Men? and is replaced by a less positive and less detailed version. The midrange is still quite roomy, but it sounds slightly phased – and it’s on the higher end of the frequency range too. Much of the assurance that the LS-410 exhibits as a Bluetooth speaker is lost, and the result is a sound that is non-demonstrative and rather pedestrian.
Most unfortunate, however, is the relative lack of rotational stability that the turntable exhibits. Even minor deviations in what should be 33.3 rpm are audible, and once you hear them, you can’t undo them. For some reason the Lenco doesn’t hold speed perfectly – and the sonic results are very unpleasant.
Should I buy the Lenco LS-410?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
Not convinced by our Lenco Ls-410 review? Here are three more turntables we think you should consider.
First assessment: May 2022