The first Jukebox was made in 1890s and were coin operated. Early jukeboxes appeared in phonograph parlors and allowed customers to use listening tubes to listen to individual record tracks. However, most machines could only hold a single musical selection and were not very selective. In 1927 the Automated Musical Instrument Company, or AMI introduced the first selective jukeboxes in the 1927 and set the industry standard for the time. By 1940, Jukeboxes became a staple piece of audio equipment for diners and restaurants across America.
Even with the decline of jukeboxes with the invention of cassette tapes, jukeboxes have certainly made a comeback in recent years and in a BIG way. I mean admit it; you’ve at least thought about purchasing a jukebox once in your life. The retro audio device just brings back vivid memories and sights, and whether or not you were around during the jukebox golden age, there’s something strangely nostalgic and satisfying about using one.
Modern jukeboxes have made quite the comeback, and do an excellent job at blending an old design concept with current technology and value. The Crosley CR1101A Jukebox is one of the very best models on the marketplace, and is at the forefront of the revitalization of the modern jukebox.
Let me start out this review by stating that the Crosley CR1101A Jukebox is not designed with audio quality as the be-all end-all purpose. Don’t get me wrong, the Crosley CR1101A does sound good, but if you are a pure audiophile who is looking for the best sound money can buy, a jukebox won’t beat most modern speakers. However, the speakers in the Crosley CR1101A have a dynamic range and are rather robust in sound. While the bass isn’t the deepest bass you’ve ever heard, it gets the job done, and overall there isn’t any muddiness or issues with static. It should be noted that the speakers are slightly rear facing, so the Crosley CR1101A shouldn’t be placed right against a wall.
While the manufacturing components of headphones or earphones can make or break quality, I tend to be a little more lenient when reviewing speakers or jukeboxes in regards to durability. The Crosley CR1101A isn’t meant to be lugged around or taken on roadtrips; it’s a jukebox that provides the perfect nostalgic kick for social gatherings and at home use. That being said, the Crosley CR1101A has a lot of plastic components, including the CD door, flip-down panel, and hinges. There are other plastic and metal components, but damaging them would only take away from the visual appeal of the shiny CR1101A. However, you should exercise caution when using the CD door or flip-down panel, especially if you have younger children who might fidget with the jukebox. Overall, the Crosley CR1101A isn’t a delicate piece of audio equipment, but it should certainly be treated with care and respect.
Ah features, the section of the review we have been waiting for! In terms of functionality, the Crosley CR1101A shines and outperforms many other jukebox models on the market. The CR1101A gives the user audio freedom, allowing for both CD use to AM/FM radio. Additionally, a portable audio input cable can be used to connect any MP3 player or smartphone to the Crosley CR1101A with ease. In other words, whatever audio device you have, you can probably connect to the CR1101A in some form and without difficulty. The CR1101A also has a programmable 20-track memory, allowing you to make the perfect dinner playlist or party mix.
The song chart on the CR1101A flips up to reveal both a tuning dial and volume control, allowing the user to quickly adjust their music as they would with a pair of headphones or speaker. In a nostalgic tone, color shifting LED lights also flash to add to the traditional jukebox feel of the CR1101A. The cherry burst of the CR1101A, mixed with the wood and veneer cabinet truly allow for a trip down memory lane and a historical feel.
If you’re looking to buy a taste of nostalgia that remains functional without breaking the bank, you can’t go wrong with the Crosley CR1101A Jukebox. For a mid-ranged price, the CR1101A provides a classic look and feel with modern audio quality and performance, making is an excellent purchase or gift for any music lover. You probably won’t use the CR1101A for the majority of your music listening since it isn’t practical to take it on the go, but for use at home during social gatherings or when relaxing, the Crosley CR1101A is an excellent jukebox to consider.
Why You Should Buy The Crosley CR1101A Jukebox:
You want a nostalgic audio experience and feel without sacrificing audio quality.
CD, radio, and an audio input cable make the CR1101A an extremely versatile jukebox.
You like the classic coloring and wooden veneer of the CR1101A.
You don’t want to break the bank to get a little taste of history.
Why The Crosley CR1101A Jukebox Might Not Be For You:
You’re on the go most of the time and almost always use headphones/earphones.
Wireless capability is a must for you.
You don’t care about nostalgia, you only want the best audio quality money can buy.
The return of the jukebox has certainly sparked an interest for many consumers, and jukeboxes have added to the vast amount of choice out there for audio devices. However, while it may seem impractical to use a jukebox in modern times, brands like Crosley are doing a superb job at blending the old and the new. The CR1101A supports CD use, radio, or MP3/Smartphones, and doesn’t sacrifice on audio quality while providing a nostalgic look and feel. At a modest price level, the Crosley CR1101A is definitely worth checking out if you’re on the market for a jukebox.
While you’re at it, perhaps check out some other retro gift ideas that are sure to be a success for any music lover!