Published on March 16th, 2012 | by Greg0
Crosley Ranchero: Great Looks, Lacking Features
The 1950′s continue to inspire design. Now, most of our staff (and a majority of our readers) weren’t yet around during the decade to appreciate the style. But there’s no doubt that the old-fashioned, retro look grabs attention. We’ve seen plenty of interesting interior design and fashion that plays with the style of the era, whether they be furniture reproductions or simply vintage clothing while wandering around Brooklyn.
The latest from Crosley is the Ranchero, moderl CR3001A. A combination radio and iPod dock, it offers a limited feature set but serves up tunes with good looks. Ours was black, though red and white models are available, as well as a green one that appears to be an Urban Outfitters exclusive. That last bit of information should tell you something- this isn’t an audiophile piece of hardware, but a hip showpiece. Visitors asked about it, but beyond the pretty face, we have to admit to being disappointed.
We’ve seen Crosley gear before- their Spinnerette also put form over function a bit but worked quite well. And we still bring out the Crosley Revolution USB Turntable on occasion, when we need to get our vinyl digitized. But the Ranchero felt a bit cheap- the knobs weren’t as solid as we would’ve liked considering the price, and there was no remote, no internet connectivity, no clock, and certainly no wireless or Airplay. The AM/FM radio did pick up signal and stations reasonably well, but audio was unimpressive. We played back a few tracks from an iPod, including some classical, hip-hop, and rock tracks and everything sounded a little fuzzy. Bass response was middling, and separation as well. Pop music was passable, and jazz did sound respectable, but again we were looking for more oomph and clarity.
There is an auxiliary input port, for those who want to connect a device besides an iPod or iPhone. But for nearly $200, we would’ve liked a weightier unit with warmer sound and better specs. The aesthetics are great, and we certainly like the look of the unit on our side table, but can’t recommend it for most users. Available now.