Any turntable lover, especially a novice one, who is looking for all the popular array of features at drop dead low prices, the Ion Audio Max LP 3-Speed Belt Drive Wooden Turntable may be the ultimate answer. It’s a highly cost effective way to convert your vinyl records into digital audio files on your computer. Even though it is one of the cheaper options on our best record player list, it still works well enough for people just getting into the vinyl world.

Let’s explore all of its ins and outs to understand where exactly the dollars spent on it will go.

  • Ion audio max turntableVersatile automatic belt driven turntable.
  • Smooth natural wood finish provides fantastic sound from 3″ stereo speakers.
  • 3 speeds: 33.33 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM.
  • Comes with USB and converts records to mp3 with ease.
  • Tonearm could be better as some grating may occur.
  • Dust cover protects the vital parts and keeps it clean.
  • A great first time turntable and especially for playing LPs.
    Grade: B
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Hallmark Features

The unit is capable of handling recorded songs in three different playback speeds of 33-1/3, 45, and 78 RPM. It comes with a 45 RPM record adapter which is a small circular disk that is to be placed over the center spindle of the turntable while playing 45 RPM records. The tick marks around the edge of the turntable can be used in conjunction with a strobe light for testing the speed of the turntable if required.

Another notable feature is the raise/lower tone arm lever which facilitates the easy placement of needles in required positions with no fear of scratching the record. The motor is started automatically by moving the tone arm into position while moving it back to its resting position automatically stops the play. No other on-off switch is provided. The speed is changed by a in and out toggle switch. A stop button is providing which produces the same result like the tone arm coming back to resting position. Because of it , one needs to be careful while cleaning or when the unit is not in use that the tone arm is not jarred from its resting position or the unit may keep playing even for says without you realizing it.

First impressions

The unit is commendably attractive and modern looking in spite of being an ‘old school’ technological piece. Housed in an attractive slimline design, it is quite compact and takes little space. A belt driven and a ceramic stylus turntable, its body is shiny black with smoke gray pivoting dust cover attached. The spring loaded dust cover stand steadily either in open or closed position without fear of dropping accidentally. 4 spring-loaded feet provides adequate support for the unit to stand. This natural wood finish turntable oozes a warm natural vibe and can blend well with any home décor. Designed for portability, it is equally easy to use as well as carry about. Its felt slip mat that rests on the turntable is a separate entity.Not permanently attached to the table, it rests there by gravity. It’s strongly recommended that it remains there when playing or recording with the unit. The unit comes ready to use with no assembling required.

Plug-and-Play USB

The turntable sports a plug-and-play USB connection, thereby eliminating any need of an audio-in jack for your computer. The unit comes preset to record at the optimum volume for most purposes and hence frees you from any hassles of volume adjustments while recording. It comes with a 5W RCA audio output cable to connect to your home stereo system and play like a simple record player. It also has a 1/8 stereo line input through which other audio devices can be connected to the unit.

ion max lp usb ports

The unit packs a USB output and the audio editing software to convert any music to digital files and build your own digital music library. The software is both Mac and PC compatible and facilitates conversion from a cornucopia of audio sources, including cassette players and CD players.

Sound quality

Its sound quality is reasonable good though it does not reach an audiophile level.’ One also misses tone or bass control with this one, but at the price you can’t really complain. One problem that we noticed is that if you do not use a particular record for a while, it sometimes will start spinning much slower the next time you use it. This may be because of the belt drive taking some time to warm up, but it doesn’t happen all too often to be a real issue. Aside from that, this turntable is fantastic for casual listeners since slight nuances are barely noticeable.

Setup Guide: What You Need To Play This Turntable

This is one of the very few all-in-one turntables on the market that doesn’t really require you to buy anything else. The Ion Audio Max LP 3 comes with a preamp as well as built-in speakers. This is generally a negative because you sacrifice quality for convenience, however, if you want to enjoy a more enhanced sound you can spend still use external speakers that will vastly improve the experience.

Concluding Thoughts

Overall, given its price the unit is fantastic which does its job much better than any similarly priced competitive unit. It truly is an amazing bargain which allows further appreciation of any selected genre by letting your music go mobile.