Are you looking for a reliable entry-level turntable to play your old or new records? Maybe you’ve done some research and seen how expensive they can be. If you want to find out whether or not this extremely affordable ‘table is worth considering – you’ll want to keep reading our Ion Audio Max LP Review!
If you want to see a detailed and in-depth overview of a great entry-level option, you’ve come to the right place. This conversion turntable allows you to not only play your records, but also convert them into digital files. Can you use it to upload your dusty collection of old records to your laptop, MP3 player, or smartphone? Is this affordable record player worth it?
Ion Audio Max LP Review – Is It Worth It?
Basic Features & Technical Specs:
- All-in-one turntable, with built-in stereo speakers
- Works with 33 1/3, 45, and 78 rpm records
- 3-Speed Belt Drive
- Headphone output for private listening
- Connects to your PC or MAC via USB and allows you to convert into digital files
- RCA Output for optional Home Stereo Connection
Now that you’ve taken a quick look at the basic features and technical specs, keep reading to see what will be covered here!
Listed below are the most important features to consider. You can read the entire review from beginning to end or you use the links below to skip around to the section you want to read about first! Here are the main features we’ll be covering in our review:
- Who Is This Perfect For?
- What’s Included?
- More Key Features To Consider
- EZ Vinyl Converter Software – From Vinyl To Digital
- Adjustable Tone Arm Features
- Is This A Good Turntable For Beginners?
- What’s The Bottom Line? Is It All Subjective?
If you’re ready to get started, let’s take a look at the first section!
1. Who Is This Perfect For?
This turntable is extremely versatile. It’s perfectly capable as a stand-alone record player but since it ALSO doubles as a digital converter, you’ll finally be able to add those old records to your digital collection.
These features make this perfect for anyone who wants to listen to vinyl but ALSO anyone who has vinyl that they’d like to convert. You can even use the software to convert old tapes into digital files.
The Max LP operates on a 3-speed belt drive. A belt drive turntable has an elastic belt that absorbs the shock of the motor and prevents it from interfering with the tone arm and therefore the sound of your record. This gives you the luxury of better sound quality since the noise from the motor is reduced, while also allowing you to play 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records.
(3 Speed Switch and Auto-Stop function)
As you can see in the picture above, there is a switch setting for each different speed and also an auto-stop feature that you can toggle on/off. Once that side of your record is done playing, the belt will stop spinning automatically if you have it switched to the on position.
One Possible Downside
One downside of a belt drive operated player is that it can wear down over time and might need to be replaced. Over time as in a few years, not after 2 weeks of listening.
This shouldn’t be too much of a concern, especially since replacement belts are very reasonably priced.
2. What’s Included?
Everything you’ll need to start playing your records is included in the box you’ll receive. Within a half an hour or so you can start listening right away. (If you’re a more experienced vinyl collector, you’ll probably have it up and running a little bit faster.)
- Max LP
- USB Cable
- EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter Software (compatible with PC or MAC)
- Dust Cover
- Power Adapter
- 45 RPM Adapter
- 3.5 mm Stereo Aux Cable
- Felt Slipmat (dampens static/may improve sound fidelity)
- Plastic Stylus Cover (to keep your stylus in good shape when not in use)
- Quickstart Guide
- Safety and Warranty Manual
3. More Key Features To Consider
Here’s a brief video describing the basic functions and features of this device:
The Max LP does come with built in stereo speakers for convenience, or if you don’t have any other speakers of monitors you can plug into. They aren’t the best and if you expect to get hi-fi resolution you’ll want to look at some pre-phono amps.
How Loud Are The Built-In Speakers?
The actual volume of the built-in speakers goes up pretty loud and in a small to medium sized room they work pretty good. If you want a turntable to show off at dinner parties or have spinning in the background when you have friends over this won’t be too much of an issue.
(Volume control knob and built-in speaker)
If your purpose for getting a new turntable is to immerse yourself in ultra hi-res audio via the built-in speakers, you might be disappointed. Once again, all this is only true for use with the built-in speakers. If you have an amp and a nice set of monitors or speakers, the sound quality can be instantly improved.
You can plug your external speakers or amps in via the RCA outputs on the back as pictured below:
(Extra ports located on the back of The Max LP)
Also located on the back is the power button, power adapter port, USB port, and the aux input.
4. EZ Vinyl Converter Software – From Vinyl To Digital
Here’s a short tutorial demonstrating how easy it is to setup the EZ Vinyl Converter software.
Within a couple of minutes you’ll be able to convert and add whatever songs or albums you want to. It’s easy, even for a complete newbie like myself to install and use.
The EZ Vinyl Software will convert your songs into WAV files which can then be imported into your iTunes library and loaded onto your iPod or other portable device.
(EZ Vinyl/Tape Converter Software, Guide, and Safety Manual)
Get Hands-On With Your Music
One of the main things that really sticks out with this player is that you get to be as hands-on as possible. It’s nice to be able to feel your music in your hands as opposed to streaming where everything’s so easy and convenient. Convenience is nice but learning how to operate a turntable like this one will allow you to have a different experience altogether (especially since it’s so easy.)
I think that many find this true when it comes to listening to vinyl over other forms of audio. You can touch it, feel it, even smell it and the huge artwork is a big deal.
5. Adjustable Tone Arm Features
As you can see in the picture above, there is a black lever to the right of the tone arm. Make sure you have it un-attached then flip the lever back to raise the tone arm. Also, remember to remove the plastic needle covering otherwise the tone arm will skip across your vinyl and you won’t hear any sound.
(Lever flipped up)
You can then use your finger to edge the arm over towards the spot on your record you want to start listening at. Once it’s in place, flip the lever back the other way and watch as it slowly descends until the diamond tip hits the vinyl and your music starts.
(Lever flipped down, music plays)
This is an especially nice feature because it will preserve the quality of your vinyl for longer due to the controlled arm movement being lowered as opposed to you manually lifting and lowering it down.
Something like a headphone input can get overlooked nowadays since they’re pretty much guaranteed to be built into every device. A good amount of record players do NOT have this feature. If you’re a night owl or live with roommates and don’t wanna disturb the neighbors, a headphone jack will definitely come in handy.
(Headphone Jack for personal listening)
Not to mention if you don’t have external speakers to hook up, you can just plug your favorite headphones in and listen all night if that’s what you’re into. You can also experiment with headphone amps plugged into the jack to even further elevate your music.
This speaks, once again to the versatility of this player, allowing you to add gear you already own to the mix or listen to your music the old-fashioned way.
6. Is The Max LP A Good Turntable For Beginners?
Many people wonder about how hard it would be to get into the hobby of collecting vinyl and learning how to operate a record player. The Max LP really simplifies the process and would be a perfect fit for someone looking to enter the world of vinyl.
Common Feedback & Criticisms
Some common criticisms this device gets is that the sound fidelity isn’t up to par. Most of these comments come from the more experienced vinyl audiophiles that have been around long enough to hear everything from the best to the worst.
With that being said, there are some among that group of more experienced users that praise the sound quality and even argue that having built-in stereo speakers is a bonus that shouldn’t count against the quality of the turntable.
7. What’s The Bottom Line? Is It All Subjective?
Like with most things, you’ll hear opposing viewpoints on any subject but when it comes to the world of audio, a lot of it is subjective to the listener.
The bottom line is that this device would be a great entry-level device to introduce you to this classic form of music consumption. That, on top of the fact that you can sift through your parents old vinyl collection, or buy new ones, and mess around with the EZ Vinyl software and upload those songs onto your favorite listening device.
Hopefully you enjoyed this Ion Audio Max LP Review and found it helpful for answering all your questions! If you still have a question that needs to be answered, feel free to ask below! What do you think? Does it seem like a good entry-level option, or would you rather keep looking? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
Take a look at the review table below to see our main criteria for calculating its final rating out of 10 and one final pros/cons checklist! If you think it’s worth giving a spin – click the button below to see the best price on Amazon!
Thanks for stopping by to take a look at this overview, I hope to see you here again!
Sonic Elevation: Ride The Waves.
Ion Audio Max LP Conversion Turntable
Design and Wood Finish9.5/10
Built-In Speaker Sound Fidelity8.0/10
Ease of Use10.0/10
- Set Up Only Takes Minutes
- Wood Finish Looks Awesome
- Plays 3 Different Kinds of Records
- Headphone Jack For Private Listening
- Adjustable Tone-Arm
- Built-In Speaker Fidelity