What is old is new again and that can be said of the record player. Sure, we all love to stream our music these days, but you just can’t beat the sound of a good turntable. The record player has been going through a renaissance period. In fact, it has been going through one for the last couple of years. While CDs may have faded away into the cold dark night, the LP is back with a vengeance.
Ion Audio is one such company that is taking advantage of consumers’ new found appreciation for vinyl. The Max LP is a conversion turntable with stereo speakers that features a lovely wood finish that fits into any modern decor without looking too retro.
At its core the Max LP is a record player, but it has a few surprises. For one, it features built-in stereo speakers so it could work as a standalone device without the need of being plugged into an external speaker. It supports 33 1/3, 45, and 78 RPM records, it easily connects to your computer via USB, and there is an AUX port to connect to an external audio source if so desired.
The Max LP took nothing to setup—for those that want to transfer their LPs to digital files, the EZ Vinyl/Tape converter software included is extremely user friendly. You will be converting music on the fly without a hitch. The only problem you will run into is the need of a CD player to install the software, but not to worry—you can also download it here .
I really loved the natural wood look of the Max LP—it wasn’t overpowering in my living room and had a really nice modern yet retro look. However, the molded plastic dust cover just didn’t do it for me aesthetically. The built-in speakers were a nice touch but they do not get too loud on their own, so you will need to connect the player to an external speaker if you want to truly feel that crackle of your classic LPs. While the speakers add a nice touch, they are a bit on the weak side and similar in sound to an alarm clock at times.
If you are looking to dust off the old LPs and give them a spin, the Ion Audio Max LP is a good solution that is also extremely versatile. It won’t break the bank and the slim form factor fits in with any room. I loved the inclusion of the speakers, but wish they were louder with a bit more oomph. It truly doesn’t bring out the quality of the LP without hooking it up to an external speaker. If you are just looking for a budget turntable to convert your classic records, the Max LP is the way to go and honestly, nothing sounds better than the crackle and pop of Madonna’s Like a Virgin or Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours on a 45. The Ion Audio Max LP retails for $99 and is available now.
The Good: Retro look with a modern feel. Versatile turntable with many input options. Software is easy to use. Budget friendly.
The Bad: Built-in speakers are weak on sound and quality. Not impressed with the look of the dust cover.