What We Like
- Natural, more conservative design.
- Huge range of features that make it one very versatile turntable.
- Pretty decent built quality both in terms of hardware and chassis.
What We Don’t Like
- Built in speakers are not all that great.
ION Audio Max LP belongs to more conservative models in the affordable range. You could go ahead and say that it is one of the most neutral looking and best-performing turntables under $100. Let’s find out more.
One of the reoccurring trends we see in the affordable segment of turntable market is that over-the-top design. It seems that most brands in this category are going above and beyond to make their turntables attractive by putting them in unusual bodies. In reality, a good number of newcomers to this hobby want something that looks like the higher end models.
ION Audio Max LP offers exactly that. ION has managed toprovide all of the standard features but packaged in a chassis that actually looks like those higher end models. This turntable comes with a dust cover, although as it is usually the case, it looks better with it off. The finish mimics natural wood grain, meaning that ION Audio Max LP will more or less fit into just about any interior design. Compared to numerous models in its category, Audio Max LP actually looks refined.
As we have mentioned previously, this turntable brings you all the standard features for this segment of the market. That includes built in speakers, built in phono amplifier and more. You can convert vinyl to digital formats using the USB port and the EZ Vinyl software which comes with the turntable.
ION even went on to include a 3.5mm in if you feel like listening to music from your phone via Audio Max built in speakers. In its core, this is a belt drive unit with a simple platter and simple tonearm. There is nothing extraordinary about its hardware. With that said, no one expects anything more at this price. The cool thing is that the hardware they chose is more than capable of delivering reliable performance.
Beginners and those who are limited to the affordable segment will appreciate this. All in all, it is no fancy Denon but it works just fine.
When it comes to performance, ION Audio Max LP performs as expected. In otherwords, that means fairly accurate and reliable tone that isn’t full of interference. Listening to music on the built-in speakers is more or less something you’d want to do if no other speakers are available. The experience is comparable to that of listening to music via your laptop’s speakers. Fortunately, you can just plug in your headphones and bypass this issue altogether.
Pairing the ION Audio Max LP with your computer is easy, which can also be said about ripping vinyl. EZ Vinyl software works more or less flawlessly and produces good results. One thing that is worth mentioning is that you will need a special stylus if you want to listen to 78 RPM records. If you decide to fork out money for that accessory, this turntable will become a pretty versatile one.
All things considered, ION Audio Max LP is a solid choice for those who like a more conservative design. It sounds good and packs all of the features which are commonly found in this segment.