Pros / Bluetooth makes it easy to play records.
Cons / The conversion quality was lacking compared with others we tested.
Verdict / The Ion Air LP is affordable and has some good playback features, but it isn’t the best choice for converting a record collection.
The Ion Air LP is a Bluetooth-enabled USB turntable with a good selection of input and output options. You can connect it to any audio system that has RCA or 1/8-inch inputs, or stream your vinyl collection to a Bluetooth speaker. It also has a headphone output on the top panel with volume control so you can monitor playback while you digitize your records.
The standout feature of the Air LP is the Bluetooth connectivity. We had no problem pairing the turntable with a few different Bluetooth devices in our lab, including a portable speaker and Bluetooth headphones. It also has a 1/8-inch aux input on the back panel to connect a music player that isn’t Bluetooth capable and use the Air LP’s Bluetooth transmitter. Bluetooth connectivity doesn’t sound as rich as wiring a turntable into a sound system, but the convenience of sending sound wirelessly to another room in your home can be worth the loss in fidelity.
The EZ Vinyl Converter software that comes bundled with the Air LP is the most user-friendly converter software we tested, but it’s missing some of the advanced editing and repair tools present in other programs we reviewed. EZ Vinyl Converter walks you step-by-step through the conversion process and doesn’t require any input from you other than where to save the converted files on your Mac or Windows computer. It doesn’t let you edit the converted file, so make sure to start and stop the recording quickly, because you can’t edit out long pauses. The software also lacks volume normalization and repair tools to help you remove pops and crackles from older records.
We were disappointed with the conversion and playback quality of this turntable. Our reviewers think the problem lies with the cartridge, and regrettably you can’t replace or upgrade it. If you are shopping on a budget and want high-class vinyl-to-MP3 conversion capabilities, consider the Sony PS-LX300 USB.
The Ion Air LP’s best feature is Bluetooth connectivity. The included cartridge was the worst we tested and resulted in poor conversion and playback quality. The only reason to consider this turntable over other budget-friendly turntables we tested is if you plan primarily to listen to records through the Bluetooth connection.