The Ion Audio Air LP is an affordable USB turntable that's adept at getting analogue audio into digital order. This is particularly good for anyone that wants lots of input and output options.
The Air LP not only comes with lots of ports for cabled connections but also features Bluetooth for wireless audio transmission to headphones or speakers. That's a real stand out feature for a USB turntable at this price.
Of course there are certain features that show why this is less expensive. For example the included cartridge is poorer quality than some options, and the software is very simplistic – although that could be a bonus too as it's very easy to use.
To find out more read on through this Ion Audio Air LP review and discover if this is the best USB turntable for you.
Ion Audio Air LP review: Design and build
The Ion Air LP is a Bluetooth-enabled USB turntable with a good selection of input and output options. In fact that is one of the stand out features for this well priced turntable.
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. That 1/8-inch aux input on the back panel works well to connect a music player that isn’t Bluetooth capable and use the Air LP’s Bluetooth transmitter.
It also has a headphone output on the top panel with volume control so you can monitor playback while you digitize your records.
Ion Audio Air LP review: Features
The standout feature of the Air LP is the Bluetooth connectivity. We had no problem pairing the turntable with a few different Bluetooth devices, including a portable speaker and Bluetooth headphones.
As mentioned, 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.
Ion Audio Air LP review: Performance
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.
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.
Should you buy the Ion Audio Air LP?
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.