Updated: November 2017

Ion USB Turntable Review:

Guide to the Ion TTUSB - The way we listen to music has changed radically over the generations, from phonographs to mp3s. While few of us would boast of having a box full of mint condition 8-tracks or cassettes in our attics, many people do have vinyl. This is one medium that has remained relevant from the late 19th Century to today. Recently, records have quietly made a bit of a comeback, becoming the medium of choice for audiophiles and DJs, as well as a popular method of distributing alternative and independent music. What can be hard to come by is the technology to play them on. The Ion USB Turntable is an ideal solution: you connect the turntable to your computer and transfer your records over. Then, you can listen, burn CDs, or sync the music to your mp3 player. Let's take a look at how the Ion USB Turntable works and see if you should start dusting off your old vinyl.
ion usb turntable

What is the Ion TTUSB? - The Ion USB turntable (or TTUSB) looks rather like a sleek, modernized version of a record player, and, in essence, that's exactly what it is. The Ion instantly adds access and playability for your old vinyl, and all you need is a USB1.1 port or higher, PC with XP, Vista, and Windows 7, as well as Mac OS X 10.4 or higher. Here is what you can do with the TTUSB:

*Play records. This in itself might be worth the price of admission
*Transfer your records into convenient mp3s or CDs
*Adjustable anti-skate control for stereo balancing
*33 1/3 and 45 RPM settings
*1/8-inch stereo line input so you can digitize your cassettes as well
*Software for transferring your tunes to iTunes

Ion claims that this model is just plug and play, but a review on YouTube, which you can see here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwYTJgSgXFE), says, No, wait a minute. There are some preliminary steps you'll need to complete before you can begin. Before we talk about that in more detail, let's check out what Ion USB Turntable comes with:

*The USB turntable itself
*Adapter for 45 records
*USB cable, attached audio cables and power cable
*Software CD
*Quick start guide
*Cartridge with pre-assembled stylus

There is a great video on YouTube that takes you through the steps of set-up. You can see that here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Cjhho6BxSQ). This goes over the "plug and play" operation. Before you can just plug and play, you'll need to take care of a few steps. You'll need to make sure to pull the belt over the motor spindle so it turns. You then attach the head shell into the tone arm and tighten; you then put the counterweight on the back of the arm to balance. Your quick start guide will have more detailed instructions, but set-up is very quick and easy. After that, you can connect via your USB port and get going. You can also choose to connect via the RCA cables to your home stereo and forego the computer altogether. Look for your stereo's "phono" input. A common problem that some people have is that the belt is not aligned properly. This may cause your music not to play, or it may sound like an audition for the Chipmunks. In either case, check your belt. Your guide will help you align it properly, which is actually very easy, so don't worry about being technically-minded. Then, you should be good to go.

Best USB Turntable:

In the past few years, there has been a proliferation in the number of USB turntables on the market as more people became interested in listening to their vinyl again while record players became fewer and further between. There are models from Ion, Audio Technica, Sony, and Numark, among others. So why go with the Ion? The price is one of its recommending features. The Ion TTUSB Turntable with USB Record sells for less than $100. For this, you have the technology to listen to your records and then convert them to more convenient formats. One issue that many reviewers have is that this model lacks many of the higher-end features that you'd find in more expensive, more sophisticated models. For instance, the Audio Technica AT-LP120-USB Turntable has plug and play use, digitizing software, direct drive high-torque motor, 33, 45, and 78 RPM speeds, professional cast aluminum platter with slip mat - the TTUSB has a plastic platter - integral dual magnet phono cartridge with replaceable stylus, balanced tone arm with soft damping control, switchable built-in pre-amp with line-level RCA output cables, forward and reverse play, and a stroboscopic platter speed indicator. As you can see, it has more features than the Ion TTUSB, but it also costs more than twice as much. If you are willing to sacrifice a few functions for price, then the Ion will be a great choice. It is more basic, yes, but it is wonderful for its purpose. A review from iPodObserver found that the Ion TTUSB was great for "piping tunes to your Mac" or playing them through your stereo. The review did note that if "you're not facing a deadline for getting it on your iPod, the iTTUSB is a great product," indicating that this function is a bit on the slow side. The conclusion of this and other reviews is that the Ion TTUSB has very high quality sound that has the utmost convenience for bringing your records into the digital age. But it functions primarily, and best, as a record player. It is not a quick process to transfer all of your records; it'll take some time, particularly if you're using the included software. The Ion turntable is quite similar in price and function to the Numark TTUSB ; and for good reason. Ion is a brand of Numark and their TTUSB players are virtually identical. You will find they even have some of the same replacement parts. The Numark lists for about $300, but you can find it for about $80 on Amazon. Either model is a great way to preserve your record collection and make it more easily accessible. As one Amazon reviewer said, "This item is just too good to pass up. I have a couple hundred vinyl albums that I still listen to occasionally. I have made several disappointing attempts to transfer vinyls to CDs in the past, but it always turned out to be too much work to get too poor of a transfer. I kept hoping to find a better way to preserve my collection, and this is it." The Ion could be it for you, too. Check it out and you'll be singing along to your old favorites in no time. RECOMMENDED - Browse all the best selling USB turntables here.