How to Listen to an Ion USB Turntable Without a Computer

By Scott Shpak

German-born American immigrant Emile Berliner introduced the flat-disc phonograph in 1895.
i Hemera Technologies/ Images

Ion Audio, established in 2003, claims invention of the first USB turntable as a bridge between analog and digital technologies. With the emergence of personal MP3 players, demand rose for an easy way to convert vinyl phonograph records, many of which were never released on CDs, to digital music files. Ion led the way with turntables designed for the task.

Built-in Speakers

Ion's wide range of turntable models includes combinations of features that meet a variety of listening options. Models such as the Archive LP, Forever LP and Live LP include speakers built in to the turntable itself, so each operates independently in standalone mode. No computer or audio equipment is needed for you to listen to vinyl records played on the turntables. If you have not yet purchased your Ion turntable, consider these models for your easiest listening solution.

Apple Devices

If you use iPods, iPads or iPhones, Ion's iLP model turntable provides a solution that converts vinyl records directly to your Apple device without an intermediate computer step. The iProfile model docks only with iPods. The turntables incorporate docks on the base so your Apple device interfaces directly with the iLP. As well as this Apple support feature, the iLP and iProfile connect with computers via USB port and function as vinyl-to-MP3 converting turntables.

Home Stereo

Most Ion turntables feature RCA output jacks, which allow you to connect your turntable to a conventional home stereo system with phono jack connections. Vinyl LPs have reproduction equalization encoded at the time the disc is mastered, a standard set by the Recording Industry Association of America in the 1950s to simplify vinyl LP manufacture. Home stereos with phono jack connections include complementary RIAA decoding equalization built-in, so your records will play back with the correct frequency response. Any Ion turntable with RCA jack output is capable of connection with a home stereo.

Other Analog Solutions

Some contemporary home stereos and many home theater systems do not include phono jacks and therefore lack the RIAA equalization decoding necessary for accurate frequency reduction at playback. Ion offers turntable models such as the Profile LP and Profile Pro that include preamps to provide line-level, decoded audio suitable for any line or auxiliary input on a home stereo or home theater system. If your Ion turntable model does not have such a feature, you can insert third-party RIAA phono preamps between your turntable and your home stereo or theater.