As those who have been watching the recent vinyl resurgence may have guessed, CES is flush with turntables this year. But few companies brought enough to stack up against the smorgasbord of turntables that Ion brought to the party. The company is proud of its heritage as one of the pioneers of USB turntables, and we checked out some fun new models, along with the powerful new Block Rocker Splash water-resistant Bluetooth speaker, and (as we’ve come to expect from CES) a speaker boasting magnetic levitation powers.
The Photon and Spectra turntables are likely more novelty than hi-fi, but they do look pretty damned cool. The Photon ($100) has a halo of colorful lights set beneath the platter, which respond to the beat of the music as you play, for a splashy way to rock your favorite vinyl. The Spectra ($130) takes things even further, looking more like a dance floor straight out of Saturday Night Fever then a turntable. The lighted base actually comes with a remote control so you can change the vibe by applying an array of colors.
And for those a bit more discerning when it comes to sound quality, the company also offers the new BT 500, a $400 turntable with MDF base, aluminum platter, and a motor loaded with dampening tech to keep unwanted resonance away from your tunes.
In addition, Ion showed off its new Block Rocker Splash, a water-resistant Bluetooth speaker packing a claimed 100 watts of power, and even a collapsible handle and wheels for rolling it around. Originally based around a keyboard amplifier, the newly water-resistant speaker packs some cool features, including FM radio, and even a mic input, essentially making it an all-in-one PA/Bluetooth speaker.
And finally, we couldn’t help but get a few shots of Ion’s Bluetooth speaker with levitating lighted party ball, dubbed the Party Float. The $100 speaker is just a prototype at present, but it’s always cool to see flashing lights spinning in space — this is CES after all.
All of Ion’s new gear is expected to be available starting in the first or second quarter of the year.