inMotion iM3 iPod speakers by Altec Lansing
Altec Lansing has been making speakers for decades. Years ago many of the bands I was in played through Altec Lansing PA speakers. The inMotion iM3 speakers are about 1/300th of the size of those old PA speakers, but put out a big sound given that size.
Technology & Specs
The iM3 is a stereo iPod speaker setup with four neodymium 28 mm Micro Drivers. (Drivers=speakers). Neodymium is a highly powerful magnetic material used in the pro audio world for very high quality and extremely sensitive microphones. AL’s MaxxBass technology provides much more low end than you’d expect from a set of speakers so small. You’d think there was a sub woofer hiding somewhere in the room.
The iM3 delivers a massive 4 watts of continuous power at 8 ohms through it’s 4 internal speakers. The frequency response goes from 60Hz-20Khz. (The human ear’s range is 20Hz-20kHz). 60Hz isn’t enough to rattle your pant legs or shake glasses off your shelves, but it is plenty low and more than satisfactory given the tiny size of the unit.
Folded for storage or transport the unit is about the size of a paperback book and comes with a soft pouch for carrying. The iPod sits in the center docking station which provides the same synchronization, data transfer, and recharging options as your iPod dock. Older iPods may not be able to utilize the full docking station or remote control features, but are still fully functional with the speakers.
Remote control features include on/off, play/pause, track skip and scan. I was not able to fully test the remote functions because my iPod is a “vintage” 10GB model. To control volume I couldn’t use the remote, I had to use the iPod’s or the front +/- controls on the unit.
The iM3 can be powered by the included AC adapter, or via four AA batteries.
I used the iM3 in many different indoor and outdoor environments. I found the sound quality of the iM3 to be excellent. As with different sets of iPod headphones, I had to tweak the EQ settings to find one that matched my taste. Despite being so close together, the stereo imagery of the speakers led me to believe they were much farther apart. The iM3 performed much better indoors than out. It is much more difficult to fill up the air with sound outdoors so that was to be expected.
The main test I did was when I was moving out of my house. I put the iM3 in the center of the house, and I was able to enjoy the music from every room and from outside.
What could be improved?
I would have liked to have removable speakers so I could spread them out more. Despite having great stereo imagery, I would like to be able to place the speakers wider apart while listening on my desk or on a shelf.
A built in AM/FM tuner would be nice as well.
The soft case didn’t really have a specific space for the AC adapter to reside. I found it to be a bit of a pain to figure out where to put the AC cable.
I found the footprint, looks and sound quality of the iM3 to be excellent. The sound quality and volume level you can achieve, even on AA battery power is great. At $179, I would not call the iM3 a “bargain” however.