Altec Lansing InMotion iM414 review: Altec Lansing InMotion iM414

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Altec Lansing InMotion iM414

(Part #: iM414) Released: Dec 3, 2009
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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The iM414 speaker dock for the Microsoft Zune includes an FM radio and a remote control, is battery-powered, and has an impressive sound for its small size.

The Bad There's no clock or alarm feature, and its volume range is timid.

The Bottom Line The Altec Lansing iM414 scores big with its classy, portable design, but comes up short on features and power.

6.0 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Performance 6.0

Unlike the vast assortment of speakers available for Apple's iPod and iPhone, the speaker options for Microsoft's fledgling Zune portable media player are few and far between. Fortunately, most accessories made for the Zune are fairly high quality, such as the iHome ZN9 alarm clock, and a sonically beefy speaker dock called the Kicker ZK500. For an equally remarkable Zune speaker that also manages to be small and portable, the Altec Lansing iM414 ($99) is the top dog.

Measuring 5.5 inches tall by 5 inches deep by 10.5 inches wide, the iM414 is small enough to fit into a backpack and light enough to tote around the house at just 3 pounds. If you're thinking that the speaker's small footprint and understated matte black and gray design would look right at home on a nightstand, you may be disappointed to know that the iM414 doesn't function as an alarm clock. In fact, the handy little 2.5-inch backlit LCD on the front of the dock can't even tell you the time, but is instead used to indicate volume, FM radio station frequency, and audio options such as bass boost and surround effect. On the upside, at least you don't have to worry about setting a clock every time you drain the speaker's battery down to zero.

A charging dock for the Zune is positioned behind the LCD, and the package includes swappable inserts to accommodate all Zune models, including the Zune HD. Large, well-marked buttons to the left and right of the dock offer straightforward control over power, volume, audio source, and track-station skip. These same controls are duplicated on the included remote control, along with additional controls for station presets, and audio enhancement (bass boost, expander).

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