Altec Lansing InMotion Moondance Glow iM402 review: Altec Lansing InMotion Moondance Glow iM402

Owners of the iPhone should note that this model doesn't offer GSM shielding, so you'll have to put your iPhone in airplane mode to avoid introducing any cell interference noises. Likewise, this product lacks any sort of video output, so don't expect to use it to watch any iTunes videos on your TV.

As I said, two remotes come with the system. There's the more standard miniature clicker that comes with most iPod speaker systems, as well as a separate "snooze" remote that looks like a little flattened pyramid. The big difference between the two is that the snooze remote uses RF technology instead of IR (there's a matching pyramid receiver that plugs into the back of the system). That means you don't have to point the remote at the system and you can stand far away from it (the signal can also go through walls).

The second remote also pauses playback on your iPod, but I should note that I did have to read the manual to figure out how to pair the receiver with the remote. Secondly, I didn't realize at first that you have to have the remote sitting on a flat surface to use the pause/playback button. That's because the activation button is in the rubber feet of the remote (you press down on the top the remote and the top two feet click). The design is a little strange, but it works.

As for sound quality, it's quite decent for a system this small. We put it up against Logitech's less expensive Pure-Fi Express Plus and Pure-Fi Anytime, and the Altec came out the winner with clearer, more refined sound and tighter bass.

However, the call got much harder when we threw Logitech's Pure-Fi Dream, which retails for about $20 more, into the mix. The Dream offered a little bit deeper bass and bigger sound (the Dream is bigger, weighs more, and has a hefty power supply, so it's not totally surprising that it sounds bigger), but the Altec had a better midrange, which makes your music sound more detailed. To put it another way, the Logitech Dream accentuates the highs and the lows, while the Altec is a more of an even-handed performer. It's worth mentioning that the Altec doesn't have any sound adjustment options--there are no bass or treble controls--so what you hear is what you get (the unit is optimized for the frequency range that it plays in).

It's worth noting that Altec Lansing has also released a similar model, the iMT702 inMotion Max. That model lacks the alarm functions, but it's portable (battery powered) and fully iPhone compatible (doesn't require the iPhone to be set to airplane mode). Alternately, the older iM302 Moondance model is cheaper and features a more traditional design.

In the end, the Altec Lansing Moondance Glow is one of the products that you like better once you figure out how to use and access all of its features. For instance, pressing the mood button turns the mood light on and off. But you have to know to hold the button down for 3 seconds to adjust the colors and intensity level of the light. The extra remote is a nice touch and I liked the sound, particularly when I didn't try to push the system too hard and crank the volume. If you want something that's capable of delivering a bit more bass and slightly bigger sound, the Logitech Dream will probably be more up your alley. But if you're looking for a compact system that serves up nicely detailed, well-balanced sound--and don't mind that it's missing the iPhone shielding--this Altec is definitely worth considering.

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

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Where to Buy

Altec Lansing InMotion Moondance Glow iM402

Part Number: ALTM402SR

MSRP: $179.95

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Built-in Display LCD
  • Tuner Bands FM
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Type clock radio