What we found impressive about the Air was that it offered better range than some Bluetooth speakers we've tested. The specs actually say that you're supposed to only have about 33 feet using your mobile device, but we managed to go beyond that distance by several feet. And using the included dongle for your PC, your range is extended to 300 feet.
As for sound, we had mixed views. Altec says the Air's AptX technology "works within Bluetooth to deliver CD-quality audio." Maybe it does, but you still need good speakers to take advantage of good sound. In that regard, compared with other Bluetooth speakers of this ilk, the Air performs reasonably well and sounds decent enough with lighter fare and acoustical material, which basically means it plays well in the midrange. It also plays pretty loudly. However, the treble's got a harsh edge to it and the bass is noticeably thin; there's just no oomph here.
We found the Suburbs' "Ready to Start" track sounded fairly muddy at higher volumes and pop tunes like Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" and Jay-Z's "New York State of Mind" just came off sounding neutered. With ballads, however, the Air sounded much more pleasant.
All things are relative, and anybody who expects the world out of a compact speaker like this is expecting too much. However, while we found a lot to like about the InMotion Air, our concern is that it simply costs a little too much. Yes, it's got the included dongle for PC streaming along with that rechargeable battery. Both are nice pluses, but there are plenty of competing Bluetooth models from the likes of Logitech, Creative, and Jawbone that are more portable, sound better, and/or cost less.
Associate Editor Julie Rivera contributed to this review.