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Altec Lansing inMotion iM3 review: Altec Lansing inMotion iM3

Altec Lansing's latest portable speakers are styled to be the perfect mate for your iPod. But is the iM3 plagued with the oh-so-tinny sound quality we've found in other portable sets? Find out in our review.

Ben Patterson
Altec Lansing inMotion iM3
If you're looking for a no-fuss, no-frills way to pump up the volume on your iPod, give Altec's inMotion iM3 speakers a try. The ice-white, 15-ounce iM3 set ($180), which is about the same size as a small hardcover book (8 by 5.4 by 1.2 inches), snaps into an L shape, with a small speaker on each side and an iPod dock in the middle. Adapters for 10GB and 15GB iPods as well as for the Mini are included (30GB and 40GB iPods will fit without an adapter), and a minijack input lets you connect older iPods or other MP3 players. A wafer-thin, wireless remote lets you play, pause, and skip tracks as well as adjust the volume.

The inMotion's speakers (60Hz to 20kHz, 75dB signal-to-noise ratio) sound about as good as a solid clock radio: that is, not bad but lacking in earth-shaking bass and the high-end sound that makes dogs howl. We managed to crank up the volume fairly high, considering the iM3's paltry 2W-per-channel output, although the sound began to distort at earsplitting levels. Four AA batteries will power the speakers for about 24 hours, or you can use the AC adapter for marathon music sessions.


Altec Lansing inMotion iM3

The Good

iPod-coordinating style; includes adapters for iPods that don't mesh seamlessly; comes with a wireless remote and an AC adapter.

The Bad

Pricey; weak sound.

The Bottom Line

This portable speaker set will mesh well with your iPod, but there are better-sounding alternatives.

Editor's note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Click here to find out more.


Altec Lansing inMotion iM3

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Performance 5