The Altec Lansing inAir 5000 uses four drivers to, hopefully, send you hopping off to sonic nirvana. There are two neodymium drivers and two smaller Kevlar units. There’s no dedicated subwoofer, but there is a passive bass radiator, channelling low-end output to the device’s back. The lack of an active sub unit doesn’t worry us too much, as it caused plenty of bass bloat in the Octiv 650.
Naturally, we had a listen to the Altec Lansing inAir 5000 on the show floor at IFA for an early impression of its skills, but we’ll admit it’s no place to tell audiophile from audio fail. We will of course be back with our full impressions once we get a unit in to review.
Still, the inAir 5000 managed to cut through the hubbub of the show easily, blasting out a few tracks from the spokesperson’s test iPad 2 over Airplay flawlessly. Our main concern is that the high-end output won’t be able to match the insight and fidelity offered by the (non Airplay) Philips Fidelio DS9010 and Arcam rCube. Those are two high-performing stars of the scene, and it sounds like this speaker may go up against them directly on price.
That said, while this concern is from our own ears’ observations, the audio cred of what’s under the speaker grill here is solid. The inAir 5000’s drivers are tri-amped, and the quality of materials sounds to be well above the paper cones of mid and low-end iPhone docks. Altec Lansing does need to up its game to compete, though. Stay tuned to see if it’s playing in the right league.