Altec Lansing is no stranger to creating speakers for computers so itâ€™s no surprise that it has a range of iPod speakers. In fact, itâ€™s been around for a while, with its funky little inMotion iM3s one of the first and most portable speakers sets around. The iM7s themselves have been on sale over a year.
The iM7s are on the large side, and certainly the only ones to rival the Appleâ€™s in physical size. This makes then transportable rather than portable - you wouldnâ€™t want to take these on holiday with you. The cigar shaped speakers are arguably the most eye catching design of the four.
The inMotionâ€™s can be battery powered, if you so wish, but youâ€™ll need no less than eight extra-large LR20 batteries to hear anything when unplugged from the mains.
The fact that the iPod cradle sits protected in the centre of the unit means that you might actually consider taking it out to the park for a change of scenery, a marked difference from the Apple set, which has the iPod balancing precariously on top. When they are plugged in the power supply makes for an extra large plug so youâ€™ll need a decent amount of room to plug it in.
The cradle pops out from the centre by pushing it in and releasing a clip. You slip the iPod inside and you just adjust the housing to accommodate your iPod depending on its thickness. Unfortunately our iM7 had clearly been around the houses and the clip had broken so the cradle wouldnâ€™t close. The handle is placed at the rear but itâ€™s not comfortable to hold. However, if you want a shoulder mounted ghetto blaster for the iPod generation, this is it.
Round the back you get an auxiliary input for connecting sources other than an iPod and both S-Video and composite outputs, for displaying photos, videos or album art on a compatible screen. At the back thereâ€™s also a slot for the supplied remote control. This is better featured than most remotes in that it also offers treble and bass controls as well as a Play/Pause and the ability to skip tracks. However, it looks a bit 1980s next to the sleek rounded controls of the Apple.