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Altec Lansing iMT630 Review

Key Specifications

  • Dual 2in drivers
  • Magnetised remote cubby hole
  • On-body playback controls
  • 7-hour battery life
  • Retractable iOS dock
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Altec Lansing’s latest affordable iPhone dock is one of its most versatile units ever. The iMT630 has a built-in battery, a pop-out dock socket, and even smuggles a remote within its body. We got a closer hands-on look at IFA 2011 in Berlin to find out if it’s all frills and no substance.Lansing

We’ve reviewed a few battery-powered docks of late. The Sony idl650M and Philips Fidelio DS7700 were both handy devices, but didn’t quite convince us the sound compromises of their portable form factor were worth it.

Altec Lansing’s new iMT630 makes a pretty good case for itself on the features front.  Like the Sony model, it offers an iOS dock socket that pops in and out of the body with a press, and also offers a built-in rechargeable battery. Altec Lansing claims it’ll last for up to seven hours.Lansing

On top of these basic portability features, the iMT630 dock also offers a remote control. But it’s not an external extra. It slots into a cavity revealed when you flip out its stand, on the back.  The remote’s a basic affair, but doesn’t simply fall out when exposed. Its cubby hole is magnetised, so if you don’t need the remote you can simply leave it in there. Genius.

Aside from these portability skills though, the iMT630 is dead simple. There’s no Bluetooth streaming or Airplay just a 3.5mm aux input and the front iOS socket.

On top of the unit are a few playback buttons, but there’s no on-body EQ control. There will, however, be an iOS app you can download to give you access to a full 7-band equaliser – as seen in some of Altec Lansing’s previous docks. So far, so good. But as yet, we don’t know quite how much this new dock will cost. If it can undercut its Sony and Logitech rivals, it could be onto an easy win. But how does it sound?

The showfloor at IFA is no place to test out audio products, unless they’re noise-cancelling headphones, so we’re treating our observations of the Altec Lansing iMT630 as the earliest of preliminary impressions. We did, however, get to hear it blast its heart out at full volume, until we were told we were disturbing a nearby film crew. Lansing

For a device powered by a pair of teeny 2in drivers, the Altec Lansing iMT630 can trample over noisy environments well. Its sound appeared to be bassy and warm, without having the over-ripe bottom end that some iPhone speakers have. Sometimes not having a subwoofer can be a bonus.Lansing

However, we do suspect that the dock lacks the dynamics and treble insight to give it that satisfying high-end sound. It’s something we heard in the Sony iDL650M, and is typical of speakers that have to rely on the output of pretty tiny drivers. Hey ho, portable speakers are never without a compromise or two.Lansing

There’s plenty to like about the Altec Lansing iMT630, though. The design is well-suited to use as a portable speaker and that remote cubby hole is a stroke of genius – if arguably a bit of an unnecessary extra. We hardly use dock remotes even in home units. We’ll be back with our full impressions on the iMT630’s sound quality and design in our review.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.

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