Last week I took a look at Altec Lansing’s iMT630 Portable speaker. And today, to complement that, I’m reviewing the inMotion Air. And like it’s smaller brother, it too sports a 7 hour battery life, though instead of a 30-pin dock you’ll have the option of connecting to it via Bluetooth or using the included USB stick that plugs into your computer.
On top of the device are a set of controls allow for pairing your Bluetooth device as well as controlling playback and volume. Hidden in the back is a handle for carrying the speaker as well as a remote that stores away in a threaded slot. The remote works well for performing standard iPod controls and changing volume, but keep in mind it won’t work from another room (there is Apple’s iOS Remote for that, provided your streaming music from your computer).
For those who prefer a wired experience there is an AUX input, though the included wireless options are surely enough to satiate even those without the latest smartphone or computer thanks to the included USB stick which provides a wireless range of up to 300 feet. While I didn’t test the truth of that figure to the maximum, I had no problem streaming music throughout the house and Bluetooth worked very well despite it boasting a much shorter range. That said, there is a headphone jack output on the USB dongle for adding a second set of speakers, though that hardly seems necessary since you can stream music to two of these at the same time. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive a second inMotion Air to test this and since Bluetooth doesn’t support dual streaming, it will have to be done using the included USB adapter for the computer.
For the most part the inMotion Air is just a plastic box. So fair to say, it is underwhelming from an aesthetic standpoint. But, it is simple enough that it will blend into just about any scenario, though I’d recommend the Black version since that might be a bit more innocuous than the gray. Behind the grill are two 3-inch drivers that produce room filling sound. In fact, I was pretty taken back by the sound quality of the inMotion Air despite being connected to the device over Bluetooth. So suffice to say, the look of the speaker manages expectations and far exceeded mine when it came to its sonic output. However, it does lack bass kicking sound, but that is largely a reflection of the inMotion Air’s small size, which is just 13.2” (W) x 3.5” (D) x 4.1” (H). So all together, I was pretty pleased with the sonic capabilities of the inMotion Air.
At the end of the day there are a variety of Bluetooth speakers on the market. While there is no speaker phone option, as found in the Jambox, the inMotion Air is produces pretty kicking sound for a portable, rechargeable speaker. Fold in the USB dongle for streaming tunes long distance (up to 300 feet) from your computer and there is hardly a wireless speaker on the market that can compete. Just take note that it won’t kick out the same sound quality and range as some wired speakers of the same price ($199) and lacks an iOS dock.
Altec Lansing inMotion Air IMW725
- Portable wirelessly speaker with a 7 hour rechargeable battery
- Built-in remote and USB dongle for wireless music from your computer
- Holds it own sonically despite small size and portability
- Aesthetically leaves something to be desired
- A bit pricey ($199)