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 its 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. Does it have the best speakers? Not really, but it does perform well.
Similar to the Bose Soundlink 3, you’ll find on the top of the inMotion a set of controls that 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 is stored 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. When you check out the Altec Lansing IMT630 review, you will like the portable dock that allows you to connect an iPod or iPhone to the speaker.
Unlike the Logitech Bluetooth speakers Z600, 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 aback 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 altogether, I was pretty pleased with the sonic capabilities of the inMotion Air. But if you want a modern speaker with Alexa, check out the Amazon Echo Dot speaker review.
At the end of the day, there are a variety of Bluetooth speakers on the market. While there is no speakerphone option, as found in the Jambox, the inMotion Air 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.
Bottom Line: Convenience over sound quality makes this speaker a winner in my book, though it most certainly sonically stands tall despite its small size.