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Altec Lansing rolls out new iPod gear

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Tuesday, September 20, 2005
News Categories: iPod Accessories

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As noted first in iLounge’s Sneak Peeks special from Apple Expo, Altec Lansing has introduced a new iPod speaker system, two new sets of earphones, and two carrying cases for its inMotion iM7 speakers.

inMotion iM5
imageThis compact speaker system features four full-range micro drivers and an iPod docking station that slides in and out like a drawer at the push of a button. As a replacement for the original inMotion and inMotion Plus speakers with identical drivers, iM5 “serves up rich, full-bodied sound that fills the room,” also offers a composite video output jack, a subwoofer output connection, auxiliary input port, and comes with a deluxe carrying bag. It runs off AC or battery power (up to 24 hours of operation) and works with all dockable iPods (3G/4G/photo and iPod mini). The inMotion iM5 will be available later this month for $149.99.

inMotion iM616 and inMotion iM716
imageAltec Lansing’s first earphones are largely based on the ER-4 and ER-6 in-ear earphones from Etymotic Research. The white iM716 model offers a sound accuracy rating of 90% by comparison with ER-4 and incorporates a volume control, a bass boost switch, and improved ease of insertion into the ear. 

imageThe black iM616 has an 84% sound accuracy rating and provides the same ergonomics with increased sensitivity and a more mild bass boost. Both models come with three-flanged or soft foam ear tips, carry case with cable management, and one pair of replacement filters. The inMotion iM616 and iM716 will be available later this month for $149.99 and $199.99, respectively.

inMotion iM7 Shoulder Harness and Shoulder Pack
imageThe new carrying cases for Altec Lansing’s iM7 system offer protection and a convenient way to tote around the iPod boombox. The Shoulder Harness is made of durable leatherette material and has an open design with a storage compartment for accessories and a padded handle and shoulder strap.

imageThe Shoulder Pack is made from ballistic nylon and completely encases the iM7. It features an easy-access double-zipper and a large storage compartment for iM7 accessories, as well as a padded handle and shoulder strap.

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Comments

1

does it have a dock connector port for syncing and charging the iPod?

Posted by kev on September 20, 2005 at 4:41 PM (PDT)

2

the im5 not im7

Posted by kev on September 20, 2005 at 4:42 PM (PDT)

3

always does smile

Posted by Stefan on September 20, 2005 at 6:43 PM (PDT)

4

Why bother with the bag? After three days playing with an iM7 ($199 sale price), it went straight back to Fry’s. While the low end was decent for a portable, I couldn’t get the total sonic spectrum to deliver the goods. Plus, the remote was an operational joke; how cheapo can any company get?

I used my ancient JVC PC-V66 boombox from about 15+ years ago with a set of Monster iCables for comparison. Using both a 4G and a nano as a source, the crusty JVC plain and simple blew the Altec-Lansing away. So what if it’s not iPod White (or iPod Black, in the case of my nano), the dirty, dusty old JVC sounds TONS more appealing and is sonically is much easier to listen to, and this from a unit that itself is far from the level of “high-fi” that I’m whining about here.

So far, none of these iPod ‘high end’ speaker solutions I’ve tried so far have been anything close to satisfactory from a SQ standpoint; how is anyone able to put up with this drivel these companies are inferring as “high fidelity”?

Posted by flatline response on September 21, 2005 at 12:07 AM (PDT)

5

Well, I love my IM7—it was perfect for the summer beach house this year and its sonic capabilities are fine for my own needs.

I do want a protective cover for the easily scratched plastic of the unit, so I’m glad to see Altec Lansing is coming out with some choices.  I was transporting it in its original box all summer.

The AL website seems to only show the open shoulder harness version for sale right now, not the shoulder bag yet.  I’m torn between the open for use design of the harness and the more protective design of the bag.

Also, I’m trying to figure out if the ends of the harness are open—in other words, if you can keep the IM7 in the harness while playing it.

Posted by RLC in New Jersey on September 21, 2005 at 4:34 AM (PDT)

6

Doesn’t “all dockable iPods (3G/4G/photo and iPod mini)” include the iPod nano then?

Thanks to Apple’s decision to put the nano’s docking port off-centre, it’s going to look so stupid with all of these kind of devices - universal Docking Connector or no.

Posted by Magic Rabbits in Aberdeen, Scotland on September 21, 2005 at 5:15 AM (PDT)

7

Actually, come to think of it, does the iPod nano count as 4G?

Posted by Magic Rabbits in Aberdeen, Scotland on September 21, 2005 at 5:16 AM (PDT)

8

yeah, i think they said they made an adapter for it already

Posted by kevn on September 21, 2005 at 6:49 AM (PDT)

9

Just for reference, the ‘Nano’ is compatible with all of the dockable inMotion speaker systems.

To address the second point raised, there is always some design compromise when building a portable speaker syste (battery life, intended/expected place of use, functionality etc) but we believe the audio capabilities of the IM7 to be exceptional, even unrivalled in this product category.

Finally, Yes, you can play the IM7 whilst it is in the shoulder harness - that was the aim with the ‘open’ design of this option.

Posted by Altec UK reseller on September 21, 2005 at 6:51 AM (PDT)

10

Altec reseller,

Of these ‘solutions’ I’ve sampled so far, I do admit the iM7 is the best of the bunch, but with how I measure and expect sonic reproduction—even at these price points—I suppose that’s not saying much.

As for whether or not it excels over all other speaker solutions…well, with at least in one example—the newer Klipsch gear—I’ve yet to personally try, so with my meager personal opinion forgive me if I take your glowing endorsement of a product you have a vested interest in with more than a few grains of salt.

Posted by flatline response on September 21, 2005 at 10:11 AM (PDT)

11

BTW, what in blazes is this ‘sound accuracy’ rating? Marketing mumbo-jumbo? A carryover from something Plantronics uses for their headsets? In all my decades of “audio enthusiasm”, I believe this ‘measurement’ is a new one to me.

Posted by flatline response on September 21, 2005 at 10:17 AM (PDT)

12

Re: the sound accuracy rating

Read this for how Etymotics (the partner in designing those earphones) calculates their accuracy rating

http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/er4-hwmra.aspx

Posted by RayT on September 21, 2005 at 11:32 AM (PDT)

13

RayT, thanks for the link. I wasn’t aware that Ety used such measures, despite the fact that I regularly use ER-4s. So much for reading the manuals…:)

Yet I’m not sure what all this really, REALLY means. As much as I may like my ER-4s on-the-go, I typically DON’T prefer listening to them over my either of my Senn HD600 or HD650, even with the base Senn cables (comfort notwithstanding). Accuracy may be all well and good, but a bit of coloring apparently isn’t bad for the soul, either, at least in my case.

Posted by flatline response on September 21, 2005 at 3:56 PM (PDT)

14

“Just for reference, the ‘Nano’ is compatible with all of the dockable inMotion speaker systems.”

Including the IMmini?

Posted by Magic Rabbits in Aberdeen, Scotland on September 22, 2005 at 3:51 AM (PDT)

15

I agree FlatResponse (your nick obviously goes against your preference). I use the ER4S too, and I have to agree that perfectly flat response is not really desired in a lot of cases in headphone design.

Posted by RayT on September 22, 2005 at 6:49 AM (PDT)

16

Ray, yes I admit it…I do deviate at times. I’d prefer it not get around however…

Oops…guess I let that kitty out of the bag big time. smile

Posted by flatline response on September 24, 2005 at 8:52 AM (PDT)

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