I just purchased the inMotion system and I would agree with this reviewer the sound quality is quite good and the protability is fabulous. That combination works very well for me.

Edit by Jeremy Horwitz, March 2005: iPodlounge has deleted a collection of negative and derogatory comments from "audiogeek" on our site, which we discovered have been posted by a writer for competing publications. As he has trolled and posted obnoxious comments in a number of threads, picking fights with our readers and editors, he has been banned from the site, and we strongly oppose his repeated mischaracterizations of various products and our editorial opinions. This comments thread was affected by his posts, and has therefore been modestly edited. If any of the other comments below do not make sense in the context of these deletions, we apologize.

Posted by Blusdrumer on January 14, 2004 at 7:46 AM (PDT) Comment 1

"the lack of volume adjustment on the iPod dock connector’s line out seriously impedes full enjoyment of any external speaker solution."

No, no, no. You don't understand the purpose of the line-out featurer. The whole point is that it's unamplified, so that an external amplifier (in this case inside the speaker unit) can do the amplification. The iPod's internal headphone amplifier circuit is not high quality (and neither are those of its competitors). So if you want to listen to high quality headphones through an amplifier using the iPod as a source, or if you want to use the iPod to play through your home stereo system, the unamplified line-out feature significantly improves the sound quality!

Otherwise, an excellent and accurate review. I own this product and it never occurred to me that it could function well outside, like at a picnic. But I will definitely take it on my next camping trip intead of my boom box now that you have planted the idea in my head!

Posted by johnnylighton on January 14, 2004 at 1:35 PM (PDT) Comment 2

Brief addendum to my post:

- I don't think Apple could have implemented a volume control on the line-out without using the iPod's (pre-)amplifier circuit, which would diminish the quality compared to the pure line-out.
- I forgot about the battery life on my 3G iPod. So much for the camping trip.

Posted by johnnylighton on January 14, 2004 at 1:45 PM (PDT) Comment 3

Please disregardy my amplifier comment. I jumped in without thinking it through first. Sorry! (I wish there were are way to edit the comment posts.)

Posted by johnnylighton on January 14, 2004 at 2:20 PM (PDT) Comment 4

so , would we bring this to the beach?
I mean - i gotta have one of these but what are doing about sand and such?

Posted by Daddo on January 14, 2004 at 4:46 PM (PDT) Comment 5

also, what stores are these in?

Posted by daddo on January 14, 2004 at 4:55 PM (PDT) Comment 6

Daddo: You can't keep sand out of it entirely. If you had to bring it, put it on a towel and keep it in a plastic bag/the suede carrying case for protection. See Amazon and the Apple store to find them.

Audio Geek: I understand your point (and have been following discussions on this topic for some time), but we still feel that audio output from a future iPod's dock connector should have digital volume control of some sort. Whether this is accomplished merely through a pass-through for peripherals that triggers the peripherals' digital amplifier volume, or something else, I leave to your imagination. But the point is that only one port (the headphone input) on the iPod currently can control the volume, and that volume control feature is nearly useless for this peripheral, amongst others. Unnecessarily so.

Posted by Jeremy on January 14, 2004 at 6:29 PM (PDT) Comment 7

Great review! And the price point is not all that bad...

However, I think audio geek is right on. Look at rack CD player components. In the rear are the line outs, which goto an amp, and from the amp you have speakers attached. In the front, many CD players will have a headphone jack and volume control, eliminating the need for an amp (because it has a dinky internal one).

Just like an iPod.

The same thing occurs with many computer CD-roms as well; having a volume control and headphone jack in front, and connecting to soundcard (aka "line out") in back.

Apple did good with adding line out to iPods.

Personally, I would snatch this baby up if A.Lansing had put in an IR remote system controlling the volume. It is the failure of A.Lansing, not Apple, for not spending an extra $10 for this feature. Perhaps in version 2.


Posted by ~cQ on January 14, 2004 at 11:50 PM (PDT) Comment 8

Good review! Something I've been waiting for.

?will the firewire connector power the speakers also? or just the ipod, meaning you'd have to use two power cords?

Posted by alexcue on January 15, 2004 at 9:34 AM (PDT) Comment 9

One other thing to remember: There is actually a strip of plastic connecting the bottoms of the two speakers when unfolded. This isn't obvious from the photos, as they usually also show a docket ipod, which hides the plastic. The plastic supports the back of the ipod and also turns the speakers into an individual unit, instead of two independently swiveling ones.

The downside is that if you have any kind of ipod case, such as the iskin, simply pulling back the case to expose the dock won't work, as the case will bunch up behind the ipod and then hit the plastic backing. I guess with enough repositioning you could perhaps get the ipod to dock this way, but it was too much trouble for me to try. I just remove the iskin whenever I need to use it.

It's not too much of a big deal, but it irks me, since the apple store I bought it at didn't have one on display, and the salesgirl was "pretty sure" the space behind the dock was clear.

Posted by ilander on January 15, 2004 at 6:53 PM (PDT) Comment 10

Audio Geek - I know you're adamant, but re-read the last two paragraphs. Yes, we said the exact same thing about the NaviPod up there. And asked Apple for a "pass through" for volume controls so that a remote like the NaviPod could actually control the volume of the external speakers rather than the iPod. There's no controversy here.

cQ - Same comment, generally. We can't realistically ask/penalize every speaker maker to include an IR port and a remote control, but we can ask Apple to make sure that "volume control" really means "volume control" no matter what the iPod is plugged into. We don't think it'll appear in a firmware update to this generation of iPods, but pass-through controls to enable the next generation NaviPod to digitally signal volume adjustments to attached peripherals would be much smarter than what's being done now. (Note Belkin's auto kit has the same problem - use the amplifier but a separate knob controls its volume.) In the name of simplicity, a smart volume control feature that dynamically determines what's plugged in would save everyone a lot of grief.

Alex: I think it's AC power or batteries for the speakers, Firewire juice for the iPod only.

Posted by Jeremy on January 15, 2004 at 6:55 PM (PDT) Comment 11

ilander: Yeah, as the review noted briefly near the end, the only way to effectively use it with an iSkin is to cover up the dock. Getting the iPod to work with virtually any type of car mount/dock without prying part of the iSkin off is a recurring problem for me - I suspect the inherent "cheapness" (ha ha) and matte finish on the iPod mini will make people less concerned about exterior scratch protection soon enough.

Posted by Jeremy on January 15, 2004 at 7:01 PM (PDT) Comment 12

I just have to comment this. Of course we want a real line-out as on normal portable cd-players but isn't there a way to alter the volume _before_ the line out?

You can set the individual volume (adjustment) on every song you have on the iPod for purpose to "nomalize" the volume. Couldn't you also add an adjustable volume for _all_ outputs, incl. line out?

Just a thought smile

Posted by Raven on January 16, 2004 at 2:14 AM (PDT) Comment 13

How about a line out AND a variable out on the dock? Just a thought grin

Posted by jackson on January 16, 2004 at 9:25 AM (PDT) Comment 14

Audio Geek: Geez. I don't know what else there is to say about this, but we're only asking that the dock connector act as a pass through to _digitally control the second volume on peripherals' amplifiers_. We're not asking anyone to compromise volume settings on your beloved line out. grin Didn't realize this would touch such a nerve.

And regarding your second comment, users can't connect both the headphone output and dock output to inMotion at the same time and properly control volume via the remote control. No one's trying to get rid of the dock output - we're just proposing to get the volume control to work right. grin

Posted by Jeremy on January 16, 2004 at 9:47 AM (PDT) Comment 15

Are there any XP users out there with an ipod and these fab little inMotion speakers? I can't get the passthru feature to work as a dock. The apple dock works fine-ipod shows up as a hard drive, Itunes opens. But when i use the inMotion-"unknown USB device"

also- there is a line out AND a variable. Is 3 inches to the top of the ipod too far?

Posted by gav on January 16, 2004 at 9:57 AM (PDT) Comment 16

gav... I never tryed using my speakers with my computer till reading your post. I use mine to travel with and on my nightstand to use while going to sleep. I hooked them up to my laptop via firewire with windows xp and was able to use it just like the dock. I deleted music and added music, as well as made a playlist.

Posted by Del Griffith on January 16, 2004 at 11:36 AM (PDT) Comment 17

Del- that's what i was afraid of.It's a bit of firewire magic us USB users don't have, I guess. You are lucky to have a firewire port on your XP laptop. Far and away most current PC laptops have two USB 2 ports and no firewire. I was out on boxing day spending another 40 bucks on apple's clever three headed wire harness.
any one else?
Ipod-XP-USB-inMotion ?

Posted by gav on January 16, 2004 at 1:10 PM (PDT) Comment 18

I don't have a firewire port on my laptop... I put one of the belkin cards in the slot ( sorry about the non technical name) and use my regular ipod power adapter so that I can charge while making playlists and such.Thanks to the inmotion speakers..I can charge the ipod with them. I couldn't believe how fast the charge would go down when I didn't have power while synching therefore I had to get the firewire card. Works great for about $60.

Posted by Del Griffith on January 17, 2004 at 1:05 AM (PDT) Comment 19

I just purchased the inMotion speakers for my 10GB iPOD. I really like the portability of the unit and the sound is great. However, I am having a problem when using the inMotion as a dock to my iMac running OS-10.2.8. My itunes keeps hanging up and then this problems spreads to my desktop. When I disconnect the iMotion and go directly to my iPOD with Firewire, then everything is fine. Anyone else having these issues and is there a fix?

Posted by Mark on January 17, 2004 at 8:41 AM (PDT) Comment 20

I also couldn't synch with USB with XP. "Unknown USB device". I called Altec Lansing tech support and they were clueless to the problem and told me they would get back to me. That was a week ago. I do have a firewire card and it works fine with it. I would, however, prefer to synch with USB since it is built in to my laptop and I don't have to take out the firewire card everytime. Any solutions out there?

Posted by mazoo222 on January 18, 2004 at 7:36 AM (PDT) Comment 21

Does anyone know if the inMotion box running on its 4 AA batteries will actually charge the iPods internal battery in addition to powering the speakers?

That could be a deal breaker in the field.

Thanks in advance

Posted by TS on January 18, 2004 at 10:27 AM (PDT) Comment 22

Am thinking about getting these, they look fantastic. Anybody know if these speakers will work internationally, i.e. 110-240 support??? thank you.

Posted by Musadiq on January 19, 2004 at 5:32 PM (PDT) Comment 23

Has anyone compared these against the Sony SRS-T77 Personal Travel Speakers? I own the latter, but I amabout to give them to a friend of mine and buy the Altec's.

Is this a bad idea? Please let me know your thoughts.


Posted by Paul Ruffin on January 20, 2004 at 7:39 AM (PDT) Comment 24

Paul, do you not like the Sony? I was hovering between the Altec and the Sony. My entire home system is Sony and I love it. I've seen the Altecs in person and liked them. Sony I've seen only online.

Posted by Jess on January 20, 2004 at 5:00 PM (PDT) Comment 25
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