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Altec Lansing has brought back the "boom-box" style stereo system in a new modern age design. The inMotion Classic portable stereo not only serves as an iPhone and iPod dock, it also has a built in FM tuner, and an adjustable handle. Now, by "boom-box" style stereo I mean the big boxes seen in the 70s and 80s being carried around on shoulders or their handles, by people listening to the loud music and going with the beat in the street. The inMotion Classic resembles that same design and use pattern. It is just a bit more updated for today's world.
Now you might think, "boom-box" style, well no one is going to be walking about carrying these in today's world. That may be true but it's still a good design concept on Altec Lansing's part. The versatile handle also serves as a "kick-stand" for flat surface playback. The design is great, clean and simple, with an all black mesh screen to protect the speakers and a silver border and handle to make the Classic blend in with almost any environment. The handle also allows for easy transport and carrying around of the Classic to anywhere you or your listening party goes. It gets power from a built-in rechargeable battery.
On the front is an LCD display that shows a multitude of information depending on what input you have playing. Apart from providing the source selected, and the volume level, the high-contrast LCD also shows track, artist, album (provided all this information is encoded to the song playing) and the FM radio station playing in scrolling text. The Classic also comes with a full function remote that, just like a lot of Altec's new sound docks, has it's own remote cubby in the back for storing the remote when not in use. On the back there is also an AUX in port for plugging in other media players as well.
The drivers of the Classic offer optimum sound output free of mobile phone interference. They use Altec Lansing's Audio Alignment technology and interference free technology.
Now it's a good thing that the company designed the Classic to be immune from the buzzing or static interference caused by mobile phones, especially since this device is marketed toward iPhone users. With iPhones in mind the Classic also has a music pause feature that pauses music when a call is received.
Playback on the Classic is amazing for the price of entry. Highs and mids are well represented, but because of the lack of a subwoofer lows were a little on the shallow side. Shallow reproduction on lows is to be expected on a sound dock because it's lack of a sub, and besides if you want house rocking bass play your music on another audio system, like Altec's MIX which features a 5.25" subwoofer. The FM tuner is clean and selective, by clean I mean it tunes into stations well where other tuners wouldn't, and by selective I mean that when it's tuned to the static of empty stations it doesn't play the noise back at you.
As far as controlling the Classic there is the included full-featured remote that along with playback and volume controls has full functionality for scrolling your iPod menus as well as your four FM station presets. But the great feature of the remote is the use of the P1-P4 buttons while playing back music from your iPod or iPhone. During those play back times the P1 button serves as a shuffle on/off selector, the P2 button serves as a repeat all/song/off, and the P3 and P4 buttons, from what I can tell, act like the shake to shuffle feature on the accelerometer equipped iPods. All of these features are displayed both on the iPod display as well as the LCD on the dock itself. Altec offers some pretty great features from just a remote alone. All the buttons on the remote besides power, playback controls, volume controls, and the P1-P4 buttons, there are source, ESS, and an all welcome Mute button! I would have to say the inclusion of a mute button is a much welcome addition to a sound dock that has FM capabilities.
Included in the box are the sound dock itself, remote, AC adapter, some documentation and two dock adapters for the iPhone and iPod touch and an adapter for the iPod Nano starting with the nanochromatic series of nanos. The packaging is very eco-friendly as well, made primarily of recycled materials and carries both the three arrow, and the green dot recycling symbols.
With the versatile stand and handle, the fully-featured remote and great sound dock the Altec Lansing inMotion Classic iM620 is a great buy for a $149.99 USD MSRP. If you want great, room-filling sound, a full feature set and a very portable sound dock then the Classic is for you.
Altec Lansing inMotion Classic iM620
Joshua Virata is a 2008 graduate of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA. He has been using computers since the age of 2 and is proficient in the areas of home wired and wireless networking, music creation, secure computing, cell phone communication and GPS navigation. You can email him at [email protected]