Altec Lansing iM11
- Design, Can be used as an iPod Dock, Auxiliary input
- Poor quality sound and lacking in bass
We just can’t recommend this speaker system. Look elsewhere, even at previous Altec Lansing models, because this one has missed the gun.
Price$ 169.95 (AUD)
It's yet another portable iPod speaker system, this time from well known manufacturer Altec Lansing. Sadly, we don't think the iM11 is up to scratch compared with previous units - its sound quality isn't the best.
This may sound a little harsh but considering their previous efforts, we expected much, much more from Altec Lansing. We really liked their two previous models, the iM5 and iM7. Unfortunately, the iM11 is well behind the pack.
In terms of design, the iM11 is fairly standard. Finished in iPod white (of course), the system is small and compact and utlises the fold out dock connector - just like the iM5. This is activated by pressing the large rectangular button in the middle of the front of the unit. Be careful though; the dock connector is extremely quick to open, so if your arms or hands are in the way, they'll quickly be hurt. There are two speakers on the front of the unit - both are covered with grey mesh speaker grilles.
The top of the iM11 features a power button surrounded by a glowing blue LED to signify power to the unit while there is also a sliding volume control. These are the only two controls on the unit, as the rest of the functions are operated directly through your iPod. The rear of the unit houses an auxiliary input, a USB port for connecting the iM11 to a PC or Mac for syncing and the "DC in" socket. The USB port means that using the provided USB cable, the iM11 can act as a dock to charge and update your iPod. This is a feature which we really appreciated and one that isn't seen in all of these types of devices.
According to the packaging, the iM11 provides an "amplified extension of your iPod that delivers high quality, crystal-clear sound". In actual fact, the sound quality is pretty poor to say the least and the bass in particular is lacking. Altec Lansing describes the use of MaxxBass technology, which is supposed to provide quality bass without a subwoofer. Unfortunately for them, this isn't the case and what we are left with is a speaker system with evident distortion. The clarity is below average, with an echo type sound given off on any tricky musical pieces.
It's a shame, because it would be an excellent unit if the sound quality was improved. With an auxiliary and USB port, all wrapped up in a neat and compact design, the iM11 could have been a hit.
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