The Altec Lansing iM7 is a well designed speaker accessory that produces quality sound,but its inflated price might cause some buyers to consider alternative options.
- Stylish and unique design, Excellent sound quality, Charges your iPod while connected to power, Range of outputs
- Expensive, No nano compartment, Large and Heavy, No Display for bass and treble levels, Lack of controls on the unit itself
The iM7 is an excellent sounding unit that provides plenty of thumping bass, but at this price, there are a few factors which prevent it from ruling the roast.
Price$ 449.00 (AUD)
The iM7 is essentially a very large, cylinder shaped box, designed clearly to resemble the glorious days of the boom-boxes, which so many used to hoist on their shoulder to inflict their music on the rest of the world. Well, we're now firmly into the 21st century but this hasn't stopped Altec Lansing reinventing the old days, integrating its design into a portable speaker system for your iPod.
Keeping in line with the style that has made the iPod so famous, the iM7 is a sleek looking white and silver unit, which houses the iPod in an ejectable compartment on its front - similar to a cassette deck. The compartment houses any iPod with a dock connector, including the standard iPod, iPod Photo, iPod mini and iPod Video. A plastic insert is included for the mini, but the same courtesy is not extended to the nano. It can still be used with the iM7, but the nano won't sit in the compartment straight and feels awkward.
The iM7 is quite large, measuring 165mm x 165mm x 424mm and weighing a hefty 3.62 kilos. Still, despite its large nature, the unit does look quite attractive and has a solid feel. The top of the iM7 houses just Power and Volume buttons, as well as a blue LED light which signifies that the unit is connected to power, or running on batteries. Disappointingly, there is no room on the unit for bass and treble controls - these are located only on the small remote control provided.
Once you connect you iPod to the iM7, the unit will automatically charge the iPod, provided it is connected to power. It also runs on four D sized batteries, but we prefer the rechargeable batteries used in the Logitech mm50, as they are much more convenient and cost effective.
Sound quality was fairly impressive, and the unit was extremely loud at its highest setting. Those who enjoy heavy bass will be very pleased with this unit, as its pounding beats are very satisfying, especially in heavier music. Treble levels were above average and mid tones were good, although we did detect slight distortion on some tracks.
Despite its quality sound reproduction, the iM7 has a few faults which prevent it from being as good as it could have been. Firstly, there is no display for bass and treble levels, meaning you'll have to listen whilst adjusting these from the tiny remote control. In addition to this, track selection must be made on the iPod itself - the iM7 only houses Next Track and Previous Track on its controls and you can't skip between playlists without using the iPod controls. Finally, the remote control range isn't very good and quite often we found ourselves waving it frantically in the air in an attempt to use it.
Where the iM7 comes out on top is the inputs and outputs, which are lined up at the rear of the unit. There is an S-Video output, Composite output, DC-in, an Auxiliary input and a headphone jack. We're not exactly sure why a headphone jack is required, as you could just use your iPod without the system. The S-Video output means you can connect your iPod to a television through the iM7 to view videos and photos, which we think is quite a handy feature.
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