Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Portable Sound Laboratories iMainGo
- Good design, compatible with all iPods, Alarm feature.
- Nothing to speak of.
The Portable Sound Laboratories iMainGo is a cheap portable speaker system that will suit people on a budget that also crave superior audio quality.
Price$ 129.00 (AUD)
Sometimes you just want to turn on your iPod and do the dishes, or exercise your green thumb in the garden to while listening to your favourite tunes. The iMainGo from Portable Sound Laboratories frees you from your headphones and offers audio via two small speakers on the outer chassis.
The iMainGo is essentially a hard case for your iPod with a built in speaker. It's not a revolutionary product and it won't win any design awards but the sound astounding for what it is, especially when you consider the bevy of poor speaker systems on the market.
Devices like this are generally not renowned for their superior audio quality but the iMainGo is the exception to the rule. We tested the speakers using a wide range of audio sources and different music genres to see how well they stood up under different conditions. At low to moderate volumes, the speakers performed beautifully. There was no lack of bass or treble and the mid tones were excellent. At this volume, they were still better than many other speaker systems we have reviewed.
We expected the sound to degrade severely at higher levels but even when loud, the iMainGo, still delivers rich, distortion-free audio. The only time we experienced any distortion was when we turned the volume on our MP3 player to full. However, the distortion we experienced at this volume level was only a minor buzz in the speakers and as such was somewhat forgivable.
To use the iMainGo, your iPod needs to be inserted into the specially designed backing plate which is then placed inside the case and strapped down to avoid any movement. The backing plate comes with black foam inserts which you can use to make it compatible with the iPod nano (2nd Generation) and iPod shuffle (1st Generation) as well. Unfortunately, there isn't enough foam supplied to fit the iPod shuffle (2nd Generation).
The face of the iPod can be accessed through a clear plastic window on the outer chassis allowing navigation, but the plastic is a little thick and can frustratingly hinder use of the touch sensitive iPod scroll wheel.
The iMainGo is powered by four AAA batteries (not included). The power switch can also be set to ALM mode which stands for "alarm". When in ALM mode, the device remains switched off until it receives a signal from your iPod. When the alarm on the iPod goes off, the unit comes to life while blaring the song of choice at your slumbering eardrums. This can also be used as a battery conservation setting as well, since the unit will power down between songs.
This is easily one of the best speaker systems on the market. The audio quality is top notch and will work well in most situations. Those needing a cheap speaker solution will find this product a godsend especially considering the high quality to cost ratio.
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