Altec Lansing iMT620 inMotion Classic Portable iPod Dock with Rechargeable Battery and FM Tuner

267 of 270 people found the following review helpful: Brilliant re-engineering of an already outstanding product., September 1, 2009 This review is from: Altec Lansing iMT620 inMotion Classic Portable iPod Dock with Rechargeable Battery and FM Tuner (Electronics)

When you have a product as strong as the Altec Lansing inMotion iM600 USB-Charging Portable Speaker System with FM Receiver for iPod (Black) you’ll be forgiven, particularly in a niche market such as this, for leaving well enough alone and letting a good thing ride in the marketplace. instead, Altec Lansing has clearly listened to those who bought the iM600, and re-engineered the product as the iMT620 addressing virtually all the concerns, while also raising the bar where there were few if any complaints.

Right out of the box, in contrast to the 600, the 620 is a sleeker unit. Gone is the high gloss black bezel that looked great but would forever show fingerprints around the buttons. while the 620 weighs in a scant 6 ounces heavier than the 600, it has a lower profile than its predecessor by nearly two inches. Portability is clearly one of the areas of improvement, as the 620 is now supported by its own full-width handle, a feature the 600 lacked, as it was supported on a hinge by the part of the device that served as the dock. Which is to say that when you plugged your iPod or iPhone into the 600, and sat it down on an uneven surface, the iPod could move and bump up against the front face of the 600. The dock in the 620 is set into a fixed recess, meaning once your iPod/iPhone is in place, it’s secure. Another obvious change is the antenna — the 620′s extends nearly a foot higher and is of much sturdier construction, which translates (from my own experience) to much crisper, sharper, and clearer reception from local radio stations.

Much can be said about the audio quality, but subjectivity and a lack of a baseline make it difficult to be precise. as a starting point, I will say that the sound quality (given the small size of the device) is exceptional for both the 600 and the 620. that said, the 620 is audibly superior by a perceptible margin on a number of fronts. Deeper is the base, less tinny is the overall sound, more natural are the vocals. again, however, it’s important to note that these aren’t slights towards the 600, but rather areas in which the 620 has improved upon what’s already good in the previous model. You’re not going to close your eyes and confuse the audio for something that would come out of a pair of Martin Logan speakers hooked up to a top-end tuner and amp; what you are going to get is sound quality that will very likely exceed your expectations based on the size of the unit. You just don’t expect that depth and range of sound from such a small device. I set the 600 and the 620 side by side, and played different types of music through each in a direct comparison. Andrea Bocelli, Wu-Tang Clan, nine Inch Nails, The Doors — each (while offering very different ‘needs’ for play-back) performed well on the 600, but on the 620 sounded more ‘natural,’ for lack of a better word.

The remote, a feature largely ignored on my 600, may be one of the best improvements. no longer do you have to use the iPhone/iPod itself to find the song you want, the remote is complete with menu controls, and you can control the music storage device from a distance right on its own screen. obviously this is a bigger deal for those devices (like the iPhone 3G/3Gs) that have larger screens, but it is highly convenient.

Depending on the volume, the internal lithium battery will hold a full charge for about 5 hours. while it will not charge your iPhone/iPod while running on batteries (this is simply a matter of voltage), you really wouldn’t want it to anyway, as that would dramatically reduce the play life of the device off-power.

I have few complaints, and those that I do have are minor. First, there are little adapters that click into place on the port so that the slim body of an Apple iPod nano 8 GB Black (4th Generation) NEWEST MODEL (for example) will be as properly supported as a full-sized iPhone 3G/3Gs. Once that particular adapter clicks into place, it’s not the easiest or quickest thing to remove. as my wife has a Nano, and I have a 3Gs, and we’ll use each device in the 620 at different times, we’re going to have to figure out the best way to handle that, one that doesn’t involve prying it out with the tip of a knife. perhaps we’re just over-looking something obvious. Another wish is that you could pre-set radio stations, but that is the weakest of concerns, given how quick and easy I found it to hop back and forth between them.

Wrapping up, the iMT620 has greatly improved upon the iM600. Enough so, that for many it may well be worth the upgrade even if you already own the latter. For those interested in a…

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Altec Lansing iMT620 inMotion Classic Portable iPod Dock with Rechargeable Battery and FM Tuner

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