If you can't spend much, reviewers say the Altec Lansing inMotion Compact iMT320 is a good choice among budget iPod speakers. As its name suggests, the iMT320 is compact and easily portable, measuring only 9.5 inches wide and 4.7 inches tall. It's compatible with the iPhone and dock-connected iPods (older iPods can be connected via the 3.5 mm auxiliary input), and it can run for up to 24 hours on four AA batteries. Like most compact iPod speakers, the iMT320's sound quality can't match larger systems, but reviewers report that the sound is nice and loud, and note no distortions at high volumes. Bass is also decent.
On a negative note, the budget-friendly Altec Lansing inMotion Compact does lack some features you'll normally find on pricier iPod speakers. There's no remote, and few onboard controls other than volume. That means you'll have to use the iPod's menu if you want to skip tracks or pause a song. One of the biggest user gripes about the inMotion Compact is how it automatically resets to a mid-level volume every time you turn it on, no matter what volume setting it was at when switched off. If you can afford to spend more, experts say the Logitech Rechargeable Speaker S715i (*Est. $150) offers better sound quality and is a great value.
A number of professional sources review the Altec Lansing inMotion Compact, including CNET and Macworld. Both sources test the speakers and provide thorough, detailed reviews. We also found valuable reviews at AppleTell.com and CultOfMac.com, and a substantial number of user reviews on Amazon.com.
Our Sources: Altec Lansing iMT320 iPod Speaker Reviews
Jasmine France at CNET gives the Altec Lansing inMotion Compact a "very good" rating. Sound quality is good for a unit of this size but "does not reach stellar levels." She says the inMotion Compact iMT3o gets "shockingly loud" but there is no distortion at high volumes. However, France would prefer a rechargeable battery over the Compact's 4-AA battery requirement.
Review: Altec Lansing InMotion Compact iMT320 iPod Speakers, Jasmine France, May 18, 2010
The inMotion Compact earns a 4-mouse rating (out of 5) from Macworld. Lex Friedman likes the integrated case that doubles as a stand, and he is very impressed with the sound quality. He says this iPod speaker is a solid choice, even though it lacks some nice-to-have onboard controls.
Review: Altec Lansing inMotion Classic and Compact, Lex Friedman, May 14, 2010
The Altec Lansing inMotion Compact also receives a 4-star rating from AppleTell.com. Reviewer Kirk Hiner says that while the design is a bit basic and it lacks some features, it's a good buy.
Review: Appletell Reviews the Altec Lansing inMotion Compact Speaker System, Kirk Hiner, May 24, 2010
CultOfMac.com gives the inMotion Compact iMT320 a 4.5-star rating. Author Eli Milchman writes: "Always ready to romp, the inMotion Compact strikes the perfect balance between price, performance and portability." He also notes that the speakers resist distortion, even at very loud volumes.
Review: How Altec Lansing's inMotion Compact Became My Playful Little Dock Buddy, Eli Milchman, July 2, 2010
5. What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision
What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision magazine rates the Altec Lansing inMotion Compact at 3 stars out of 5. Editors like the unit's design, but feel that its sound quality falls short; they say the music sounds "tinny."
Review: Altec Lansing inMotion Compact, Editors of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision
The Altec Lansing inMotion Compact enjoys a 4-star average rating from more than 250 Amazon.com reviewers. Users are impressed with the speakers' portability and most say that the sound quality meets their needs, although some complain about how it resets to a default, mid-level volume level every time it's turned on.
Review: Altec Lansing IMT320 inMotion Compact iPod Speaker System, Contributors to Amazon.com