My dad is getting married in a few months, and the ceremony is
to be held outside far from a power outlet. He wanted to play some
music at the ceremony, but there was no way to run any kind of
power lead to a set of speakers. This is where my hunt began for
the perfect set of portable speakers.
My requirements were simple. The speakers needed to be
reasonably compact, battery powered, have excellent sound at high
volumes and be reasonably priced. After a fair bit of searching on
Google (that’s were it always begins doesn’t it :D) and looking at
several different models, I came across the Altec Lansing IM7 and
the Logitech mm50. The IM7’s were knocked out almost immediately
because they were quite expensive at well over AU$300. We may have
bought them if I hadn’t come across the mm50.
After reading a few reviews, the Logitech mm50 seemed to fit the
bill perfectly. They were very small, had a built-in lithium
rechargeable battery (which is much preferred over AA or D cells),
had excellent sound and could be picked up for less than AU$200. I
managed to find them for AU$169, and had my local electronics store
match the price.
The box was well presented, showing pictures of the speaker
system, as well as a description of its capabilities on the back,
and the contents of the box on the side. The box also carries the
“Made for iPod” stamp of approval from Apple.
Inside the box you will find the speakers, an AC adaptor
(100-240V for worldwide usage), a small remote control, a carry
case, the manual and adaptors for the various dock connector iPods.
The white box on the right had the AC adaptor in it. The speakers
come stowed in the case. Makes sense, since the case is supposed to
The whole package screams Apple, as everything except the carry
case is white (then again Apple do black these days too). The AC
adaptor resembles standard Apple AC adaptors as well!
There are three adaptors included to suit the slimier full-size
iPod’s (like the 30GB Video I have), the iPod mini and iPod nano.
This ensures that your iPod fits snugly in the dock, and doesn’t
bend too far back on the connector. For users of the “fat” iPod’s,
like the 60GB Video and Photo, you don’t need to insert an
The adaptors slide in easily, and lock in using two
The small included remote has 7 membrane-style buttons for
controlling Power, Play/Pause, Next/Previous Track, Volume and the
3D setting. The remote works fine, but the range is fairly limited.
The remote needs to be pointed directly at the speakers to work.
The receiver in located under the grill on the right speaker (see
the black circle at the top on the right of the picture above). But
the remote does its job so I am not concerned about it. If a strong
remote is a “must have” feature, then you will have to look
elsewhere, but you would be missing out big time 😀
On the back of the speakers there is a power port, dock
connector passthrough and 3.5mm input. The dock connector
passthrough lets you connect a sync cable to your computer, turning
the speakers into a fantastic iPod dock! When connected to power,
the speakers will also charge your iPod. Fantastic!
I tried connecting my iPod Radio Remote to the connector to see
if I could get the radio to come through the speakers, but it would
appear not all of the 30-pins on the dock connector get passed
through. Never mind!
On the bottom are two metal flip-out legs that support the
speaker dock when standing up. They seem very sturdy, and have
little rubber feet on them to prevent scratching of the surface of
whatever the speakers are sitting on. By folding away, they make
the speakers much smaller for carrying, instead of having some kind
of support protruding all the time.
The included case is of excellent quality, is perfect for
carrying the speakers around and protecting them from bumps and
scratches. I wouldn’t count on it protecting them from a great
fall, but I doubt there are any cases that could do that. There is
a slot for storing the remote control as well.
On top of the speakers are four rubberised buttons for
controlling power, 3D effect and Volume. The Power light has three
colours (blue, red and purple; wonder how they make purple!) for
indicating AC status, battery level (either high or low, nothing in
between) and charging. The 3D effect illuminates when it is active.
The sound is far better with 3D enabled, so I wouldn’t recommend
One word sums up the sound quality of these speakers:
OUTSTANDING! I would have never thought
that such a small speaker system could produce such beautiful and
true sound. Treble is beautiful, and bass is rich. With the
speakers sitting on a granite bench top, you can feel the base in
the wooden floor below. Even at maximum volume good quality MP3s do
not distort. Don’t take that to mean that the maximum volume is
low, because it certainly isn’t! The volume is excellent for even a
medium sized room. In the room shown below, the sound fills the
room completely, without any distortion. The speakers could easily
fill an even larger room.
One of the biggest selling points (to me anyway) was the
built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery. That is soooooo much
better than using a heap of AAs or Ds. Simply connect the included
AC adaptor, and within a few hours you will have about 10hrs of
music (not to mention a charged iPod :D). In my testing, the
battery easily got me over 7hrs of playback, which makes me very
happy. The only issue I can see with the battery is that it is
internal, and not user-replaceable, so when it dies you will have
to hunt for either a 3rd-party replacement or go after
Overall I am extremely happy with my purchase. The speakers do
exactly what I want of them, and they do it very well. The
excellent sound quality, coupled with a small size, rechargeable
battery and low price makes this an excellent buy for anyone with
an iPod looking to pump out sound tunes loud and proud. Even if you
don’t have an iPod, they would make great speakers for other
devices using the 3.5mm input jack on the back. Not as easy and
integrated, but for the quality and price they are unbeatable!
My iPod Video (with DecalGirl skin) sitting proudly in the mm50