Altec Lansing inMotion iM600 Digital Speaker System for iPod

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Are you in the market for an iPod speaker system that is both portable, rechargeable and has a built-in FM radio? I’m going to tell you about Altec Lansing’s inMotion iM600 Digital Speaker System for iPod that happens to fit that criteria quite well.

Altec Lansing has been making speakers for computers and home theater systems for many years now. So I was expecting the iM600’s to be have above average build and sound quality.

Package Contents

iM600 speaker system
AC adapter
IR remote
3 iPod size adapters
User guide

The inMotion iM600 is made of shiny Black plastic, with a Black metal mesh speaker grill that covers almost the entire face of the device. This speaker system folds flat for transport as you can see in the image above. A button in the middle of the face allows the iPod dock and support stand to unfold when pressed.

Back view of the folded system. The speaker is 11 inches wide, 1.7 inches deep and 6 inches high and weighs 2.1 pounds.

When you press the unfold button, the dock folds down. Included with the iM600 are 3 adapters so that you can use this system with iPods that have a universal dock connector on the bottom. This includes the iPod nano, iPod video, iPod mini and even the new iPhone. The iPhone does complain that the iM600 is not compatible with it, but it seems to work just fine for listening to audio.

The flip out dock has an On/Off power button and volume -/+ adjustment buttons. The power button is surrounded by a Blue LED that lights up when the speakers are on.

There are also 4 small buttons along the top edge of the speaker. There is a source button, SFX, and Prev / Next track buttons. The Source button allows you to switch between the iPod, FM radio and Auxiliary input. The SFX button turns on the Stereo Field Expander feature. SFX makes the speakers sound farther apart than they really are. When it is turned on, it makes music sound really good. Not sure why they don’t just have it always on and do away with the button though… The Prev / Next track buttons work as you would expect.

A small backlit LCD located on the top face of the speaker shows the current source (iPod, FM, or AUX) and battery capacity status. Whenever you press a button on the iM600, the LCD will light up for a few seconds.

This speaker system is nice and compact, which allows it to fit easily in small spaces.

When the dock / stand is flipped open, various connection points are exposed on the back of the speaker. There is a 3.5mm AUX in jack, subwoofer out jack, power jack, composite video out and mini USB. With the auxiliary jack you can use the iM600 as an external speaker for other audio devices (MP3 players, CD players, etc.). The subwoofer out jack is for connecting the optional subwoofer designed specifically for the iM600. With the composite video out jack, you can show your iPod’s photos and videos through your television. I tested this with my iPod video, which worked fine. This feature didn’t work at all with the iPhone though.

I’m not sure what the mini USB jack is for. Nothing is mentioned about it in the included user guide or the product page on Altec Lansing’s web site.

The built-in FM radio is adequate as far as reception goes. You can save 4 channel presets using the small IR remote included with the speaker.

The iM600 is a portable system and has rechargeable Li-ion batteries that are rated for 7 hours of continuous play. From my testing, I found this to be pretty accurate. If you prefer to just leave the system plugged into an outlet, your iPod’s batteries will be charged while it is docked.

As far as portability, it’s just too bad that a carrying case isn’t included to help protect the system when you’re transporting it.

Regarding sound quality, the inMotion iM600 sounds surprisingly good for such a small system. The dual 2-inch neodymium drivers are optimized for high-frequency extension and you can crank the volume up significantly before the quality of the sound degrades. The volume level goes from 1 up to 40. I tend to listen at a setting of 15 which easily fills a small room with good full sound. At around 30, the speakers start to vibrate and the sound quality gets pretty bad.

One thing I did notice is that if you put your ear up to the speakers, you will hear a hiss in the background of very low music and definitely when the iPod is paused. You don’t notice this hiss while music is playing, so it didn’t really bother me.

All in all, I do like the inMotion iM600 Digital Speaker System for iPod. It’s a nice compact system, that is very easy to use and has above average sound.


Product Information

Manufacturer:Altec Lansing
Retailer:Altec Lansing
  • Apple iPod, iPod mini, iPod nano
  • Compact / portable
  • Good sound quality
  • Charge's iPod's batteries while plugged into AC power
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Background hiss

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22 thoughts on “Altec Lansing inMotion iM600 Digital Speaker System for iPod”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. I’m waiting for speakers that work with the iPhone. I assume these don’t, or Altec Lansing would say so.

  3. yacitus:

    Actually they do work with the iPhone (I even mentioned that fact in the review) 🙂 Although the iPhone complains that the speakers are not compatibile, they work just fine. The only feature that does not work is the video out feature for displaying photos and videos on a TV.

  4. I apologize for not reading your review more carefully.

    So aside from the video out feature, everything works with the iPhone, including all the buttons and the remote?

  5. yacitus:

    I just retested for you to make sure I remembered correctly and yes, the buttons on the speaker (power, play/pause, track prev/next) work as expected while the iPhone is docked. Same goes for matching buttons on the IR remote. 🙂

  6. I’m looking for something I can dock my Iphone in and using an App use the dock as a wake-up device….will this work? I imagine I have to leave the dock standby or on, but will this create noise (that will be irritating during sleep)? tnx for your advise!

  7. lars:

    I wouldn’t recommend this particular product for that task because it has a hissing noise when the unit is on, but not playing audio. Why don’t you just use the built in clock application on your iPhone (or download one of the many clock / alarm apps from the app store) and allow it to wake you with it’s own built in speaker?

  8. Shoes:

    I no longer have this speaker, but you should be able to use a little elbow grease to pull it out. If you can’t wedge your fingers in the dock and pull the adapter out, you might try getting a really thin blade (like a putty knife) and wedge it under the edge of the adapter to pry it up.

  9. thanks for all the good info, but you don’t say anything about the remote. my remote is not working i want to know what is wrong with it

  10. I also put in the wrong adapter at first. to get it out I just jimmied a knife into the outer edge of the adapting piece and popped it out no problem.

  11. Hi, “The subwoofer out jack is for connecting the optional subwoofer designed specifically for the iM600” is in your review, but I have been unable to find a model or part # or any info where to order from. Please and thank you. 🙂 Rico

  12. Hi! This is really a very cool device. Only thing is that, when I first had it, it actually charges my Iphone too! I was pretty happy until like the second week. I love pandora app on my iphone and would always have it played on it without worrying my iphone battery would die because as ive said,, it charges my phone as well. Until i noticed yesterday that it no longer charge my phone. Did you ever hear of the same issue? I mean my phone still works on it but it does not charge it anymore. That’s pretty sad. 🙁 I have no knowledge that the device is intended for ipod until i read the reviews. It was a gift from my husband and when i opened and tried it on my iphone it was really sweet! perfect!

  13. Hi,
    “The subwoofer out jack is for connecting the optional subwoofer designed specifically for the iM600″ I have not been unable to find a model or part # or any info where to order from. Help!


  14. Today I went to try the composite video feature of my im600, and discovered that there was no composite video output, in spite of the fact that the box and the users guide both claim that there is one. On the back, you can see a circular ridge in the plastic where the composite video output is supposed to be.

    Is my unit defective, or did Altec Lansing decide to eliminate this feature (as a cost reduction, perhaps)?

  15. The speakers are great… except for the annoying hiss. I thought I had a defective unit, until I read multiple reviews that acknowledge the hiss. It’s quite annoying if you plan to listen to music at a low volume at work.

  16. Hi there, can you tell me if this is like the IM3C and will work around the world on 110v and 240v? Need a product that will do that. Thanks!

  17. You asked about the mini USB it is for charging off your computer. It also charges off my Ipod 110v/ USB charger. and my lighter plug adapter that gives me 2X USB slots So I can also charge it from my car as well. When plugged into the mini USB it still charges my Iphone 3GS. This is really a great listening device ( except the hiss )

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