At a Glance
Altec Lansing's $149 inMotion, a portable speaker unit for the iPod, is arguably the coolest iPod accessory on the market.
About the size of a paperback book when folded shut (8.0 by 5.4 by 1.2 inches), this device is easy to tote around, and it weighs just less than a pound. If you're traveling, you can set it on a nightstand and use the iPod's Alarm Clock feature to turn it into a musical alarm clock.
The unit's four 1-inch speakers deliver surprisingly good sound. But while the inMotion's MaxxBass technology delivers excellent bass, Apple's bundled iPod headphones offer crisper, more-balanced audio overall. For example, when the inMotion blasts out rock tunes, a snare drum or tambourine occasionally sounds too loud. The inMotion sports a built-in docking connector, so it works best with docking iPods. When connected to AC power and your Mac, it can serve as a complete dock replacement, automatically charging your iPod and syncing it with your Mac's iTunes library, iCal calendar, and Address Book. (The inMotion can get power from the supplied AC adapter -- a clunky-looking unit -- or from four AA batteries.) It also works with earlier iPods via its auxiliary input, but the recharging and synchronizing features work only with docking iPods.
Macworld's Buying Advice
Altec Lansing has created an impressive product that pairs seamlessly with Apple's docking iPod. If you're looking for external speakers to use with your iPod, look no further than the inMotion.