The inMotion iM7 packs a LOT of punch. It has impressive sound and a heavy bass for its size. It also looks fantastic.
I decided to purchase the iM7 as I wanted a portable speaker system for my ipod, and this certainly does the job. So what is it like?
This is a synch to setup. There is a press touch door at the front which smoothly opens for you to insert your iPod in the intergrated ipod dock. There are various sized adaptors to fit the type of ipod you have. The power supply cable plugs in at the back of the machine. Time to set up and start playing was about 3 minutes.
It is styled as a tube, with white plastic and aluminium metal grills. In my opinion it looks very good indeed. However, if you're going to be carrying around you've got to be careful not to dent the metal grills. The layout at the back for power supply, auxiliary in etc is very well done, with a little shelf securely storing the remote control. The control buttons are placed unobtrusively on the top of the machine.
Excellent sound. Even in a large room, the system still managed to fill it with rich, clear sounds, and the bass is extremely strong. It can also play at very loud volumes with little or no distortion. Too many portable ipod systems have very weak bass, mainly due to their size and "flat" designs, but this is truly an exception and provides probably the best bass out of all the ones I tested before purchasing. The magnificent bass is courtesy of a 4-inch side-firing subwoofer and a 4-inch bass resonator. The clever tube design also helps maximise the bass response.
This unit is designed to be portable if you stock it up with 8 (yes 8!!!) D Size batteries (For those unsure which D-Size are, they're the largest of the standard cylindrical batteries). That is expensive and you only get about 6 hours of playing time out of them. It also adds significantly to the weight (almost 5 kg). Without the batteries it's much lighter and still portable in the sense that you can take it to your mates house and plug it into the mains.
There is a carrying handle on the back of the unit, but this is really only useful for moving it around a short distance as it is not the most ergonomically balanced place to have the handle. If you're going to carry it around a lot, invest in one of the specialised carrying cases. It fits snugly around the unit, looks great, has pockets at either end for power supply etc, and protects the metal grills.
Although the front door ensures your ipod doesn't fall out of the unit, it is a little bit awkward to take out and insert your ipod, especially if you're using one of the smaller nano versions. Also, sometimes the door doesn't click shut properly when closed. A small gripe but the door is probably the weakest point of the unit and I can foresee this being something which could break/wear out over time.
The buttons on the top are easy to use, but there is no display to indicate volume, bass or treble levels. Having this display would make it much easier to use, rather than just guessing if you've turned the bass all the way down (or up!).
The remote is easy to use, but the buttons could be a bit more responsive. It's also a line of site remote, so the remote has to be pointed at the unit to work. The remote has the tone controls on it - there are none on the unit itself. The remote also has skip forward/back buttons, but the remote cannot be used to navigate to different playlists. To do this you must use the scroll wheel on the ipod itself.
As it is integrated, the ipod is charged when in the dock.
If you don't have an ipod, there is also an auxiliary in connection at the back of the machine.
Fantastic sound, with one of the best bass responses on the market, fuller than the more expensive Bose SoundDock. There are number of small gripes and things which could be improved, but these to not really detract from the overall experience.