Review: Altec Lansing inMotion CLASSIC


I’ve never had a great iPod speaker.  I bought a cheap one at Kroger that didn’t last a month.  It also required you to have it hooked to the wall all the time which limited its use.  The inMotion CLASSIC that Altec Lansing sent me solves both the quality issues with my old speakers and let’s me be free of the wall.

While the inMotion CLASSIC isn’t the first speaker dock to have integrated batteries, it is my first one and that has to be my number one favorite feature of the inMotion CLASSIC.  If I want some music while I am outside working on my car or at the pool, I don’t have to worry about a electrical cord.  I can also carry it around the house with the convenient handle.  When you plug the inMotion CLASSIC in, it will charge its battery as well as your iPod’s battery.  Unplugged, you will get about 5 hours of audio from the inMotion CLASSIC according to Altec Lansing.


The inMotion CLASSIC comes with two dock inserts.  One for iPhone and one for the latest iPod Nano.  There is no adapter for the iPod Video or iPod Classic and no place to order inserts.  My iPod Video fits in the hole and works, but there is no adapter to keep it snug in the dock.  Just be careful moving it and you should be fine.

The inMotion CLASSIC comes with a remote control.  The remote can be used to control all the features of the iPod without having to touch the iPod in the dock.  This makes it easy for me to switch tracks from across the room and more.  There is even a little storage cubby in the back of the speaker for storing the remote.

inmotionclassic10This is the remote in it’s cubby.


Not far from the remote cubby are the built in controls.  Across the top you have power, source, volume buttons and forward and reverse controls.


The inMotion CLASSIC  has a display on the face of the speaker that will show you what mode the speaker is in, and while music is playing on the iPod, it will scroll the artist and song on the display.  This is much better than relying on the iPod’s screen as you likely won’t be able to read it from across a dark room.  I just wish the display was a little larger so it could show more information.

The inMotion CLASSIC also has a built in FM radio with 4 presets.  FM reception is excellent on the inMotion CLASSIC.  While radio seems to be on it’s way out, you still need one around for receiving emergency communications so it is nice to have one on this speaker dock.


The iPod and radio functions aren’t the only options when using this speaker.  You can also use the Aux input with any other audio source.  You won’t have the features of the iPod, but you will be able to use the speaker.  You could even hook a netbook up to this speaker since they generally have horrible speakers.

Sound quality was excellent on this speaker system, and volume levels are excellent all things considered.  You should have no problem getting enough volume to fill a big room.

Altec Lansing says this speaker will work with the iPhone.  If you get a call, it will pause the music so you can take it out of the dock to accept the call.  When your call ends, place it back in the dock and the music continues.

For those who use RockBox on their iPod, this speaker will work with Rockbox.  You won’t get all of the features of the dock with RockBox, but basic functionality works fine.  Even forward and reverse functions work fine with RockBox.  The menu functions do not work with RockBox, but that is a minor annoyance.

The inMotion CLASSIC is available for $112.39 from  That is considerably cheaper than the $149.95 MSRP.

I like the speaker and I thank Altec Lansing for allowing me to keep it.

What I liked: Integrated battery and the remote.
What needs improvement: It needs a bigger screen for scrolling the track information.

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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.