Altec Lansing iM500 iPod speakers review

With the summer fast approaching you'll want to share your iPod's tunes in a hotel room, on the beach or at a picnic, so has the super thin updated iM500 speakers from Altec Lansing got what it takes to allow you to just that without adding too much to your luggage? We get listening to find out.

Updated to fit the new iPod nano design, the company describe the iM500 as "impossibly-thin" and Altec Lansing has created a speaker that is just that. The iM500 features a foldaway design and measures 21.5cm wide, 1.8cm deep and 12cm high making it similar in thickness to a DVD case making it incredibly easy to pack in your bag.

Pressing the single button on the front reveals the iPod stand at the front and a kick-out stand at the back. The front stand offers a power switch and volume control as well as the iPod dock, while the back reveals an DC power socket, AUX in and a USB socket so you can treat the speakers as a docking station for your iPod.

Simple and minimalist, there is no remote control instead leaving everything to be controlled via the iPod itself.

The speaker is powered either by a DC charger, included in the box (it also comes with a number of European adapters, ideal for travelling) or six AA batteries so you can ditch the power pack altogether.

Turn it on and the sound is loud enough to fill a hotel room or provide tunes around a campfire and surprisingly impressive considering the size of the unit.

We did experience slight distortion at the top end of the loudness scale, but nothing that overly affected our listening.

We tested the speakers with an iPod nano playing everything from The Killers to Prince and were happy with the performance throughout.

Verdict

The Altec Lansing might cost slightly more than your average portable iPod speaker, however the performance and size is worth the investment.

The only catch is that it doesn't come with a remote control nor is it likely to work with the bigger fatter iPods available. This is really only one for the nano (new and old).

That said if you're looking for a slim speaker system to pack on your travels this summer, this is worth checking out.