I spend a lot of time in my shop. At my house, the shop is more of a gathering place than the kitchen (a different story altogether). That being the case, my iPod, iPad and MacBook spend a lot of time there, too. As anyone with any of these electronics will tell you, the speakers leave something to be desired, especially in a noisy environment. That’s why I was thrilled with this little speaker. It packs a big punch in a little package.The iM237 (In Motion) from Altec-Lansing is a very affordable way to bring bigger sound to your small electronic devices. It runs on 3 AAA batteries and uses an 1/8” mini plug, so it can be used with portable games, as well.The speaker is very user-friendly. Just unpackage, install the batteries and plug it in. It has a small ON/OFF button that can be a little fussy if you have big fingers as I do, but other than that, there’s not much to mess with.
From a volume standpoint, the speaker adds several decibels to the standard output of the iPod or iPad. As a matter of fact, it’s recommended that you keep the volume of your device at only around 80%. Otherwise, distortion may occur. I can confirm this from personal experience. Even at that level, the sound emanating from this speaker is impressive and more than ample to be heard from a reasonable distance.
The battery life is decent, as well. Of course, it will vary depending on use, but I’ve changed mine only every few days, even with moderate to heavy use. The key is turning the speaker off when you’re not using it. That’s where the button size comes in. I have, on several occasions, thought I’d turned it off when in fact, my fat thumb didn’t depress it thoroughly. Keep an eye on that and you’ll be fine.
The iM237 comes with a nice zippered carrying case and the cord wraps neatly around the base, but I use mine so often that it rarely sees the inside of the pouch. There’s also a handy lanyard attached to the speaker. This is most often my storage option-of-choice. It hangs quite nicely from a pegboard hook over my workbench.
From a sturdiness standpoint, the speaker has performed more than adequately in my shop. While I do maintain a couple forms of dust-control, some dust is unavoidable, but hasn’t affected the iM237 in the least. I’ve even dropped it a couple of times with no apparent adverse affects.Here’s the good news: while I remember paying close to $40 for mine, it’s now available for less than half that. And even at $20, the iM237 is a portable speaker that more than pays for itself in a very short period of time. Check it out on Amazon.com.