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Speakers: one is app-enhanced, other takes calls

By Mark Baard
Globe Correspondent / October 17, 2011

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MOBILE AUDIO

Anyone who makes speakers wants us to enjoy what we hear when we flip the devices on. But some manufacturers are adding features that make them more like smart digital devices.

The slick iPhone and iPod dock, the inMotion iMT630, for example, is among those that can be app-enhanced.

Another pair of speakers, the iHome iDM15, takes phone calls.

The iMT630, from Altec Lansing (right), is a neatly designed model, with rounded edges that form a shape like a classic handbag, and it comes with a cradle dock for your mobile device. It’s powered by a rechargeable battery that should last for up to seven hours of play time.

You can also load up on free Altec Lansing apps that work with the speakers. Altec Lansing’s Music Mood App comes with an Ambient Sound library that will fill your apartment or home office with the sounds of mountain breezes, pine popping in a warm hearth, crashing waves - you get the idea.

The Music Mood App has a seven-band graphic equalizer with presets. You can also customize your output through the equalizer and save those settings for future use.

The Alarm Rock App is a digital alarm clock with a snooze button. The app allows you to choose songs from your iOS device you would like to wake up to.

The iMT630 has double two-inch drivers and comes in black, red, or teal. It has some built-in control buttons, a wireless remote control, and will cost you about $150.

The iHome iDM15 speakers, from SDI Technologies Inc., seem a bit less sophisticated than Altec Lansing’s device. You connect the rechargeable iDM15 to any smartphone or music player via Bluetooth. While there is no dock for your iPhone or iPad on either of the speakers, the pair comes with a travel case that doubles as a stand for the device.

The truly distinguishing feature of the iDM15 is that one of the speakers has a built-in microphone with buttons for answering and ending phone calls from your Bluetooth phone.

The iDM15 will cost you about $100.