Altec Lansing inAir 5000 review

Easy to set up but unfortunately the bass is overblown Tested at £400

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The inAir promises much but delivers little


  • +

    Solid build

  • +

    impressive finish

  • +

    easy to setup


  • -

    Overblown bass

  • -

    sharp edges on remote

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The Altec Lansing inAir 5000 shouldn’t be taken lightly – quite literally, in fact. It’s a weighty unit, but it’s also no Neanderthal in the looks department: attractive touches such as the teardrop-esque side profile and brushed metal trim take it a step above the other docks in this test.

The accompanying remote control is reasonably solid-feeling, and boasts a similarly opulent trim and basic playback controls that respond with a confidence-inspiring click, (although we’d watch out for a couple of overly-sharp edges).

AirPlay set-up is simple
The design also includes volume controls, an auxiliary input on the side of the unit and a USB socket for charging Apple devices on the back. Hooking the inAir up a network couldn’t be simpler, especially if you’re using an iPod, iPhone or iPad.

Download the inAir Guide App, connect your Apple device to the dock via USB, follow the on-screen prompts and you’re up and running in seconds.

It all goes swimmingly – until you start spinning some tunes, unfortunately. The bass from this unit is simply far too overpowering and overblown.

This overshadows the midrange and treble, giving them little chance to shine through. Even during Adele’s Hometown Glory, not exactly the weightiest-sounding track, that bombastic bass taints each strike of the piano keys, slowing the track’s delivery to a snail’s pace.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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