By David Averbach on Fri, 02/11/2011
I am preparing to write a Speaker review for our July/August issue (yea these things take THAT much preparation). If you're staring out the window at the 3 feet of snow on the ground and having a hard time waiting until July, have no fear I will be blogging about the speakers as they come in. I can't do anything about the snow sorry!
Today I will be reviewing speakers from Altec Lansing
Octiv Duo ($99.95)
Altec Lansing was nice enough to send me two very different speaker systems to test out. The first system I tested was the Octiv Duo. The most exciting thing about the Octive Duo is the fact that you can dock two devices simultaneously. Altec offers a free app that allows you to shuffle music between the two devices. My roomates and I usually listen to music while we cook and clean and this feature has been a god sent. The Speakers (and App) allows us to shuffle back and forth between his techno and my indie rock and keeps both of us happy. The unique shape of the speakers allow you to easily tuck them away into a corner so as not to take up too much room.
The speakers are compatible with the iPhone so you do not have that annoying interference when docked. The sound quality was pretty solid for mid-low range speaker system but it is not exceptional. All in all this is a very good affordable option for people who have two devices to dock or families who fight over the music.
inMotion Air (199.95)
Docking your device is so 2010. There's to love about these universal bluetooth speakers. They easily sync with your iOS device and with you Mac and PC. The speakers are portable so you can cary them from room to room with you. They have 100 meter range so you can stream from your computer even if it's in the other room. The inMotion Air's are sleek and have surprisingly good soundquality.
And now for the things I don't love. Buying bluetooth speakers right now is like buying a DVD player - it's an outdated technology. Just as blu-ray is slowly taking over for videos, Apple's Airplay will be the technology of choice for wireless speakers moving forward (atleast in my humble opinion). While these speakers were fairly easy pair with my computer and devices it still took some finagling. Everytime I syncing with my computer I had to adjust my playback devices settings. I have a wireless mouse and the mouse created an interference and made an annoying clicking noise. The other iriatating thing about bluetooth is that you can only pair with one thing at a time. This meant that if I was paired with my iPhone,I had to disconnect from my could iPhone before it would pair with my computer. Airplay let's you pair with multiple devices at one time. One advantage of bluetooth, however, is that you do not need wireless to stream music. This means you can take inMotion speakers with you anywhere and are not limited by connectivity.
To conclude, these speakers very nice and are well worth the $200 pricetag. While they take full advantage of the Bluetooth technology, they also come with the usual limitations. It may be worth waiting until the next version of these speakers which will most likely include Airplay and Bluetooth.