Altec Lansing Octiv Duo
I think we can all agree that at this point in time no other gadget plays a more indispensable role in our lives than the smartphone. People use them for everything. Getting directions, music, movies, emails.. The list of what a modern smartphone can do rivals the supercomputers of decades gone by. But all this fun comes at a price which sadly is battery life. Teamed with the current obsession with anorexic phones some phones barely make it till the end of the day under standard usage. My other half and I both have iPhones and often find ourselves running to our phone chargers the moment we come home. So I stumbled across one of these beauties and just had to snap them up. It's the Altec Lansing Octiv Duo, an iPod/iPhone dock that lets you charge 2 iDevices equipped with 30 pin dock connectors simultaneously and has another USB port to charge a third one. You can also download two free apps that enable you to shuffle music at a variable percentage between the two devices or use the dock as a rather effective alarm clock.
Once I got it out of the box I was surprised at how small and light it was. A small remote control that attaches itself to the back magnetically is a nice touch and gives you full control of the device. Two 2 inch full range drivers with neodymium magnets flanked by ports on the side provide the sound which i have to admit is a lot larger for its size. I found that like any speaker placement was key with some spaces providing a more rounded sound than others. Instruments and vocals were crisp while the bass while not at room shaking levels had enough oomph to satisfy the casual listener. The key is not to compare it to bigger and more pricier offerings from B&W like the Zepplin but this little wonder excels in many a department compared to what's out there for the price. My only criticism if any was that it would be perfect with a built in rechargeable battery pack or Bluetooth connectivity as most competitors do these days. But it's small portable size and the multitude of travel adapters available in the pack means it will definitely be joining us on our travels!
Pics by SchoolBoyCouture