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Altec Lansing Octiv 102 mini review

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We tend to take music on the move for granted nowadays as we’ve moved from the clunky Walkmans of yester-year to the stylish iPods of today.

Now we’re looking to bring the music back into our homes by combining the portable device with a speaker and there is a plethora on the market to choose from.

The latest speaker we’ve got our greasy mits on was the Altec Lansing Octiv 102 mini, designed to fit into the smallest of places whilst allowing for top quality sound. It would have been nice if it had fitted into either category.

When we took it out the box it was like a time warp back to the 1980s with its bulky, angular and awkward design. We weren’t really sure where to put the thing and whether to use it as a speaker or a particularly expensive door stop.

At least it had all the plugs in the world you could think of, giving it the ability to travel with you to far flung lands, but connecting the wire and the chosen plug was a fiddly task and took brute force in the end to click into shape.

We couldn’t deny it worked well as a gadget charger. You just plonked your iPod or iPhone in the top and it sat there quite comfortably, not taking any notice of its unattractive surroundings. But this wasn’t meant to be a charger, this was meant to be a speaker, and after using it for a week we would never go near it again.

Not only was the maximum volume incredibly low for the size of speaker, it couldn’t go past the halfway volume mark without distorting horrendously and making whatever type of music you were playing unlistenable. It wasn’t even heaving bass, just more like a badly tuned radio offending our ear drums.

The one nifty element to this device was you could use it as an alarm clock. However, you are forced to download a special iPhone app for the pleasure and it didn’t compare to just having an alarm built in.

If you like your eyes offended and ears insulted then maybe this is the gear for you, but we think, even for £40, you could get something both more aesthically pleasing and with much better sound quality.  

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