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Altec Lansing Octiv 202 speaker review

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There is such a range of speakers catering specifically for iPod and iPhone owners now that it is hard to find something unique.

Altec Lansing seems to have taken this on board with its Octiv 202 dual-dock speaker that comes packed with a decent number of features for such a small package.

Perhaps the main selling point of the speaker is the ability to shuffle songs between two devices, although you’ll need to download the free Music Mix App for iPhone beforehand.

Of course, this will only matter to houses with more than one compatible device and the idea will only appeal to those happy to give away autonomy over what tunes are being banged out.

If you were thinking of using the speaker for a rowdy party or two, where the concept would really come into its own, think again as the speakers fail when it comes to coping with higher volumes as the sound starts to crack.

The two full-range neodymium drivers are unable to sustain anything towards the upper end. The lack of changeable EQ settings will also put off those hoping for some sonic punch for a low price.

Compatibility is also an issue, as the Music Mix feature requires devices with iPhone OS 3.1 or later, meaning it is redundant for anyone with a slightly dated iPod. Furthermore, the iPhone 4 is incompatible with the speaker, as are the latest versions of the iPod Touch or the Nano.

Other features are conceptually simple but effective nonetheless. The circular remote is particularly neat, attaching to the back of the system with some smart use of magnetism. The Alarm Rock, again available once the user downloads a free app, will make those morning wakeups a little more pleasant.

Then there is the extra USB slot, allowing the owner to charge a third device. Given the low weight and affordable price of the speaker, handy extras like these are what make the product worth considering.

The Octiv 202 is clearly aimed at families who don’t take their music too seriously, who want something on in the background while getting on with everyday tasks, hence the marketing spiel explaining that the wedge design suits desks and kitchen counters.

So, if you’re not bothered too much about sound quality, want a practical device that will not cause domestic rifts and don’t want to break the bank, then the Octiv 202 should be ideal.

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