Feeds
70%
Altec Lansing Octiv Air

Altec Lansing Octiv Air wireless iPod speaker system

Tunes throughout your house

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The Air's remote control is nice device but its abilities are a little restricted. While you can use it to switch the system on and off, adjust the volume, bass and treble, and select pre-set FM stations all well enough, actual iPod navigation is limited to pause/play and next/previous track. So if you want to change albums, artists or playlists you have to do it manually on your iPod.

Altec Lansing Octiv Air

Lose the remote and you can still control the speaker unit

Of course, this is largely due to the fundamental design of the Air: the remote works through the speaker unit rather than the dock - reasonably, perhaps, since you're more likely to find yourself near a speaker than the dock - and the LED display on the speakers only displays the volume level, radio frequency and so on, not track information.

To navigate about your iPod, the speaker display would have to show pretty much the same information as the iPod screen. Frankly, we think it should – all it would take is an LED display similar to that on the Roku Soundbridge. Altec has dropped a bit of clanger by not allowing users to navigate through their music libraries from any room in the house with a speaker unit in it.

Incidentally, if the remote goes down the side of the sofa, there are duplicate controls for volume, input, track and power on the side of the speaker unit.

With an RRP of £299 – though we found it for £279 easily enough - the Air can't really be described as cheap, though at £100 more than the Edifier Luna 5 and the same amount less than B&W's Zeppelin, it,s pretty much par for the course for devices of its ilk.

Altec Lansing Octiv Air

Sit on a shelf or stick it on the wall

If you want to add additional speaker units to your system you'll have a wait a wee while – or buy two complete Air rigs - as they're not available separately in the UK yet. Here's a suggestion for Altec: bundle two speakers together with a dock and call it £400 for cash.

Verdict

While it may be an answer to a question we hadn't previously asked, we rather like the Air, the slightly ill-thought out remote control issues notwithstanding. Cough up for an extra speaker unit and you have a pretty flexible system that can give you two-unit stereo in one room, or music in any two rooms. Buy seven units and you can quite literally have music wherever you go, within your house, at any rate. ®

More Speaker Set Reviews...


Intempo InSession

Logic3 Valve80

Edifier Luna 5

Griffin Evolve

The essential guide to IT transformation

70%
Altec Lansing Octiv Air

Altec Lansing Octiv Air wireless iPod speaker system

If you want a wireless iPod dock that you can add extra speaker units to then the Air is self-recommending. The limited remote control content navigation is a big drawback, though.
Price: £300 RRP

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?