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

If the fancy took hold, you could spread those eight speakers throughout your house, one per room or you could set the system up with two per room in the lounge and dining room, and put the other four in your bedrooms and bathrooms. Why two in the living room? Each unit has a switch that allows it to set to Left, Right or Stereo, so you can put, say, two at either end of the room for some seriously spaced out stereo.

Altec Lansing Octiv Air

For full iPod navigation, you'll need to go back to the dock...

It also means that, rather than have a speaker unit running at 2 x 40W, it can be set to run at 1 x 80W.

Altec reckons the Air's wireless system will cover 30 metres, and you won't find us arguing with that. Certainly in a three-bed semi, we never had any problems with reception. It's probably worth stating in plain English at this point that an Altec Air will only let you play the same music through all the speakers – a cut-price iPod-based alternative to a Sonos Digital Music System it is not.

The Air's dock transmits its signal to the speakers over the 2.4GHz band and though Altec is vague about it, we suspect it uses an uncompressed 44.1kHz, 16-bit audio signal - CD quality, in other words. So even if you have a disc player plugged into the dock through the latter's 3.5mm auxiliary audio input, you shouldn't loose anything by way of quality between the dock and speakers.

Should you experience any interference from other wireless devices – or from other nearby Air docks - you can manually set the system to work on any one of three alternative channels to the factory default.

Each speaker unit contains two 4in full-range drivers and two silk-dome 1in tweeters which result in the Air producing a more than acceptable sound even when using just the one speaker unit. And that's not taking into account that nine-and-a-half out of ten users are unlikely to use the Air to play anything better than medium-quality MP3 files.

Even if the Air isn't what you'd call audiophile, it still pumps out plenty of volume, generates solid - if occasionally rather boomy – bass, bright treble and a decent sense of definition, detail and stereo separation.

Altec Lansing Octiv Air

...rather than rely on the remote

The Air doubles up as an FM radio, Altec even supplying a simple cable antenna that plugs into the back of the dock. It's not RDS, but the auto-tune works well enough and you can assign six station pre-sets. Reception proved pretty good too.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Verdict

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?