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Altec Lansing Octiv 450

Altec Lansing Octiv 450 iPad speaker

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Review After a slow start, quite a few iPad speaker-docks in the shops these days, one of the most recent arrivals being the Octiv 450 from Altec Lansing – well known for its inMotion range of portable iPod speakers. The Octiv isn’t portable, but its compact design is neat and practical, and it produces a surprisingly robust sound.

Altec Lansing Octiv 450

In the frame: Altec Lansing's Octiv 450

The Octiv looks rather like an easel, with the stereo speakers forming the solid, rectangular base of the contraption. The iPad then slides into an armature that has a dock connector built into it, and which holds the iPad just above the speaker unit.

The armature tilts backwards and forwards, and also rotates so that you can switch the iPad from portrait to landscape mode when watching video. There’s an Aux input for connecting other types of audio device, but no USB port for syncing the iPad with iTunes on a Mac or PC.

Audio quality is very good, producing a warm, textured sound, and the rectangular speaker unit pushes sound out to the sides as well as the front, so that the sound really fills the space around it. Altec Lansing were reluctant to tell us the output wattage – “we prefer to focus on the sound quality” – but the Octiv was louder than I’d expected for such a compact unit.

Altec Lansing Octiv 450

Twists and turns for your viewing pleasure

The bass could be a little more full-bodied, though, and a bit of distortion creeps in as you push the volume right up to maximum. It’s not quite powerful enough for a full-scale party, but is more than adequate for listening to music in your bedroom, or in the front room when you have a few friends around for dinner.

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