Monday, May 23, 2011

Products I've used by Altec Lansing

This is a picture of the Octiv Duo M202 iPod Speakers by Altec Lansing. I purchased a couple of these for my kids because they had a great deal on them at my time of purchase. I think the regular price on these is $99 but I got each of them for $59 because I'm a member of the CNET community. Of course, I had to create an extra membership because I wanted two but I still purchased each for $59 plus s/h. Again, this was one of those "If it doesn't work out, I can eBay it purchases." So far though, all has worked well.

There are a few things that worth noting (good and bad) about this item:
  • Two apps are available for free. One is a Altec mix app that allows this speaker to play two separate iPods at the same time or mixing the tracks from two separate iPods. I haven't used this function yet but it looks interesting enough...although I have all my songs on one iPod Touch and my kids have a selected few from mine on their Touches so I'm not sure I have a need for this app. The second app is Altec's alarm app. You download this to use the speaker as an alarm clock. Two issues with this app is that you have to have the app active and the alarm ON for it to work and you also have to make sure you have the corect source activated for the iPod and speaker to work together as an alarm. It's taken a few times but my kids have occasionally forgotten to make sure the iPod is the selected source. So come morning, they wake up late and in a tizzy wondering why the alarm didn't go off. I think it teaches them a little bit more about responsibility but I can see where it is frustrating to them as well. Other than that, the alarm app works perfectly...allowing you to wake to whatever music/song you have selected.
  • The speaker system does not have a battery-powered only option. For an original price of $99, I would think this would be a no-brainer. This option missing isn't a total deal breaker but it does make it inconvenient for this to be portable since you'll need to have access to a power outlet.
  • The sound produced from this speaker system seems pretty good for my non-audio expert ears. It produces sounds rich and loud enough to fill a 20' x 20' room without distortion. It does get loud enough to cause some distortion but it is not necessary to get that loud for my kids' use. If you need something that loud without distortion, this wouldn't be an option anyway. You might as well connect this to some kind of sound system or boom box that is made for "booming" sound.
  • This thing is basically an external or add-on speaker for your iPod. It has no functionality built within other than switching ON/OFF or sources. For this reason, I would not recommend purchasing this for $99 but I would say that I got a pretty good deal at $59. That would be what I'd look for is a good deal on this that makes it about half price of what it's going for right now.
  • The remote control is nice and very functional. It is a bit small, like the size of the silver dollars of old, so it could be easily misplaced. At the same time, the size is nice enough to put in your pocket without being bulky. It has a decent range on it but I haven't tested the quoted versus actual distance and probably never will until the moment when I get pissed because I'm too far for the signal to work. The remote has forward, reverse, pause, play, stop, volume up, volume down, mute, on, off and source select. I think it works nicely with the simple system.
I guess that's about all I have on the Altec Octiv Duo M202.

Muzx XX or XY Passive Noise-Cancelling Ear Buds by Altec Lansing.

These ear buds came as a "gift" with the M202. Actually, the M202 came with two sets of these buds. I haven't had the chance or a need, yet, to use them so I can't share my experience. I can say that they come in a variety of colors. I was able to select the colors I wanted during my M202 order. I think these run like $19.99 last I looked so to get two sets for free is a damn good deal in my eyes. Again, I can't testify to the sound quality but two save $40 (which I wouldn't spend in the first place) is well worth the chance to test these out...when I get a chance. I could open them and use them once but why because I already have fully functioning/working ear buds that I'm happy with. Until they break, I won't be opening these XX/XY buds.

So, in conclusion, the M202 is working fantastically so far since March 2011. My kids have had no complaints and they use the speakers for more than just the iPod. My oldest uses it to hook up to the laptop and watch Netflix or listen to YouTube videos. If you can get them for a good deal as I did, I don't think you'll be disappointed as long as you know what you want out of them and the limits to them.

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