TUAW Review and Giveaway: Altec Lansing Octiv Duo speaker dock
iPhone and iPod accessory manufacturers seem to be coming to the realization that most households have not just one, but two or more Apple devices. We've been seeing a number of products that allow charging of more than one iPhone or iPod at a time, and now venerable speaker manufacturer Altec Lansing is getting into the game in a big way with the Octiv Duo speaker dock (US$99).
The Octiv Duo has a wedge design that works both on open spaces like tables and in corners on desks or kitchen counters. As you would surmise from the name, the Octiv Duo is designed to charge two devices at a time. Those devices can be any generation of iPhone, iPod touch, or iPod nano, as well as the iPod video, color, and Classic models. There's a third USB port on the side of the Octiv Duo for charging another device, so if you feel like charging your iPhone, iPod nano, and iPad all at the same time, you're set.
A unique, round, full-function remote can be hidden away in a matching niche on the back of the Octiv Duo when not in use, and it serves as a way to control either of the docked devices. But the real power of the Octiv Duo is apparent only when you install two special apps on your iPhone or iPod touch that provide extra functionality.
The first free app, Alarm Rock, turns the Octiv Duo into a powerful alarm clock. The app features six custom clock themes -- rock, jazz, country, hiphop, pop, and punk -- as well as a power nap function, the ability to program multiple alarms, and a snooze button. There's also a sleep timer if you like going to sleep listening to music.
No other product can provide the capability that the free Music Mix app brings to the table when you have at least one iOS device docked. With Music Mix running, you can share the music from both of the docked devices. There's a slider that chooses the percentage of music played from each device; it's shuffling two music libraries from two separate players. This can be incredibly handy if you have a lot of rock and blues on your iPhone, and your wife has classical and jazz on hers. Put 'em both on the Octiv Duo, fire up Music Mix, and choose the mix of tunes you want to play from each library.
I found the sound quality of the Octiv Duo to be very good, although lacking a bit of power on the bass end. It handled full volume quite well, without the plastic "buzzing" that I've heard from other speaker docks. Altec Lansing provides a couple of plastic dock inserts with the Octiv Duo, insuring that whatever device you plug in is going to be adequately supported. The Octiv Duo doesn't show the iPhone 4 as a compatible product, but mine worked perfectly with the dock. It just doesn't have the plastic support insert that the other phones and devices do.
When you plug an iPhone or iPod touch into the Octiv Duo without the Altec Lansing apps installed, the following alert appears on the screen:
With a tap or two, you can download the apps to your device. Very easy, and it's a great way to remind new Octiv Duo owners to get the software.
Now, it's time to give away this Altec Lansing Octiv Duo dock to one of our readers. To enter, leave a comment below listing the combo of devices (not included) that you'd like to charge and listen to with the Octiv Duo. For example, I'd charge my iPhone 4 and a new iPod nano on it. Here are the official rules:
- Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
- To enter, leave a comment telling us what two Apple devices you'd like to dock on an Altec Lansing Octiv Duo
- The comment must be left before midnight on Tuesday, October 5th, 2010, 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
- You may enter only once.
- One winner will be selected and receives an Altec Lansing Octiv Duo speaker dock valued at US$99.00
- Click here for complete official rules.
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