Manufacturer: Altec Lansing
Product Name: Orbit-MP3 Portable Audio System
Review Date: 09/08/08
Altec Lansing is a company that is very well known for their quality audio products, I myself have owned their products and were very happy with them in the past. Due to a thunderstorm recently I lost my set of Altec Lansing 2.1 Speakers that I used for my main computer for the past few years, I’m not very happy about that obviously, not only because they lasted so long, but because they sounded really good to me.
Today for review I’ve got an interesting product from Altec Lansing, it’s made specifically for portable audio players like iPods, and mp3 players or really just about anything that has a standard audio mini jack output. It’s called the Orbit-Mp3 Portable Audio System, and it is portable, it’s small and lightweight, the one thing interesting about it is that it is only one speaker, but that one speaker is supposed to provide a 360 degree sound field to project sound in all directions.
Is it any good? Continue on to find out…
The Orbit-MP3 comes in a brightly colored box with all the specs and features listed, there’s a nice little window where you can see the actual product through so you know what you’re getting.
Included with the Orbit-MP3 is of course a user manual, registration card, notes and an adapter to go from 3.5mm to 2.5mm if need be.
The product itself is made mostly of plastic which is I’m sure to keep costs and weight down, but it gives it an almost cheap feel to it. The bottom is a plastic base with three rubber feet on it to prevent it from moving around.
Orbit-MP3 Portable Audio System
The palm-sized, lightweight Orbit-MP3 speaker system is an ideal iPod or MP3 player companion when you want a break from headphones. Or slip it out of a pocket or purse for an attention-getting way to share your tunes anytime, anywhere. The full-bodied, 360-degree sound will make your friends wonder where the speakers are. And with its long battery life, the music keeps playing long into the night.
* Ultra-portable speaker system for iPod and other MP3 players
* Sound clarity with depth
Excellent musicality is powered by acoustic tayloring.
* 360-degree sound field
Integrates a cone design with a custom-built Altec Lansing speaker to project sound in all directions.
* Long battery life
Plays for up to 24 hours on 3 AAA batteries.
The rugged Orbit is durable enough for the most intrepid traveler.
* Personal configuration
Place the Orbit on its edge for directed, more personal listening.
On the edge of the Orbit you’ll find the on/off switch, the actual switch is the speaker cover, it turns a bit back and forth to let you turn the unit on or off.
Under the on/off button you’ll find the audio connection jack for the cord that winds around the Orbit-MP3 and is stored there in a groove when not in use.
To use the Orbit MP3 you’ll need to install three ‘AAA’ batteries, this is done by removing the bottom cover, it just twists off and on.
Once the batteries are installed you’re ready to go and listen to some music, I hooked up my trusty S.Beat Mp3 player that has served me so well for many years to give the Orbit-MP3 some testing.
I listen to quite a lot of different music, from classical Vivaldi and Beethoven all the way up to Metal like Pantera and Rammstein , with a little southern and classic rock thrown in there as well. I don’t listen to Hip-Hop or Rap though, but pretty much anything else, so I gave the Orbit-MP3 a nice go through with my styles of music.
I used it for two days in lieu of WinAMP that I normally use while working at my computer for about 6 hours straight each day, that’s all the battery of my MP3 player lasts anymore…
…and honestly after two days I couldn’t take it anymore, as soon as I turned it on I didn’t like it, but I gave it a go for a couple days just to make sure I tested it, I had my MP3 player loaded with all kinds of music to make sure it got tested thoroughly, and well the sound is just off, it’s flat.
It does create the 360 degree sound filed as advertised, I put it in the center of my table and walked around, you could hear the same sound no matter where I was, so that’s interesting and useful I guess.
Surprisingly for such a little speaker it is is loud, and it does have quite a bit of bass to it, but it’s still flat, there are pretty much no highs at all, it’s just flat.
To understand exactly what I mean, turn your stereo on with your favorite music and turn the treble off or all the way down, you’ll very quickly understand what I mean by ‘flat’ and you’ll know what your music will sound like when played through the Orbit-MP3.
I’m very disappointed by this product really, I expected more from such a great company like Altec Lansing.
Honestly I’m not impressed with this product at all, being from Altec Lansing I expected a bit more really.
Sure it’s lightweight, portable and has a long battery life, but all that doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t sound good, especially since that’s the main function of the product, sound.
I like my music, I like it to sound rich and full, I have varied music tastes and I consider myself somewhat of an audiophile that knows good sounding speakers.
Sure if you just want something to play with, then this isn’t too bad but don’t expect much from it really, then I guess I shouldn’t have expected much from a product that costs so little.
I think it’s more aimed at the younger crowd, and maybe for them this is a good product, but me personally I wouldn’t want my music played through it, it just doesn’t sound right at all.
-Easy to use
-Does create a 360 degree sound field
-Doesn’t sound very good, not good reproduction with highs
-Feels rather cheap, almost like a toy