Altec Lansing Orbit


Ultra portable speaker

I’ve used this ultra-portable mono speaker for nearly two years, and can’t recommend it enough. Even though it is “mono”, it is “very good mono”, and part of the reason I chose mono is because of the sound limitations of small stereo speakers, best illustrated by Christopher Locke’s comments regarding KK’s review of the iPal.

This little thing easily fits in your backpack, briefcase, purse, or even clipped to your belt for mobile tunes. And the sound is really, really good. Many would call it amazing. Can I compare it to others? I’d rather not get into a holy war. The Orbit, in my mind, is a cool tool for being excellent at what it does for about $20.

I think it is pretty safe to say, that for the intended purpose, it seems to be among the top, if not the top, rated portable speakers for listening to your iPhone, iPad, mp3 player, etc.

I went looking for something like this when I realized that I had a great little MP3 player that was about the size of a matchbox, but unfortunately could only listen to through headphones. There were so many times when we’d go to the park and have a picnic or something and we’d like to have some tunes, but didn’t want to lug yet another thing the size of a boombox. It’s enough to have the ice chest, the bbq, the basket/box of food, etc.

This little hockey puck (well, only slightly thicker, at about 2″) does the trick. We use it often around the house to plug into the laptop when we want to have some tunes but not through the tinny laptop speakers. It comes with a nice little case, a carabiner clip, runs on 3 AAA batteries and just seems to go and go.

There are some minor complaints among detractors, most commonly by people expecting the unreasonable; that a 2 to 3-inch speaker should be able to bring you to your knees with your hands over your ears. It’s not going to be your solution if you want to blast dance band volumes out of your pocket, but it certainly is just the ticket to have on the table with you on the back porch, or beef up the sound out of your laptop.

It is one of my most successful purchases, with great bang for the buck.

-- Jeff Jewell 08/10/11