gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Altec Lansing T612 Review

Amidst the mountain of DAB/WiFi radios we’re covering at the moment, I thought it wise to include a few alternatives. The PURE i10 proved to be an admirable iPod dock, but not so hot for the iPhone 3G. This time I’m looking at a dock that includes room-filling speakers, the very iTouch/iPhone complimentary Altec Lansing T612.

If you’re not a fan of radio in general, and enjoy listening to music that you’re thoroughly in control of then an iPod/iPhone dock is a logical choice… if you own an iPod or iPhone, of course.

It doesn’t take a second glance to realise the design inspiration behind the Altec Lansing T612 comes from the iPhone itself. Its rounded edges and silver surround compliment a docked iPhone or iPod Touch beautifully. Despite its rather large size it looks quite at home in a kitchen and despite the quite concerning placement of the iPhone dock, right in front of and between the two speakers, you’ll never have a problem with intermittent signal noise which causes havoc with the PURE i10 and many other accessories.

Yes, the Altec Lansing T612 purports to be immune to iPhone signal noise, and it’s no lie, either. I was able to play plenty of music, and even have a call come in with the music fading sharply out and… no noise!

The Altec Lansing T612 conceals those two speakers tastefully behind an uninterrupted metal grille and delivers exceptionally good, clear, room filling sound that goes a little way beyond reasonable listening levels but probably isn’t going to score you any points during a house party.

The T612 is also wall mountable, (with an optional kit) which is an excellent option if you’ve got limited kitchen or living room sideboard/shelf space. The bass is ported out the bottom, so shoving it up against or mounting it to a wall will not adversely affect the sound quality. A well thought out L-shaped power connector also avoids any problems with cables when wall mounting.

Once you’ve placed or wall-mounted your T612 you can kick it back on the sofa, or work on the other side of the kitchen, and control your tunes with the included IR remote which, like so many iPod peripheral remotes, echoes the Apple Remote ever so slightly but incorporates an awful lot more functionality.

Crank the volume up and a tasteful line of blue LEDs concealed behind the speaker grille will light up in sequence to show the level.

There are also volume, play/pause, back/next controls on the top of the T612 for when you inevitably lose the remote.

Overall it’s an attractive, extremely good sounding, noise-shielded, tasteful and remote-controllable iPhone dock which will set you back about £130 at, it will, of course, charge your iPhone/iPod, too.

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008, Featured, Home Entertainment, iPhone, Personal Audio.