Altec Lansing's iPod boom box rocks
The design of Altec Lansing's Mix iMT800 may not appeal to everyone, but its winning combination of good performance, lots of oomph, and portability makes it one of the best iPod speaker options out there.
Back in the 1980s, when portable audio was synonymous with "cassette tapes," boom boxes were a mainstay of music culture. While luggable, battery-powered speaker systems still exist today, they tend to be somewhat dainty iPod speakers. Altec Lansing's $300 Mix iMT800, meanwhile, aims to mix and match the best of the old and new. It has the look and feel of an old-school, crank-it-till-your-ears-bleed boom box--albeit a rather stylish one--but it boasts an iPod/iPhone dock (and it's GSM-shielded to boot, so you don't need to flip the iPhone into airplane mode).
While this can certainly be used as a stay-at-home stereo, Altec isn't shy about mentioning that it also makes for a good party system indoors or outside. On top, you'll find a handle, and you can also pick the unit up using the "grab" handles on the front of the speakers.
While the Mix doesn't have a second iPod dock, it does offer two 3.5-millimeter line inputs that allow your friends to plug in their MP3 players and cue up their playlists. The inputs are conveniently placed at the top of the unit, and there's a depression under the handle that's reserved for parking additional devices. Additionally, the Mix has a telescoping antenna on top of the unit. While there's no AM radio onboard, it does do FM, with four presets available.
So, how does it sound?