We review a lot of iPod/iPhone speaker docks and most of them sound somewhere between fair and OK, which is why we initially scoffed at the promotional materials for Altec Lansing's $199 Octiv 650, which the company bills as "epitome of stylish audio performance."
It's not unusual for a company to speak highly about its own products, but the description for the Octiv 650 was especially gushing: "Its discreet lines and unique wedge shape blend in with your decor while it fills your space with full, well-balanced sound...the design is clean and stylish...it's the epitome of understatement and impressive over delivery."
Based on experience, we expected to be underwhelmed. Happily, however, we weren't.
As for the design, it's pretty much as described: clean and stylish, with a wedge shape that almost makes it look like an old horn speaker, it's about the same dimensions--7.1 inches tall, 12.5 inches wide, and 5.2 inches deep--as a Bose SoundDock iPod/iPhone speaker but a little deeper. Weighing in at 4.2 pounds, it's got some decent heft but is light enough to be easily moved around the house. (Note that it runs on an AC adapter, not batteries, so it can't be considered a truly portable unit).
How does it sound?