The Good The Altec Lansing Octiv 650 sounds very good for an iPod/iPhone speaker dock and works as a full-featured alarm clock after you add Altec's free Alarm Rock app. The component/composite video output on the back also allows you to play iPod/iPhone video on your TV with an optional cable, and a remote is included.
The Bad The cloth grille attracts dust and there's no Bluetooth or AirPlay wireless connectivity.
The Bottom Line The Altec Lansing Octiv 650 is one of best-sounding iPod/iPhone speaker docks in its price class, with a distinct, stylish look and component video output to boot.
Altec Lansing Octiv 650
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 the "epitome of stylish audio performance."
It's not unusual for a company to speak highly of 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.