Altec Lansing Octiv Stage MP450 review: Altec Lansing Octiv Stage MP450

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MSRP: $149.95

The Good Speaker dock that supports iPad along with iPhone/iPod; excellent tilt/swivel design allows you to put your iPad in portrait or landscape mode; works with Altec's Alarm Rock iPhone app to deliver a rich alarm clock feature set; remote included.

The Bad Thin bass; basic feature set; somewhat high price tag.

The Bottom Line If you can look past its so-so sound quality on music, the impressively flexible design of the Altec Lansing Octiv Stage MP450 turns your iPad into a video monitor for bedside or kitchen viewing.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 9
  • Features 6
  • Performance 6

When we got our first glimpse of Altec Lansing's Octiv Stage MP450 docking speaker system for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod, we were pretty intrigued by its design--it reminded us of the old armature G4 iMacs.

Basically, once you've docked your iPad, the built-in "rotating connection arm" allows you to adjust the iPad to be viewed in portrait or landscape mode at multiple viewing angles. When you place it in an almost flat position, you can even type on your iPad while it's docked.

Altec Lansing has geared this accessory ($149.99 list) toward people who want to watch video on their iPads--whether it be in the kitchen, bedroom, or anywhere else--and the company has built the speaker with that in mind. The company says its Audio Alignment technology "provides distinctive center channel voicing and enhanced stereo delivery for distortion-free performance even at full volume." The system also has a 3.5mm auxiliary jack for connecting additional audio sources.

As far as features go, that's really it. There's a power button and volume controls on the front of the speaker, and you get a small remote. We would've liked to see the USB port found in the Octiv Duo for charging phones and other portable devices. And some might like a pass-through USB port for syncing your iPad with a computer.