Altec's new Live 5000 Wi-Fi speaker doesn't discriminate against Android users

The Altec Lansing Live 5000 connects to a consumer's existing home Wi-Fi network, can be controlled via iOS, Android, and desktop applications, and delivers music from the Internet's most popular content providers.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
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David Carnoy
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The Altec Lansing Live 5000 is due to hit the market this summer for $499.95 (click to enlarge). Altec Lansing

LAS VEGAS--Attention, Android users who've been shut out from using Apple's AirPlay feature: Altec Lansing feels for you and wants you to get in on the Wi-Fi streaming action. So much so that today it's launching the Live 5000, the first product in what it's calling "an exciting new music entertainment ecosystem."

But, sorry, Android peeps, this isn't an exclusive. Apple users also are welcome to join.

In fact, on paper anyway, Altec's new system sounds a little like a Sonos. Take Altec's description of the Live 5000:

"The significance of the new LIVE 5000 Wi-Fi speaker lies within its versatility and its multiroom, multiplatform operation," the company says. "Now, users of a myriad of handheld devices are able to stream and control content from their existing 802.11 b/g/n wireless network to any room in the house. Truly an audio solution for the whole home, users are able to stream different music to different rooms or the same music to multiple rooms by linking Live 5000 units. What's more, the free Android, iOS, and Desktop Live Controller apps allow everyone in the family to hold a potential controller in their hands. Live 5000 users have access to a universe of music, transforming the home environment into a perfectly synchronized opera house or a multistage music festival."

A side view of the Altec Lansing Live 5000 (click to enlarge). Altec Lansing

Altec generally makes good compact speaker systems and, needless to say, it's saying the Live 5000 offers impressive sound, with natural highs, thunderous lows, and amazing clarity. "Intelligent digital signal processing promises lower bass response, widens the sound field, and tames high frequencies," the company says.

Internally, the Live 5000 is driven by a tri-amp system, with two 3-inch midrange drivers constructed of Kevlar, two neodymium soft-dome tweeters, a long-throw 4-inch subwoofer, and a passive radiator.

The Live 5000 Wi-Fi speaker will be available in early summer 2012 with a retail price of $499.95. The Altec Lansing Live Controller apps for iOS, Android, and desktop will be available for free.