Altec Lansing’s new ultra-portable iPod/MP3 speaker, the Orbit, hit my desk recently.

Battery-powered and at under 3″, the iM207 Orbit doesn’t look like much. I mean, how much power can you pull out of 3 AAA batteries?

I gotta say I was surprised. The Orbit’s got a good little “thump” to it. The sound was really impressive for a speaker with no AC power. It’s also LOUD. The Orbit’s volume is controlled by the iPod, and it cranks when turned all the way up.

The Orbit does lose some clarity at full volume, but at 50-80 percent, you get a crisp, clean sound with great bass and highs that are surprisingly clear.

The big test — the theme from “House” played perfectly. The song starts with a crackling record player effect and beams out highs and lows that will test anything. This “House” fan approves.

You get about a full day of battery life out of the unit. Invest in some rechargeables. You might get less per charge, but you won’t have to buy them over, and over, and over again. Orbit is also shock-resistant so you can use it in any iPod application.

The Orbit works with any audio source that accepts a 3.5mm or 2.5mm headphone jack, and there are dozens of cheap adapters that will let you use it for other devices. It’s small with a big sound, cheap price tag and excellent sound.

Check out Altec’s FAQ for technical support.

Speaker features:

  • Sound clarity with depth — powered by acoustic tayloring
  • Fusion360 technology — Integrates a cone design with a custom-built Altec Lansing speaker to project a 360-degree sound field
  • Personal configuration — place the Orbit on its edge for directed, more personal listening

Quick hits:

Developer: Altec Lansing
Launch Date: November 15, 2007
Price: MSRP $39.95 ($29.95 in most stores)

Overall: [rating:4/5]

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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