Introducing the Orbit
Altec Lansing aims to change the way you see and hear audio from your portable PC. The Orbit speaker aims to deliver unique design, superior audio, and all in a small portable package. Sounds like a pipe dream? This speaker is a gem, but may not be for everyone.Speakers on mobile PCs have earned a spotty reputation for being under powered and poor at reproducing audio faithful to the original. Countless mobile USB speakers are available hoping to fill that performance gap, but the sound quality of these devices are generally not much better and some just plain goofy (like looking like dogs or cats).
It is in this environment Altec Lansing’s Orbit is making a bold statement by combining unique, practical design, while not sacrificing audio quality. While most USB speakers come in pairs, the Orbit is a single portable unit that should interest many of you.
Is this the Holy Grail of portable audio? Small, portable, and sounding awesome? Let’s find out.
DesignThe design of the Altec Lansing Orbit USB speaker is very unique to say the least. It is a single round unit about 3″ diameter and 2″ deep, or roughly the size of two hockey pucks (I’m Canadian, so everything is measured in hockey pucks).
The speaker grill is metal which makes it durable for transporting around.
Around the edge is an attractive gold trim, with an orange power LED on top when connected to a PC.
On the back, the USB cable loops around a circular track and the plug slots into a recessed cut-out. The integrated cable is 16″ which is long enough for netbooks and notebooks, but too short for desktop usage unless you have a USB hub nearby or use a USB extension cable.
There are small rubber feet so the speaker stays in place when laying on its back, and a flip-out stand to put the speaker in a inclined position.
There are no other protrusions, wires, or lights of any sort. The design is clean and simple.
It’s worth noting that the Orbit does not have an Aux jack to plug in another source, nor does it have a line-out in case you want to plug in a headset to the Orbit.
The Orbit is extremely light and weighs approximately 175 grams or 6 oz. Needless to say it won’t be adding much weight to your bag. Because of its shape, the Orbit may be a bit difficult to shove in your bag. Most mobile peripherals these days are slim or easily fit into tight pockets – the Orbit will need a little more room.