Altec Lansing T612 Docking Station - Mobile Accessories
Altec Lansing T612 Docking Station
14 October 2008
Reviewed by Miguel C. Rivera
Docking station compatible with all iPods and the iPhone
At the risk of sounding quite obvious, itís a prerequisite that a docking station is compatible with iPods. It's extra sweet that iPhone is readily useable for the speakers too, though, admittedly, it probably didnít take much to have it ready for the iPhone given they both use the same dock connection. The T612 can also play most mp3 players too.
If the T612 is turned off (either from the power source, from the button or from the remote) while playing music, the iPod/iPhone will immediately pause the song.
Probably the systemís greatest asset is its exceptional sound quality. It doesnít matter whether the iPod or iPhone is being used Ė the music played on the T612 is genuinely excellent. The speakers, which comprise of two 3-inch full-range drivers and two silk dome 1-inch tweeters, are powered consistently at 60 watts (120 watts - peak power).
The sound range has been stated as 60HZ to 20KHZ. Personally, it's difficult to gauge just how accurate this statement is but during the testing, it became clear that any music genre, from R&B/Hip-Hop, Pop, House, Dance, Drum & Bass through to Classical and Heavy Rock, would be appropriately showcased. Surprisingly, there is no subwoofer in the package, though the bass levels were still relatively good. Tweeters provided much oomph in the treble department.
There are approximately 25 levels of volume Ė split into five tiers. Within each tier there are five levels. In most instances, especially in enclosed rooms, these levels are high enough. I used the T612 in mainly open living spaces and noticed that volume level ranges 12 to 18 are good enough to fill the room with lively music. With the iPod and iPhone, it would be best if the volume of the actual players are not set to maximum (perhaps three quarter way or less) so that the sound is not amplified to the point that speakers will begin to hiss and distort sound.
Both bass and treble have eight levels of adjustment (eight being the maximum level). Depending on the music and the taste of the individual, perhaps a setting of around mid way is decent. Of course, playing around with the mp3 player/iPhone settings would be beneficial too.
The T612 has a very tiny remote that contains all the controls you need (and more than what is available on the dock station itself). Not only are volume, bass and treble volumes can be adjusted by the system can be switched off and the iPod/iPhone can be controlled. The remote can fast forward/fast rewind songs, repeat, play/pause or change tracks with ease. I think a suitable distance is required Ė probably no more than 20m from the dock station would be fine. The remote does not contain any light.
Music stops for call pick up
Due to the dual (primary) purpose of the iPhone, the dock station has the ability to stop music when a call comes through. The iPhone will have to be removed from the dock for the call to be answered.
Immune to mobile phone interference
Another important characteristic of the T612 is the fact that it is immune to mobile phone interference. I cannot vouch for this feature completely but for the time that I have examined the speakers using the iPhone, there was no static errors or interferences that often occur with other speakers when in contact with mobile phones. Itís a big deal when using the iPhone because being a phone, it has the potential to interfere with the speakers. Somehow, Altec Lansing has done well avoiding this problem.
I donít have many issues with the T612. In fact, there are only two gripes and they arenít major at all. The dock station is certainly weighty and a tad large. Since the system is in one piece, speakers cannot be separated or removed and the station must all remain in one spot that can hold some weight. That just means the user will have to think of a good place to set these.
Not portable Ė does not use batteries
It's not an issue or problem, its more of a footnote. Like most dock stations, the T612 isnít portable and does not use batteries.
Short audio cable length
The T612 is clearly designed for the iPod/iPhone user because the cable the supplements the system (for other MP3/media players) is relatively short. I havenít tried it out too much but I would imagine that it would not be too much of an issue though the remote will not be as useful and will therefore require the device to be at close proximity to the user. Having such a short audio cable means that wonít be happening unless the user can get a longer cable thatís compatible with the system.