If you're looking for a small and simple dock for your iPod or iPhone, you can't get much more streamlined than this budget option.
iPod docks tend to be expensive accessories for an expensive gadget, and most go out of their way to justify their price by either being over-sized or having a selection of largely unnecessary features. Altec Lansing’s Octiv 102 is a welcome exception to the trend.
It’s tiny, measuring around 10cm square, and we were rather taken by its angular shape. There’s a mono speaker inside, a dock on the top and an auxiliary 3.5mm stereo input on the back, which allows you to connect an alternative audio device. That’s it. No buttons, no remote control and no USB pass-through to connect your iPod to a computer.
We’re fine with this, as iPods have perfectly good controls of their own and we tend to spend more time looking for tiny Apple remotes than actually using them. Altec Lansing provides extra alarm clock functions via a free iPhone and iPod Touch app. It’s a fairly simple affair – you can choose music or annoying noises to wake you up, configure snooze options and set a selection of alarms to repeat on the day and time schedules of your choice. You’re obviously free to use other alarm apps instead.
The speaker chucks out a surprising amount of volume for its size and produces a well-balanced sound. We could hear plenty of detail in both complex and subtle tracks and, despite the absence of a dedicated woofer, even bass tones sounded good. The speaker hisses very faintly when no iPod is connected, but it wasn’t enough to bother us at night.
The 102 is a perfect bedside dock. It doesn’t take up much room, we loved its simplicity and it’s surprising to hear such good quality sound from a mono speaker. It’s also one of the cheapest iPod docks you can buy, making it ideal if you just want somewhere to perch your iPod without any unnecessary extras.
|Power consumption standby||0W|
|Power consumption on||0W|
|Analogue inputs||3.5mm stereo|
|Satellite cable lengths||none|