I’ve always been a fan of Altec Lansing products. To me their products have always been of high quality, producing good sound, and at a reasonable price.
In the tradition of Altec Lansing design and quality, the new T612 iPod dock does not disappoint.
The T612 is a combination recharging and docking station for your iPhone or iPod Touch, with 60 Watt RMS amplifier and stereo speakers all packaged up into one neat unit. It is quite compact and will comfortably sit on a desktop or in a bookshelf, or you may even mount it on a wall with the enclosed mounting bracket.
In the box there’s the main unit and mounting bracket, the power supply with a variety of cords for different wall sockets, a tiny remote control, and a short auxiliary audio cable.
Setup was dead easy: find somewhere to put the unit, connect the power supply to a power source and to the back of the unit, drop your iPhone into the dock, and turn it on.
The power switch – along with controls to increase & decrease the volume and to set the bass & treble levels – are clearly marked and located along the top of the unit.
Next, turn on your iPhone, select iTunes, and start enjoying your music. The 60 watts of power gives the T612 plenty of volume: turning it up towards near full volume induced some distortion from the speakers, but the level was already uncomfortably loud well before this point was reached. At low to moderate volume levels the sound quality was very good, and exactly what I expect from Altec Lansing.
While small in size, the buttons on the remote control are quite well sized, and because this is a fairly simple unit in terms of its functionality, there’s only eight buttons in total: power, volume +/-, bass, treble for sound control, and pause, next and previous for music control. No surprises here: these all work exactly as you expect.
As good as this is, it’s not all beer and skittles. One minor niggle that I found was in the way that the power connector fits into the back of the unit. The design of this such that is almost seems as though the base of the unit will interfere with the way that the power connector fits into the unit. It doesn’t, but the fit accommodates a very fine tolerance, and it gave me a feeling that I wasn’t quite sure that it had been properly plugged in.
A second minor niggle is that I have a leather case that I keep my iPhone in, but in order to use this dock, I need to first remove the case from the phone. I have seen some docks designed with the ability to permit the phone (or iPod) to remain within its case, so clearly, this is a design issue that Altec Lansing must have overlooked; I cannot for the life of me think of any reason why this would be an active decision that somebody might have taken.
Finally, it would be nice if this unit included a digital clock display on its front. That seems to be a natural inclusion for a device of this type, and its styling, to me, invites such an inclusion.
But if you’re looking for a dock for your iPhone that allows you to listen to your music in comfort, and with good quality, while recharging your phone, then you should add this one to your list of docks to consider.
Editor’s note: I’m in much the same the same boat here and think the T612 is an excellent unit. I’d have personally preferred to an in-built speakerphone in the device with an “answer call” button on the remote, but it’s still a bloody good unit that boasts excellent sound. — Leigh
Product: Altec Lansing T612
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