Altec Lansing T612 – Review


Altec Lansing T612
Company: Altec Lansing

Price: $199.95
Altec Lansing

The Altec Lansing T612 in one of the first audio systems to adorn the new, “Works with iPhone” logo. This logo indicates that the T612 is certified to work in harmony with the iPhone in accordance with the specifications and standards established by Apple. We have all experienced the cellular bleed through resulting from using an iPhone with a standard iPod audio system. The “Works with iPhone” program was implemented to restore order between the iPod within the iphone and external audio systems. We have tested the diminutive (in size only) audio system and the results may surprise the average iPod/iPhone user looking for big sound in a small package.

With design cues reminiscent of many modern Apple products, Altec Lansing has designed an aesthetically pleasing audio system. The minimalist industrial design of the T612 combines harmonious amounts of brushed aluminum and black finished components.

The resulting product has a very small footprint as it rises from the surface to a height of 8.2″. The design has a very strong look and feel. The T612 presents an air of internal strength below its understated elegance.

Controls have been placed on top of the unit and are easily actuated and ideally spaced. Power, volume, bass, and treble are controllable from the unit itself. Altec Lansing has included a remote which provides these same controls with the addition of play/pause, and buttons for advancing forward or backward (these last three controls are not present on the unit, only the remote).

The T612 includes a docking station for the iPod/iPhone. The station incorporates the universal docking solution designed by Apple. This solution uses different Universal Dock Adapters to provide an appropriate fit for each product whether iPod or iPhone. While the documentation noted that, “Miscellaneous adapters for iPhone and iPod” were included in the package contents, only one adapter was actually present (more on this later). Make sure you have those adapters in your purchased unit. The proper adapter will insure that the attached device will seat properly within the dock.

The feature set of the T612 is long and substantial considering its size and price point. For a complete list of features, jump to the product page.

It is important to begin with audio quality. After all, the T612 is first and foremost an audio system. When it comes to its core reason for existence, the T612 does not disappoint. I was particularly impressed with the depth of sound produced by the four specially engineered speakers. The lows were deep without distortion. The tonal quality across the spectrum was unexpected and delightful. The XdB bass-enhancement technology must be credited with bringing above average bass reproduction sans the use of a subwoofer. Color me impressed.

At full volume, there was no discernible crack or distortion. No matter what type of audio content I played through the T612 (Rock, Classical, R&B, Podcasts), it handled it in a workman like fashion. I have listened to many different types of systems in this category, none sounded better than the T612.

As an early entry into the, “Works with iPhone” category of products, the T612 performed creditably. Once I installed an Apple iPhone 3G Universal Dock Adapter (purchased separately from Apple), the iPhone seated firmly and all was well. The T612 worked well with the iPhone. Both the onboard controls and those found on the remote worked mostly as expected (more on this later).

The bane of audio systems which do not comply with the Works with iPhone standard, cellular bleed through, was never heard. When a test call came through while the iPhone was attached to the T612, the music was smoothly paused as the call was routed through to the iPhone incoming call screen. A quick selection of the speaker icon and, voila! The caller was then clearly heard through the T612 speakers. Everything worked seamlessly.

There are a few areas that could be improved to make the T612 even better. The placement of the power connecter is somewhat awkward and seems to be placing pressure on the cable.

When mounted on a wall, this pressure would most likely be mitigated. This may well be a design choice that was thoroughly tested and found to be viable over the lifetime of the unit. Stay tuned for updates regarding this issue.

I found it a little difficult to insert the connector due to the cable rubbing against the surface upon which the T612 was sitting. A slight relocation of the power connector would be helpful.

Employing the universal docking solution developed by Apple adds complete compatibility with the entire Apple iPod and iPhone product lines. However, with only one adapter included, I was forced to use an Apple Universal Dock Adapter I had purchased for use with other devices.

To be fair to Altec Lansing, the documentation indicates that additional adapters should be included in the package. This will indeed improve the overall aesthetic (see pict) as well as the proper seating of the attached device.

A little further refinement of the remote control hardware is needed to improve the way in which the T612 and the attached device interact. When music is playing and the screen on the iPhone has gone to sleep, there seems to be a little glitch that occurs when the play/pause button is pressed for the purpose of pausing the music. Once the button is pressed, the iPhone screen lights up, the music is briefly paused and then continues to play. In order to actually pause the music, the play/pause button must be pressed again. All in all, a minor issue and one that can be easily corrected. RATING
The Altec Lansing T612 is a beautifully designed audio system that produces an excellent tonal quality that rivals many of its more expensive competitors in the category. With the acknowledgment of a few minor issues that could be improved to make this great system even better, we give the T612 a toe tapping 4.5 out of 5 in our Rating System .

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