What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 27 Nov 2009, 10:00am

Altec Lansing Orbit USB

Tested at £40
80100
4

Achieves what it sets out to do by delivering decent sound cheaply

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For

  • Cheap and cheerful
  • powered by USB
  • doddle to connect
  • sounds decent for the money.

Against

  • Predictably, treble lacks refinement

Here's a funny looking thing. This is the second portable little sound cylinder Altec Lansing has offered to the world of MP3.

The Orbit M sports a standard 3.5mm audio connection; this one connects directly to a USB audio output.

The most obvious benefit for us here is that it draws all its necessary power from USB, so there's no need for batteries or mains power, which is handy for a portable device or laptop.

There's not much else to it, aside from pointing out it's reasonably well made and comes with a small kickstand for propping it up.  

It costs £40. Let's just flag that up once more for those of you who breezed over the top of the review.

Decent sound quality
And yes it's a little bright and it's a little less organised in the treble than we'd like; but the more we listen to the Orbit USB, the more we think it sounds surprisingly decent.

Lob it in your bag to take on holiday or take it in to the spare room with your laptop and you won't have to worry about running out of batteries.

Nor will you have to put up with your laptop speakers, of course.

Noticeably clearer, fuller and, hey, even musical, the Altec Lansing is a bit of a bargain for basic laptop listening.

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