Mobile Technology

Altec Lansing’s Orbit USB 360° sound portable speaker packs a punch

Altec Lansing’s Orbit USB 360°...
Altec Lansing's Orbit USB ultra-portable speaker
Altec Lansing's Orbit USB ultra-portable speaker
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Altec Lansing's Orbit USB ultra-portable speaker
Altec Lansing's Orbit USB ultra-portable speaker

Laptop speakers generally aren’t the most impressive sound reproduction devices going around so travelers either have to put up with poor sound quality, rely on a set of headphones, or pack a set of (often not so) portable speakers. Altec Lansing appears to have overcome this annoyance by unveiling its Orbit USB ultra portable speaker at IFA 2009 this week.

The Orbit USB is, as the name suggests, a USB-powered speaker that is small enough in dimensions to throw in a laptop bag, but big enough on sound quality to be used to pump out a little music in the campus quad, watch a movie with friends or for enhancing that all-important business presentation. Like the company’s previous Orbit models, the Orbit USB comes in a circular form factor to provide a 360° sound field, while its retractable stand allows users to direct the audio where it's wanted.

Being USB-powered means there’s no need to worry about batteries – apart from the one in your laptop of course. The plug-and-play device features integrated USB cord storage so the 16-inch cord can be wound up for tangle free travel. It also boasts Altec Lansing’s Alignment technology that precisely aligns the driver, the enclosure and the electronics within the small system. The unit’s portability is also enhanced through its aluminum and composite construction ensuring it can handle a few knocks.

We had a chance to listen to the Orbit USB at IFA 2009, where the diminutive speaker definitely punched above its weight with its impressive sound quality and sturdy construction.

Altec Lansing’s Orbit USB (iML237) will be available from October for USD$49.95 or UKP£39.99.

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