So what is the Orbit? Well it is simply a single speaker you can carry around with you that can connect to your iPod or other portable MP3 player. Usually you imagine yourself wearing little tiny headphones as you roam the landscape, but Altec Lansing believe we could also require a single portable speaker, so we can share our music with our friends.
The actual speaker is quite compact, yet has a surprisingly loud volume and clear sound, so don’t let the size worry you. It even gives you quite a wide field of audio as well, adding to the experience. You can even hear a little bit of bass resonance if you listen carefully enough. The main downside is of course there is no stereo, just a mono output. Using three AAA type batteries and including an adapter to plug into various output sockets, you have something that could actually be of help if you do indeed need to show the world your musical delights. Switching on and off is achieved simply by rotating the outer casing slightly and the weight is virtually non-existent. I did have a slight issue with the back of the speaker where you enter the batteries, as the fit is quite snug and the back plastic cover didn’t want to go back on very easily (maybe it is just me though!).
I do have one worry! When would you actually use it? If you are at home, you would have something far more elegant to plug into to achieve the best quality of sound for that environment. When you are out and about you would wear headphones, so you are only left with the sharing aspect. Can you imagine a group of youths hanging around on a corner with one of these things pelting out sounds at 2am? Hopefully instead, it will be used for sharing music and podcasts when you are on a holiday etc, but the use is quite minimal really. Prices range around £30 on the Internet, which maybe is a little pricey for what it is.
It is actually quite a neat little speaker that does the job well and better than I expected, but I am finding it quite hard to find a really good practical use for it.