So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Altec Lansing M602
- Decent sound at lower listening levels, Remote, Lighting display
- Distorts heavily at uppoer volumes, Muddled bass, No dock adaptors
An average sounding system that distorts heavily at high volumes, the M602 will not satisfy listeners with a penchant for loud music.
Price$ 369.00 (AUD)
Contending with products such as the Bose SoundDock and Apple iPod Hi-Fi, the Altec Lansing M602 is marketed as a stereo system to "fill your living room with sound". At a better price than the SoundDock, we had great expectations for this package, but unfortunately it fell well short of Bose's product in terms of sound quality.
The M602 handled music adequately at lower listening levels, producing balanced sound on softer pop and acoustic tracks. When turned up to much over halfway however, distortion became evident, deteriorating the sound quality dramatically.
The bass was the first element to be affected on all musical styles, with this detracting from the system's ability to separate sounds effectively. As the bass began to distort, other sounds merged and became overly muddled. Most systems will distort slightly at high volumes, but it was noticeably more evident on the M602.
The distortion greatly affected sound quality, requiring you to listen at a much lower volume level. It may suit you fine if you are content listening to softer music at lower volumes, but for filling a room with sound, especially on bass heavy music, the M602 struggles to satisfy.
While not as aesthetically pleasing as the SoundDock, the M602 sports a simple and tidy design. A nifty design feature is the inclusion of 5 LED lights sitting behind the speaker grille to gauge volume, as well as bass and treble levels.
On top of the unit you'll find Power, Volume, and Bass/Treble adjustments buttons, with these functions duplicated on a remote. On the remote you'll also find track changing functions for the iPod, although there is no control to navigate through the menu to select songs.
Unlike many of Altec Lansing's products, the M602 does not come equipped with dock adaptors for the different models of iPod. This left our mini and nano iPods resting on the metal speaker grille, leading them to rattle when bass was increased. Included in the box is a small stand that slots into the iPod dock so that other music players can sit upright like their Apple counterparts, with the stand solving the problem of the device sitting against the grille. A short cable to connect such an audio device is also supplied.
The M602 comes equipped with a wall mount, and a number of connections at the rear including a mini USB, auxiliary and headphone inputs as well as a composite video output to connect a video iPod to the TV.
With the distortion being evident at just over halfway up the volume scale, we cannot recommend this system for those looking to entertain at volume. It performs adequately at lower levels and may be of interest to those who don't want to shelve out the extra money for the SoundDock.
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