Since the arrival of the iPod, many companies, including Altec Lansing, have taken full advantage of the device’s extremely contagious popularity. It's no surprise then, that since the release of the iPhone in Australian shores, such companies have taken a similar approach, knowing full well that the company that produced the revolutionary MP3 player has imbedded the iPod into a mobile phone and will eventuate into another hit with the general public. The T612 speaker system is one such product that not coincidentally came out at a similar time as the iPhone.
For all intents and purposes, the T612 is a robust, no-nonsense speaker system that is heavily suited to music though it can play sounds from films, TV shows and other video from the iPod and iPhone.
There are plenty of iPod docks around – Creative, TDK, Logitech, JBL, Harmon Kardon, Bowers & Wilkins, Bose, Polk Audio and iHome are just a sample set of brands that have released speaker sets complete with docking station.
There might not be a whole lot that separates these speaker systems except for quality of sound and aesthetics. The T612 looks relatively nice and stylish and is small enough to be set aside on a table or a shelf or set of drawers. Where it really shines though is the exceptional sound quality that can easily fill a room.
Suffice to say, the T612 is strictly one that should be home-ridden. It’s a heavy, one-piece system that is based on very simple, symmetrical shape that is thoroughly rounded and set like many of the docking stations that are available. It's neat design won’t necessarily turn people’s heads but it won’t receive any negative remarks either. The physique of the T612 is best described as subtle and modest though admittedly, it will certainly make a huge impact once it is turned on.
The overriding colour scheme of the T612 is big(gish), bold and black. Aside from a silver strip of metal that rims the top and sides and the shiny Altec Lansing logo, the machine is black – which could be a good and bad thing, depending on how picky you are with the look of your speakers. The dimensions of the speakers are: 354mm (width) x 137mm (depth) x 208mm (height). The weight is probably around 4-5kg.
The light for the T612 is bright blue and is indicated at the front and on top. The blue light is central on the front and is on when adjusting the volume/bass/treble parameters or turning the system on. This blue light changes in brightness and size, ever so slightly, as the increments of these parameters increase or decrease. It’s an effective visual representation that should make the T612 stand out from other dock stations.
The T612 has two connectivity options – one strictly useful for iPods and iPhones and one that will allow devices that can make use of a 3.5mm jack connector.
There’s no Bluetooth connection, but then again, given the purpose, there’s no need for it. It does mean that people with mobile phones cannot use the system for playing music through their phones (unless these use a 3.5mm jack).
I’ve owned Altec Lansing speakers before and like a number that I have seen including the T612, the company tends to make them solid, stable and fairly heavy. The entire case of the dock is an extremely hard plastic that gives it shape – from the very base of the dock to the top where the five functional buttons exist. The speakers are flushed into one piece at the front in a smooth black finish and the dock sits smack bang in the centre, also with a smooth black finish. In fact, the entire station is smooth to touch.
There are no openings or movable parts except for the two cords which all come off when desired.