With roots datin back to the 1930s, Altec Lansing is one of the oldest names in audio. Founded in the United States of America after a merger between two big audio manufacturers of the time, the company has had its ups and downs, with its ownership changing hands multiple times in its long history. Today, Altec Lansing specialises in consumer loudspeakers, headphones, and multimedia products.
Although the speaker segment is competitive, Altec Lansing is a brand that still enjoys wide recognition and is considered premium. Today, we're reviewing the Rs. 1,999 Altec Lansing Dual Motion, which hopes to use this exact sentiment to stand out in the budget speaker market. It's part of a new range of consumer-centric personal speakers that also features the Altec Lansing LifeJacket 2. To find out all about the Dual Motion, read our full review.
Altec Lansing Dual Motion design and specifications
The Altec Lansing Dual Motion speaker has a shape and design that attempts to look rugged, much like the LifeJacket 2. However, apart from these design cues, there isn't much else that is rugged about the speaker. It isn't shock-resistant or water-resistant, and is thus essentially just an ordinary Bluetooth speaker with no features that set it apart.
The speaker itself is plastic with a dull finish, and physical buttons at the top for play/ pause, volume and call handling. The back of the speaker has the Micro-USB port for charging, the auxiliary-in socket, and a physical on-off switch. Powering the speaker are two 1.75-inch drivers, and the company's logo is also present in the form of a badge at the front.
There is a small strap on the side of the Altec Lansing Dual Motion that helps a bit while carrying it, but, for all practical purposes, is there just for show. The speaker itself is light and easy to take with you anywhere in a bag. It isn't very grippy at the bottom, but the shape of the speaker helps it stay in place when in use, with no instability or shaking. The battery runs for about 5-6 hours on a full charge, and the sales package includes a USB cable for charging and a 3.5mm stereo cable for wired connectivity.
Altec Lansing Dual Motion performance
We tested the Altec Lansing Dual Motion Speaker with our OnePlus 3 (Review) both wirelessly and using the stereo cable. Focus tracks for the review were Cut Copy's Take Me Over and Zomboy's Nuclear.
Starting with Take Me Over, we found that the Dual Motion speaker's sound was clean and inoffensive in most ways. The sound is fairly neutral, with no firm sensitivity spikes or a marked advantage to any segment of the frequency range. Although the bass is just a bit weak in terms of tightness, the low-end sounds clear and defined enough. The highs are also clean, with no excess in the treble. The only thing missing is any actual thump in the bass, but that seems to be caused by the lack of bass ports and sole reliance on the two drivers.
With the dubstep track Nuclear, we noticed that the Altec Lansing Dual Motion provides a wide soundstage thanks to the space between the two drivers, with decent sonic and instrumental separation for a basic portable speaker. The drivers are front-firing, creating a decent sweet spot for listening, and a sound that is straightforward and appealing. This approach to audio can be characterised as no-nonsense. The volume can get suitably loud without affecting fidelity much. However, the Dual Motion sounds best when it's just short of the loudest possible volume level.
The speaker does have a microphone and can be used for hands-free calls, but we found voice quality on calls to be poor. The microphone isn't very effective at capturing audio from more than a few inches away, and sound through the speaker often echoed back to the person on the other end of the call. The Dual Motion is therefore only decent for basic listening, and can possibly be used for group listening in small rooms.
The Altec Lansing Dual Motion Bluetooth speaker doesn't have much to differentiate itself, but at this price, that isn't something to worry about. There's a lot on offer here at Rs. 1,999. You get a decently-built speaker with two distinct drivers and decent sound from an established brand, so it's fair to say that the Dual Motion is a good option if you're shopping for an affordable Bluetooth speaker.
Although there's very little thump in the bass, the overall neutrality of the sonic signature and the decent sound stage makes for a good listening experience. However, you could also get all of this from the excellent Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Speaker, which is also priced at Rs. 1,999. It's a strong competitor to the Dual Motion, and one that could well suit you better if you're looking at raw power and thump at a reasonable price.
Price: Rs. 1,999
Ratings (Out of 5)