Milford, Pa. – Altec-Lansing added new flagship models to its selection of PC speakers and portable iPod-docking speaker systems.
The docking speaker, the three-way iMT800 Mix, is the company’s highest-priced portable AC/DC iPod speaker system to date at a suggested $299. The iPhone-certified system is also the company’s first portable iPod speaker system to be positioned in name and styling as a digital boombox. It will be promoted through break-dance parties and an online breakdance competition, said Bernice Cramer, senior VP of product marketing and management.
The flagship PC speaker system, the $199-suggested MX6021 Expressionist Ultra, is priced like its three-way predecessor but adds multiple features, including triamplification, higher power at 200 watts RMS, and a larger subwoofer driver at 6.5 inches, said senior product manager Don Milks. Also unlike its predecessor, it features a trapezoid-shaped amplifier-subwoofer enclosure and, for each satellite speaker, a tweeter and midrange mounted inside separate cylindrical enclosures attached to a clear trapezoid-shaped mounting panel. A wired desktop rotary knob features 3.5mm input and controls for volume, bass and treble. It connects to a PC’s analog outputs.
The Mix ships Aug. 28. The PC speaker system is already shipping.
The iPod-docking iPhone-certified Mix is Altec’s first AC/DC model with boombox-like appearance, and it’s the first with two auxiliary inputs for connecting two additional MP3 players at group gatherings. With the supplied IR remote, users can source-switch between the docked iPod, the two aux ins, and the embedded FM tuner. The additional MP3 players sit in a recess on top of the boombox.
Compared to the previous AC/DC flagship, the Mix delivers 10 percent more power and SPLs, adds FM tuner and iPhone certification, and adds a horn-loaded tweeter to widen the sound stage. The 1-inch silk-dome tweeters are accompanied by companion 3-inch midranges, one side-firing 5.25-inch woofer, and a side-mounted 5.25-inch passive radiator. Other Mix features include full remote control of the iPod menu, separate bass and treble controls, seven-band graphic EQ, and front rack-style handles. The Mix runs off 8 D-cell batteries, whose remaining battery life is displayed in percentages on a front-panel display.
To promote the Mix, Altec will sponsor break-dance street parties in select cities beginning the second week of September and running through October. Prized will be awarded to break dancers. An on-line version of the break-dance contest, called Mix It Up, will invite consumers to send their break-dance videos to Altec, which will award prizes, including a grand prize of $2,500, a Mix, and an appearance in the music video of an artist to be named.
In portable AC/DC iPod-docking speaker systems, the company’s previous top-end model began life at a suggested $249 but hasn’t been available in the U.S. for about two years. The company, however, has offered DC-only iPod speaker systems at $299 and above.