JBL has been coming out with quite a few iPod docks as we saw recently with the Onbeat and On Time 5V. We weren't very impressed with them and seeing Altec Lansing's M202, there might be some more options for users. The Octiv Duo aka M202 claims to play two iPod Touch/iPhone devices at the same along with some other nifty features.
Design and Features
Shaped like a quarter pie, the M202 might not look anything like JBL's docks, but in terms of looks, these are not half bad either. The dock has a nice wooden finish to it giving it a fresh different feel to it. Although most of the docks that we’ve seen are nice to look at, they still have that plastic feel to it. Au contraire, this one looks classier.
Classy looks and a snazzy remote
Facing the front of the dock, there are two full range neodymium drivers for a stereophonic effect. Also, next to either driver, there is a slit for a port. Over the M202, there are two little depressions that are meant to hold two iPods or iPhones. In front of them, there are small lights that are meant to indicate which of the two devices the source is. A third light in the center is meant to indicate whether your music is being played by some other media player connected via the Aux-In jack.
Speaking of the Aux-in jack, there’s a DC power port next to it and this is followed by a USB port. The USB port doesn’t act as a source, so it’s basically an additional feature for charging mobile devices. Another nifty concept is a cubbyhole behind the dock which is acts as a magnetic holder for the M202’s round remote. In quite a few ways, this little holder can definitely save a lot of trouble provided you make sure that the remote goes in after you’re done listening to the dock.
Competition for JBL
The remote control is small, round and light weight and is quite attractive to look at. The buttons are a little unconventional, but after 2-3 hours users will get a hang of it. Initially, there was an issue with the remote’s response but we later figured that the remote control did not have IR sensors around it, the player needs to be positioned correctly for the remote to function well.
Finally, Altec Lansing has an app for the iPod Touch and iPhone (with iOS 3.0 and higher) called “Music Mix”, specially made for this dock which lets users integrate the playlist of both devices! So, while both Apple devices are getting themselves juiced, one can be used as a source to access music playlists of both devices. The other app is an alarm clock app called “Alarm Rock” where you can wake up to your favorite song.