Pros Very portable, great sound for size
Cons Not stereo, could use a bit more bass
Summary I bought this unit completely unresearched at Best Buy for my Sansa Clip 2gb MP3 player. I wanted to be able to jam to my MP3 player at home and when we travel and stay in hotel rooms. My first chance to use it was at the hotel - at first I figured there's no way I'm gonna get this little speaker to get loud enough - boy, was I wrong! I wasn't able to play my MP3 player much above half volume without worrying that my neighbors might get offended! And the sound quality blew me away - I was expecting tinny-sounding, cheap speaker output, but this little unit really blasts out a decent quality tone. It's not as precise as good in-ear noise-cancelling headphones, but for what it is and the low price, it's definitely a nice unit to bring along pretty much anywhere. It runs on three AAA batteries (not included) so it'll go everywhere, including in the car. The bass isn't like a fancy stereo, of course, but again, for the price, it definitely packs a nice little whallop!
The on-off switch IS a bit quirky, but once I figured it out it works fine...just remember when turning on/off to NOT grab the black base unit when turning the silver top.
Another nice feature is it's got a place to store it's connector chord, so it's not flopping around all over the place.
I paid $29.95 + tax for this unit at Best Buy - I'd highly recommend it!
Pros Surprisingly good sound quality from a small portable speaker.
Cons No A/C jack, kwirky on/off switch, lite base response
Summary This is not the tinny sounding low cost portable speaker you would expect or have owned. Although the base end of the range is a bit lacking (let's be real, it only costs $40!) the speaker sounds crisp and clean at all but the loudest volumes. The little thing throws sound really well. I have had it one day and recommended to a number of friends. It is also useful for folks whose laptops have weak speakers.
Pros Please see at bottom
Cons Please see at bottom
Summary Pros(not enough space to write on top)
I might have not had much experience with portable speakers. But judging by the sound to size ratio, this speakers does have loudness
-Clear: I've had these other portable speakers before. At loud levels, my older speakers had the type of hissing sound, It''s hard to describe. The Orbit, on the other hand, handles the sound well, even at high volume levels.
-I personally like the symbol of the altec lansing logo embedded on the top of the speaker. It gives a sense of style.
-It's simple to set up and even easier to operate. I mean, there's only one switch!
The ring power switch-It is kind of wierd. I would prefer if it was just a simple switch. Maybe they were trying to be unique or something.
The 3.5mm audio connector- I would prefer if it would be gold-plated, even if I had to pay a bit more. Without the gold-plated connector, the life span and quality of this speaker is reduced greatly. From my experience, non gold-plated connectors rust(I'm not really sure what is the stuff that forms on the ordinary connectors) and the connection is significantly affected
-A case would be nice, and ac power too. But these things might bring the price of the speakers up. Many people might not accept this, as I see price is important in many people's mind. It's hard to get everything you expect from a product if you complain about the price. Many people here don't seem to understand that
I have searched everywhere for portable speakers that suited my requirments. I wanted something that was easy to carry around, simple to use, has loud clear sound, and limited wire tangle.
I did try 2 other speakers. One of them was a passive sony speakers. They were great for indoors only. In the outdoors, it cannnot deliver. Another con was that it was heavy. I think it is even heavier than the Orbit
Another portable speaker I had is the cylinder shaped one from ArtDio. That was just horrible. Although there was the option of using batteries or ac power, the sound was unbearable. My 320kbps songs sounded like 64kbps, or whatever is the worse sound quality avaible. It was cheap in sound but not in price, biased towards ipods (the dock could only fit ipods), and nothing related to the word portable.
Now one of the reasons why I demand loud clear sound is because I travel to different places alot and do many outdoor activities. From time to time, it is nice to share music or watch movies with friends. In the outdoor environment, there aren't many walls to rebound all the sound into your ears. In addition, with boat motors, and random people talking beside you, it's not easy to hear clearly what the artist is singing about, or what an actor is trying to express in a movie. I constanly get annoyed because of this.
I didn't knwo that you could get this speaker at such a cheap price at first. I bought it at Wal-Mart for 40$. I know I am ripped off, but it doesn't matter. I didn't even regret, I was surprised speakers this small can make such loud clear sound. I guess it was because my other 2 speakers were cr@p. Now I take this with me when I hike in the mornings. At least I can listen to something else other than the radio.
To conclude, I would like to say that most of the improvements that could be done on this Orbit speaker is already shown on the new one, as I can see. I just hope that the quality of the sound is not sacrificed on the new smaller model.
Pros Small, light, portable, very decent sound, plenty loud.
Cons Quirky on-off switch, mono (not stereo).
Summary I've used this on mostly on my smartphone with great results. Out in the world, when I whip out my "music puck" people are surprised at the quality and loudness of the sound. I'm often asked "where'd you get that?" I wouldn't pay $40 for it, but at $20 or under, this is a great solution as a portable way to vastly improve on your laptop or smartphone speakers for movies and music.The single complaint I have is that the on-off switch is very hard to activate on my unit. The switch is the entire silvery ring at the top perimeter of the speaker. You hold the base while twisting the top between on and off. On mine, there are times I almost cannot get it to move. It requires tremendous effort to get it to move into the other position. I am a 6'3" man with decent hand/arm strength. I assume mine is unusual in this regard, but I have heard others with a similar complaint, if not *AS* much so.
Updated on Jul 4, 2011
Pros Convenient, long battery life, good sound
Cons not alot of bass
Summary I think you have to consider the reality of a small portable speaker like the Orbit. Any speaker this small you would have to expect a pretty low quality sound. There just hasn't been any portable speakers this size that have anything close to quality fidelity. With that in mind, I bought the Orbit on a whim. I needed a small portable speaker for my job as a bodyworker therapist. I was expecting a tinny sound with a limited dynamic range and was just hoping it was listenable and loud. I was very surprised and impressed with how full this speaker sounded. There is a noticeable clarity and richness to the music and it can be played pretty loudly without distortion. There's not much deep bass which is noticeable and detracts from the overall sound however the quality of most of the dynamic range is good enough to overcome this deficiency. The batteries last me for a couple of months and I use the speaker about 1/week for 6 hours straight each week at about mid volume level on my player. When you consider that this speaker costs $25-$30, it's really a steal and highly recommended. It's not going to replace the sound quality of a much bigger speaker system but for an ultra portable speaker, it's damn good.