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|16th January 2012, 08:26||#1|
Join Date: May 2010
Altec Lansing Live 5000 WiFi music system makes its debut
During CES, Altec Lansing showed us its latest premium wireless speaker system, the $500 WiFi-equipped Live 5000. If you're thinking "wait, isn't that attractive-looking, teardrop-shaped gizmo just its inAir 500 AirPlay speaker?" you'd be sort-of correct. While the system is nearly identical to the inAir, the unit itself isn't tied to iThings for wireless audio streaming -- instead, Altec's created its own "ecosystem" that'll support a variety of devices. After hooking the speaker up to your network, you can use any Android, iOS device or computer running the company's Live controller app to setup up a central playlist of your tunes. The music isn't sent to the cloud, but rather, streamed directly from each device's local catalog of music -- salvation from the pains of aggregating your files to one central storage hub. Best of all, there's also support for services like Rhapsody, ensuring you'll be able to load up your music from wherever you normally would.
We checked out an early build of the iPhone app (on an iPad), and the interface was simple and intuitive, but we're told to expect more polish in the final edition -- along with that missing tablet-sized version. Notably, the app allows playback to multiple speakers, giving you the option to set up various linkable "stages" to stream independent playlists to. We gave the unit a quick listen on the noisy show floor, and while it got plenty loud, the bass was on the anemic side, despite its 4-inch woofer. Highs and mids were alright, although, at times things felt a bit tinny to our ears. Of course, the hustle and bustle of CES isn't exactly the best spot for hearing how speakers like this sound, so we'll have to reserve final judgement until the unit ships this summer (not to mention that the testing material was streaming from Rhapsody). For now, hit up the gallery below for a closer look, and you'll find a press release past the break with more details.
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