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Altec Lansing Octiv Mini Review

Octiv Mini Review - bed table

Looking for a compact audio dock for your iPhone/iPod next to your bed for some easy listening? Or perhaps the default iPhone’s speaker is too soft to wake you up each morning? Look no further than the Altec Lansing Octiv Mini (M102). Its compact size will definitely fit on any space you have on your bedside table and it also serves as a great alarm clock while charging your iPhone/iPod at the same time.

altEvery night before I go to bed, I normally charge my iPhone 4 with the supplied cable. I hate it because the cable dangles around on the floor when the phone is not being recharged. Aesthetically, it’s so much more elegant having the Octiv Mini next to your bed as a recharging dock.


Of course, why get the Altec Lansing Octiv Mini if you just want to use it as a recharging dock? The Octiv Mini actually delivers a decent quality sound and can be pretty loud if you crank up the volume level on your iPhone or iPod. Don’t expect it to deliver a super clean treble or a deep bass though, considering the size of the speaker.

To play your music through the Octiv Mini, you have to dock your iPhone/iPod on it first. You can also hook up other media devices (Zune HD, Creative X-Fi, etc) through the AUX connection, which is welcomed. It’s a bit hard to control the music when your iPod/iPhone is on the dock though so you normally have to use another hand to hold the device steady while you pick your music. This is probably the only drawback that the Octiv Mini has. If you don’t change your music too often, you’ll be fine.

IMG_4853Octiv Mini Review - 1

Unlike those regular square shaped speakers, the Octiv Mini looks unique, modern, and sexy. Although it may look like it’s going to fall over from the pictures, it won’t. It’s very sturdy on a flat surface and will not budge when you dock your iPhone/iPod on.

The Octiv Mini supports all iPhone models and also both iPod Touch and iPod Nanos:

Octiv Mini compatibility

They haven’t updated the compatibility picture above yet, but I can confirm that the Octiv Mini works with iPhone 4. In fact, it even works with Apple’s bumper case (as you can see from my pictures above) and other cases like the Belkin Shield Eclipse White I used previously.

When you dock your iPod/iPhone, you’ll hear a familiar connection sound and there is also a LED indicator. Unfortunately, there is only one indicator’s color on the LED. It’d be cool if it turns to green when the device is fully recharged.


alarmThe Octiv Mini let me know through my iPhone 4 that there is an alarm application called Alarm Rock when I plugged my iPhone 4 in for the first time.

The app is pretty good actually. It has different clock themes, different alarm sets, and you can even use your iPod’s music as an alarm, unlike the iPhone default Clock app.

Unfortunately the application failed to wake me up a couple of times. I think it was because I didn’t have the application running in the foreground. Since the app doesn’t automatically run when you dock your iPhone, you might want to remember this until they update the app to be able to run in the background. Or alternatively, you can use the default iPhone’s Clock app or other third party apps (like the Night Stand) since they work well with the Octiv Mini too. Nevertheless, Octiv Mini amplifies the alarm on your iPhone’s by tenfold :)

Altec Lansing Octiv Mini Review Conclusion

Overall, I’m very happy with the Altec Lansing Octiv Mini. It’s compact, looks modern, uniquely designed, and sounds great. The Octiv Mini is perfect when you want to listen for some music before you go to bed while recharging your iPod/iPhone at the same time. It also works with all the iPods and iPhones (check the compatibility chart above), even with a case on.

Unfortunately there are no playback controls on the dock and it does not have other nifty features. However, its simplicity is definitely one of the strengths that the Octiv Mini has.

Note: Sample unit was provided for the review

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