Altec Lansing Portable Speakers

Ultra Portable Speakers

Big Sound, Little Package

Daily Grommet researched portable speaker systems and found they fell into one of two categories.Category 1: Good sound in a not-very-portable package.Category 2: Ultra-portable package with mediocre sound.

Of course, we weren’t satisfied with either category. We wanted — heck, we demanded — the best of both worlds.

We’ve found the category-smashing solution in the Altec Lansing Orbit speakers. Yes, Virginia, you can have something small and portable (and—bonus!—not too pricey) that sounds great!

First, the sound
quality: These speakers sport a neodymium driver that provides sound in a distortion-free, 360-degree pattern. Was that Greek to you? Here’s the translation: The Altec Lansing offers full-bodied, clear, crisp sound and packs a much larger punch than its 3.5” diameter might suggest.

Second, the size issue: The Orbit speakers will fit tidily into your glove compartment, backpack, suitcase, or beach bag. Small enough to nestle in your palm, it comes with a padded case and handy carabiner clip so it’s ready to go anywhere you might want to share your music or give the headphones a rest.

Just plug’em in and rock on!
Read More Read Less
No longer available

Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Patrick

    Hi Daily Grommet fans! We’re glad to be here today to tell you about this compact, ultra-portable Orbit MP3 speaker system. Now, you have a way to instantly broadcast audio – anytime, anywhere -- from your iPod, music-enabled phone and even your laptop.

    The Orbit is small enough to slip into your purse or pack for easy travel, but delivers plenty of sound for a hotel room or for that park bench. You and your friends will find the sound surprisingly rich and robust, which is not typical of small speaker systems. I look forward to reading your comments and will be checking in to answer your questions. Thanks!

  • Lauren Flanagan
    Lauren Flanagan
    7/21/2009 12:27 PM

    It's a great little speaker. Some friends visited over the July 4th weekend and brought one to share some new tunes with me on their iPhone. Bit trebly at higher volume, but overall a terrific value.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    7/21/2009 12:47 PM

    @Lauren, Thanks for sharing your experience with the Orbit. Good to know about the high volume treble, too. I see this mainly as a social-sharing speaker, but I do love the idea of having my Itunes projected in a hotel room when travelling. Would make a hotel room a little more homey.

  • Mackenzie
    7/21/2009 12:50 PM

    I love this speaker for travel! It's tiny but packs a punch in terms of QUALITY SOUND! Sitting out on a veranda with a bottle of wine and some tunes...what could be better? Oh and the price is right on!

  • Ryan Wilson
    Ryan Wilson
    7/21/2009 1:10 PM

    This product is absolutely awesome! Its small, compact, easy to travel with....and most importantly, it packs a punch! Huge sound from such a small device!

  • Barbara
    Barbara – Grommet Team
    7/21/2009 1:20 PM

    One of the greatest things about being a part of the Grommet team is seeing all the fabulous products before they hit the site. I just bought this speaker and cannot wait to use it! When I was a teenager, I worked for a shoe store, and my mom used to say that "I owed my soul to the company store" because I bought so many shoes. It's nice to know that some things never change...

  • Angel
    7/21/2009 2:06 PM

    Have speaker - will travel! The Orbit has a surprisingly great sound for it's small size and works with just about any device. I had to buy some for my kids because they kept stealing mine!

  • Jesse
    7/21/2009 2:55 PM

    @Lauren & Jules--Adjusting the audio settings on your music device can make a big difference in the quality of the sound (more mids and lows, less treble).

    For iPods.

    iPhones have presets as well...

  • Leslie
    7/21/2009 3:05 PM

    ooh - I love this idea as an alternative to the high-priced i-homes for my daughter's bedroom!

  • Jennifer
    Jennifer – Grommet Team
    7/21/2009 3:14 PM

    @Jesse Your advice is so right on about adjusting your music device. While testing the Orbit I played around on my iPhone to see what would happen when you play with the preset functions under Settings and then iPod. Fun to play around with the presets and see what happens to a favorite tune. Not necessary but good to know information.

  • Steve
    7/21/2009 3:58 PM

    I've given several Orbits as gifts. At the affordable price, it's a GREAT value that doesn't break the bank. Thanks Altec!

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    7/21/2009 4:12 PM

    @Jesse. Thanks for the tip! I would not have thought of that. Glad to know that Jen (our primary tester on this one) was on top of that.

  • lisab
    7/21/2009 4:31 PM

    i love this item. i've been sharing it with friends all day. thanks DG.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    7/21/2009 4:53 PM

    @lisab Thanks so much for doing that! We are young and growing and really appreciate your lift-off for our Grommets.

  • T-bones
    7/21/2009 5:48 PM

    this looks pretty cool. the speakers that i have now are bad and loud enough. this would be good for outside.

  • Laura
    7/21/2009 5:51 PM

    Love this! Please tell me where I can find this in Canada. Unfortunately doesn't ship here.

  • Barbara
    Barbara – Grommet Team
    7/21/2009 8:00 PM

    @Laura, we're checking in with Patrick, and we'll be back with an answer soon.

  • Sarah
    7/21/2009 10:02 PM

    My 14 year old son just bought this (with his own money!!!). He's so excited to use this with his Ipod. Thanks!

  • Amy
    7/22/2009 8:28 AM

    Any chance this is available with a plug-in power cord as well? I like the idea for my shop or home, but would use too many batteries.

  • Barbara
    Barbara – Grommet Team
    7/22/2009 3:09 PM

    @Laura and @Amy - we have answers for you from Patrick. We've been having some technical problems with his posts -- so sorry for the delay.

    @Laura, there are a number of on-line outlets that carry the Orbit in Canada . Your best bet is to search the model number “iM237” in Canada . Also, this fall the Orbit will be available at Best Buy Canada (but this may be too late for all of your summertime music-on-the-go activities?)

    @Amy, because the Orbit sound is quite good, we hear this question fairly often. A good question for sure! The Orbit is all about convenience and portability. That is, for INSTANT sound when you need it -- and want it! Ultra-portability means battery power and no need to find a power outlet even. My daughter loves to tell the story when she had all her teammates rocking to the Orbit on a bus trip to an away volleyball game. If you’re looking for more stationary speakers, there are many options out there for plug-in systems at various price points.

  • Jules
    Jules – Grommet Team
    9/21/2009 7:28 PM

    I just gave this to my 18 year-old-son for his birthday. He had been talking about it for two months. He decided my Grommet job was really cool when he saw this product. Actually he said, "You guys are getting better and better and finding good Grommets." So....anyone who needs a gift for a teenager, I would bet my favorite shoes that this will be a hit. Great price and tremendous value.

  • Jeff
    11/7/2009 7:48 AM

    I like to listen to music on Pandora while I work. Have a clumsy speaker system @ my office...too many wires. Speakers on my Mac are ok...but too tinny. I am pretty mobile in my work as well so I need a speaker that is portable, good quality. Just bought this grommet. Cant wait to get it.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/7/2009 6:42 PM

    Jeff, you'll have to stop back and let us know what you think! Based upon Jules' son's reaction I am heavily considering this for my oh-so-hard-to-shop-for teenage nephew.

  • Jeff
    11/16/2009 7:47 PM

    I got the speaker in the mail last week and took it on a weekend trip. Speaker worked great in the car and @ our destination. I would recommend this portable speaker for the iPhone, iPod, Mac or PC! Very cool.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/16/2009 9:07 PM

    Jeff - that was a fast delivery, too! Thank you so much for stopping back to share your experience with these portable speakers.

  • Kate
    11/24/2009 11:47 PM

    I'm now on my second round of buying these as gifts for the teens in my life--I use my own ALL THE TIME when I travel. The sound is great and I love that I can easily move from room to room around the house. I hate using headphones; this is the perfect solution for me.

  • Liz
    1/14/2010 11:16 AM

    Follow up note that I bought this for my 17 year old nephew for Christmas, and he loves it! Uses it all the time at home, and in the locker room out at Worcester Academy. Rock on!

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    1/14/2010 12:04 PM

    Thank you for following up! Teens are so hard to buy for it's great to find something that they appreciate.

  • Kori
    2/22/2010 2:10 PM

    Just purchased my Orbit MP3 speaker and couldn't be happier with the product and the sound is truely amazing!!!

    This is the perfect travel companion for summer days on the beach, lounging by the pool or even at work instead of the radio (which is more advertising than anything these days).

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    2/22/2010 7:48 PM

    FLBeachLover - Keep talking! Just reading about relaxing beach or pool side has sent me daydreaming!

  • Bluma
    7/23/2010 2:40 AM

    Hi, does this speaker work with an iphone, or droid?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    7/23/2010 9:24 AM

    @BF - it is a 3.5mm input so on an iPhone you would need an adapter but it appears that the Droid uses 3.5mm.

  • Melinda Morey
    Melinda Morey
    11/27/2010 11:38 PM

    @Katherine - Daily Grommet Team:

    where would one find the right kind of an adapter for an iphone? this speaker sounds awesome and I want to get one!


  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    11/28/2010 12:22 AM

    @Melinda Morey: If you do a search engine search for "3.5 mm iPhone adapter" you will see some options.

  • Kimberly
    8/7/2010 9:11 AM

    I purchased this for my brother for valentine's Day. He LOVES it and continues to txt me whenever it is being used. He takes it on trips, vacations, parties and to dinner. Yes, to dinner. He placed it on the table in a restaurant and had music playing throughout his meal. He thinks it is WONDERFUL. Thank you

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/7/2010 10:41 AM

    @Kimberly - it's such a good feeling to give a gift that is a hit! Thank you for sharing!!

  • melissa
    8/11/2010 4:35 PM

    A question from a non-techie: If the USB Ultra doesn't need batteries, does it tun off of the MP3 player? And so the other one needs batteries because it doesn't? So the choice is a matter of convenience?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/11/2010 5:56 PM

    @melissa, the USB Ultra would be for computers and yes, it will take the energy it needs to run from the computer which will either be plugged in or running on a rechargeable battery.

  • John Kaye
    John Kaye
    8/29/2010 3:28 PM

    AWEsOME !!!! I'm a BIG fan of Altec and I was just thinking of a way to boost my sound from my small units.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    8/29/2010 10:09 PM

    @John - you are going to love this little speaker!

  • Lynn
    12/11/2010 11:02 AM

    *post edited to comply with our no advertising policy.

  • Susan
    1/12/2011 3:52 PM

    Can either product choice be used with my netbook?

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    1/12/2011 5:34 PM

    @Susan: If your netbook has a 3.5mm and a USB connector you would be able to use either.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

  • As featured in:

  • Today Show
  • Real Simple
  • The New York Times
  • Fortune
  • Inc Magazine