Ok, Now We’re Talking: Gorgeous New Wireless Dock From Altec Lansing [CES 2012]




LAS VEGAS, CES 2012 — The last Altec Lansing dock we reviewed, the Bluetooth-equipped InMotion Air, left us with a weird taste — it was just too funky. AL’s new LIVE 5000 more than makes up for this: It looks *really* stunning up close — and sounds fantastic to boot.


The wedge-shaped, AirPlay- and DNLA-enabled wifi speaker (the marketing kids are calling this “platform agnostic”) is stuffed with a four-inch subwoofer and passive radiator, a pair of Kevlar three-inch midrange tweeters and another pair of neodymium soft-dome tweeters. We have no idea what half of that means, but the result is fantastic. The thing really does sound good.

The speaker uses your existing 802.11 network to stream music.

And AL’s offerings continue to look more grown-up; in addition to the striking shape, the speaker’s flanks are covered with an unusual wood material that looks and feels very lux.

But the real advantage to this speaker is its ability to become part of a modular system. Similar to the Sonos system, one can daisy-chain LIVE 5000 speakers together in different rooms and stream the same or different music to all of them or some of them, and everything is controlled with the system’s own iOS app (which isn’t in the App Store yet).

If the LIVE 5000 doesn’t look cheap, it isn’t — the speaker will run $500 when it ships this summer.

  • atikik

    It’s gorgeous, if you’re a lady. Looks like a purse to me. Hehe

  • Carl Harrison

    how is this a dock then?

  • Finlay MacArthur

    “ships this summer”, by which time Apple should have fixed the airplay problem on the bug ridden iPhone 4s.

  • prof_peabody

    I don’t see the dock and you don’t speak about it.  Is this a dock or a speaker?  It just looks like a speaker to me.  

  • Mike Rathjen

    It’s not gorgeous and it’s not a dock.

  • Anon Developer

    The ios 5.1 beta 2 appears to prove it’s fixed, im told… thank god!

  • elimilchman

    True, it’s a speaker. Technically, it’s a speaker enclosure or cabinet — but we call it a speaker, because there are speakers inside, and that’s how the language has developed.  

    And so it is with the way dock is used here, because the wired versions are called docks (which also isn’t correct, because they’re not really docks, but speaker cabinets with dock attachments).