We let the MIX break in for about 50 hours but snuck in a listen periodically during that time. The MIX did benefit appreciably from the break-in period so keep that in mind should you decide to audition one. We employed our usual mix of jazz, rock, hip-hop, funk and folk during our listening tests and played back several of the tracks in multiple rooms (and outdoors) to gauge the MIX’s performance in different environments.
Altec Lansing describes the MIX’s bass performance as “fierce” and we’re inclined to agree. It isn’t the tightest bass response but it is tuneful and robust and blends extremely well with the midrange frequencies. Even outdoors, the bass was palpable and that is extremely impressive for a unit of this size. Though a little boomy out of the box, we found EQ adjustments reigned in the bass response and gave us a more balanced, natural response.
Midrange performance was above average. Vocals sounded natural and didn’t exhibit any excess resonance- a common side effect of plastic enclosures.
Treble response was occasionally dodgy. We noted that the quality of the music track had a lot to do with how the MIX ended up sounding. Tracks with a lot of high frequency splash came across a little too forward with the MIX. The horn loaded tweeters seemed to beam certain frequencies directly at us which took away from the 3-dimensional sound that it otherwise exhibited. We were able to compensate with some quick treble adjustments indoors but found that the extra hot highs worked in the MIX’s favor when the unit was placed outdoors.
In general, we felt that the MIX boombox’s sound quality was well above average, though not something you would apply the “audiophile” label to. The blend between the tweeters, mids and subwoofer was reasonably balanced and, when it wasn’t, easily adjusted through the on-board EQ.
The MIX boombox by Altec Lansing packs a refreshing combination of features, connectivity, portability and powerful sound. While it performs well indoors, this retro styled boombox is most at home on your deck, patio or next to your breakdancing mat. The MIX’s comprehensive list of functions and awesome sound quality make it one of the best iPod speaker docks available and, at under $250.00 it’s a bargain, too.
- Powerful Sound
- Highly Portable
- Rugged Construction
- AC or Battery Powered
- No Video Output
- Slightly Bright Treble