USB speakers aren't exactly headline-grabbing gadgets these days, but the fact remains that most laptops could still use a little help on the audio end. If you're in need of a quick fix for your weak-sounding machine, then Altec Lansing's $49.95 Orbit USB Stereo (iML247) might be worth your consideration. As the name says for itself, both power and audio input are managed through one USB cord, meaning no batteries are required here. Better yet, when not in use, you can simply fold up the legs, stuff the cables into the hollow ends, and then twist the speakers together to form one smooth tube for storage. Of course, note that this Orbit won't work with devices sporting the common 3.5mm headphone jack, and obviously don't expect cinematic sound quality from these tiny canisters -- hey, there's always a trade-off. Hands-on pics in the gallery below.
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Altec Lansing Orbit USB Stereo

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FROM HOTEL ROOM TO CONFERENCE ROOM: UNLEASH YOUR LAPTOP'S SOUND POTENTIAL WITH ALTEC LANSING'S NEW ORBIT USB STEREO SPEAKER SYSTEM

The Portable and Powerful Orbit USB Stereo Gives Voice to the Laptop

MILFORD, PA – May 3, 2011 – Today, audio innovator Altec Lansing introduced the ultra-portable Orbit USB Stereo (iML247), a USB powered speaker system engineered for the multimedia user who needs an on-the-go audio solution with plug and play simplicity. The Orbit USB Stereo significantly amplifies and enhances the sound of any laptop, netbook or computer without compromising portability thanks to its unique, compact design that interlocks the two speakers and stows the cord.

"Any laptop user knows the sound quality of those tiny speakers typically leaves something to be desired. Whether it's for business or pleasure, people depend on the audio from their computer. The Orbit USB Stereo was developed to enhance the existing sound quality and create a more dynamic listening experience," said Steve Schlangen, Altec Lansing Senior Product Manager. "We designed the Orbit USB Stereo with portability in mind. Whether it's a cross-country business trip or a simple stroll from the dorm, the compact and durable Orbit USB Stereo goes everywhere you'd take your laptop."

Hitting the Road with a Twist

Multimedia can make the difference between a successful presentation and a boring slideshow and the Orbit USB Stereo makes a big impression despite a small footprint. To use, simply twist and split apart the two speakers and connect to a computer via USB. When done, the two speakers lock back together and are ready to go. To maximize portability, the compact yet rugged design is easy to pack or toss in a bag, and features hidden internal cord storage to eliminate tangling. Retractable stands let the user aim the sound in any direction for a more robust listening experience whether it's for business or for personal entertainment.

At the core of the Orbit USB Stereo is Altec Lansing's Audio Alignment technology, which delivers perfectly balanced sound with astonishing volume, clarity and depth. As the next generation of the popular Orbit line, the Orbit USB Stereo's ease of use (no battery or power outlet needed), portability and outstanding sound quality make it the perfect laptop, netbook or computer accessory for any user, from the business professional to the student.

Availability and Pricing

The Altec Lansing Orbit USB Stereo will be available in May 2011 at www.alteclansing.com, Walmart, www.amazon.com and MSRP is $49.95.

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Altec Lansing's Orbit USB Stereo trumps your laptop's speakers, has split personality