The packaging is simply elegant, Altec Lansing has no doubt lured an Apple packaging design engineer into their fold. From the blue color of the box to the high quality foam the speaker is nestled in it's a first rate class act and will make an impressive gift.
Setup and pairing are simple and effortless after reading the manual and initial charging. The pre-programed voice announcements after pairing and at start up while informative are very loud, don't do it if someone is sleeping in the next room.
My first impression upon actually listening to this unit was one of disbelief. I couldn't imagine Altec Lansing could release something with such awful "highs". I didn't expect much in the way of bass response just due to the physical size which is simply the nature of the beast. The midrange was better than expected and it's voice reproduction is exceptional.
How can I explain the initial highs? Hmmm at the beginning of Joan Baez's classic "Diamonds and Rust" there is a short acoustic guitar intro where you can hear her fret work clearly. It was the first song I listened to and that fret work sounded like a feral cat sliding down a steep metal roof digging its claws in trying desperately to keep from going over the edge. Ok, I switched music genre's and set up Kongo's "Come with me now" which has a crash of sound followed about 2/3rd's the way through with a slide guitar riff. Well, did you ever have a full recycling container and take out a few milk jugs and 2 liter bottles and stomp them on the garage floor to make room? You got the sound that was coming out. I was appalled and thought I had a defective unit.
Never one to give up I packed it in a large cardboard box surrounded with pillows while giving it some airspace and set it in the basement at about fairly high volume overnight till the following afternoon. Much much better! By the third day the highs became much crisper and cleaner the midrange had smoothed out even more and while it still struggled on the bass end at least that wasn't unexpected. At this point I'm quite happy with the sound overall within it's known limitations. Its gone from a speaker destined to force me into listening to hours of Dr. Laura telling me to change my life as it's voice reproduction was the only thing of value to a much more rounded listening experience.