As well as a button for playing and pausing music, there are skip-track buttons. But these only work on the device plugged into the central dock.
Not all volumes are equal
Another gripe is that there's no volume-equalisation option. You'll find some devices come through much louder than others, regardless of which sound channel you've plugged them into. You can always adjust the volume if it's too quiet or too loud, but having to fiddle with the settings every five minutes is a surefire way to kill the party vibe.
Thanks to two subwoofers on either side of the Mix's body, it packs a powerful bass punch. Any mid-tones will get drowned out by the overpowering low end, and we noticed considerable hiss emanating from the speakers themselves. In short, the Mix's audio is great if you're looking to wake the neighbours and keep everybody dancing, but it won't satisfy audiophiles in a non-party environment.
Design-wise, the Mix channels the ghetto blasters of old. Its nasty mix of gold and silver trim means it's no oil painting, but it certainly has a party look about it.
There's a handle on the top for transportation purposes. Although the Mix isn't too weighty overall, it's rather front-heavy, due to two massive and superfluous handles stuck on the front. If you fancy taking the party outdoors, the Mix will happily run on eight D-size batteries.
You also get a remote control, complete with a lanyard clip. The latter's presumably included so that the party master can wear the remote around their neck and maintain complete musical control, while also keeping hands free for dancing and drinking.
The Altec Lansing Mix has the looks and sound of a great party boom box, and mixing three audio inputs is a great way to get several people involved with music choices. But the device's potential is limited by an awkward channel-cycling process, a lack of volume equalisation, and halting playback from devices in the iPhone and iPod dock. You could achieve a much better party set-up with some decent PC speakers and a laptop running Spotify.
Edited by Charles Kloet