CES New: Altec Lansing iPod speakers iPhone-ready

Finally, we're beginning to see the first products that contain an authentication chip that allows you to connect your iPhone to accessory speakers without the resulting hideous radio frequency interference screeching. Altec Lansing claims its $200 T612 is the first product Apple certified as "Works With iPhone." It's a 60 watt per channel speaker system with twin 3-inch drivers and 1-inch silk dome tweeters that, in a mobbed ballroom at Caesar's Palace, seemed capable of pumping out a hefty amount of boomy tunes.

Up top are the usual volume and transport controls along with unusual separate bass and treble buttons. When it appears in April it'll also include a remote.

Unfortunately, like many iPhone-certified speakers (such as the two similar authentication chip-equipped $90 speaker docks from Kinyo), which obviously also can be used with any iPod, the T612 can't be used as a speaker phone. When you get a call, the speakers will boom your ringtone, but you'll have to remove the iPhone from the dock to talk. It's not Altec's fault – blame Apple, which for some reason doesn't want iPhone's cell audio amplified. Probably because iPhone's voice quality pretty much sucks.