With the advent of 4.1, 5.1, 6.1 and even 7.1 speakers systems, consumers can easily overlook the qualities of a good 2.1 speaker system. If you don’t have a lot of space, but you still want your speakers to reproduce the entire sound spectrum and there is really only one solution: one pair of small speakers and one large subwoofer for low frequency sound. This is what the 2.1 system is about: two satellites and one subwoofer.
- Serious Power… Experience what great performance is all about!
- Impressive bass… Feel shakes and quakes from the front-firing, long-throw subwoofer housed in a solid-wood cabinet.
- Crisp high end… Specially engineered Micro drivers reproduce highs with thrilling clarity.
- Exceptional sound dispersion… Our unique, down-firing midrange driver fills the room with rich, accurate sound – you’ll enjoy clean mids anywhere in the room.
- Revolutionary, low-profile design …Looks great and fits virtually anywhere.
- Also features… Built-in controls with bass and treble, headphone jack, shielded satellites for use near video monitors, and color-coded cables for easy installation.
Ease of use
The setup is a little involved, but not more than any other 2.1 speaker system, and a lot less than a 7.1 speaker system. If you follow the manuel, then you will hook up all the cables before you plug the sub into an outlet. There are only 3 cables that need to be connected; one for each satellite, and one to connect to the sound card. All three cables go into the sub. The sub has only one cord that comes out of it and that is the power cord. The cords are all color coordinated and the connectors are labeled so it is tough to get it wrong, unless you are colorblind and you cannot read.
Once the speakers are hooked up, then the rest is childs’ play. The right speaker has all the controls and they are clearly labled. A blue LED light, above the volume, lights up when the speakers are turned on. Other than that they are used just like any other speakers. There is a headphone jack on the right side of the right speaker, and it uses the same volume, treble and bass controls on the right speaker.
Altec Lansing has chosen a very quiet and subdued design for these speakers, all in gray with not too many shiny bits. You may like it or find it a bit dull, depending on your taste. The satellites are slim with two little dome/cone tweeters on the front, but the base has a big bulge containing a loudspeaker pointing towards the desktop it is set on. This is a neat way of keeping the satellites slim, stabilizing them and ensuring mid-range sound is broadcast in all directions. The controls – on/off, volume, high and low note adjustment – are all on the front of the right satellite and there is a headphone jack on the side.
The subwoofer is very classical to look at, with a 165 mm speaker on the front. The acoustic load is a bass-reflex with the port outlet below the speaker. Oddly enough, Altec seems very quiet about its systems power capacity because there is no mention of it on the packaging. In the interest of reducing the size of the satellites, the subwoofer houses many key electronic components, such as the power amplifier, connectors for the satellites and the main power input. The bulky subwoofer can then be tidied away out of sight under a desk without any adverse effects on sound quality.
This systems 2 satellites, which are amplified, each have two 28mm microdrivers and one 3″ mid-range speaker. The mid-range speaker is in the base of the satellite and faces down so the sound is distributed evenly. They operate at 6 Watts/channel @ 4 ohms @ 10% THD @ 150 – 20000 Hz 2 Channels Loaded. The sound produced by these speakers is incredible and clear. The volume is very responsive and the reproduction is precise.
Regarding the subwoofer, obviously loudspeaker size, this system has a 6 1/2″ long-throw woofer. This speaker operates at 19 Watts @ 4 ohms @ 10% THD @ 20 – 150 Hz Single Channel Loaded. This sub produces some of the deepest and clearest bass then I have heard from any system of this size.
As I played my music and games I was very impressed at how responsive and clear the sounds really were. I never had a problem unless I either had the Windows volume up to high, I would hear a humming noise, or the sound track was bad and I would hear crackling. Both of those problems were not the speakers problem but they could have installed filters to eliminate the hum or filter out the crackling. The headphone jack is expecially nice for a roomate or spouse that dosen’t like your noisy games and music, and its very convient not to have to reach behind your tower to plug the headphones in.
So if you are interested in a small, but powerful speaker system, and you don’t have the budget for a huge system then this is where it’s at. Small satellites, a headphone jack on the satellite, a hidden sub, and good looking design, make this a sweet system.
|JusTech'n editors' rating|