has graced us with picks from their latest lineup, and the company
hasnt looked this good in years. Coming on strong with both
console-oriented and PC-oriented lines, these are some of the
snazziest-looking and best-sounding speakers available right now, and
they give it all to you at an incredible price. The Altec Lansing 251
Speaker System is not the top of their lineup, but at $99 MSRP they are
an unbeatable deal for amplified, worry-free 5.1 surround sound.
251 Speaker System comes with six speaks: five small satellite speakers
and one 5.25" subwoofer. Pumping out a beefy 90 watts peak power, these
bad boys are just the thing to get your games bumping, crashing, and
exploding not just into the next room, but well down the block. The 251
is designed to work with PC systems, and has been created with the gamer
in mind (not many other users have a desperate need for such high-end
audio on their PC). Toss in a stressful FPS title and these speakers
will put you right in the action. Game designers have taken good
advantage of the ability to create believable soundscapes, so a good set
of speakers is absolutely essential to your gaming experience.
The Altec Lansing 251 Speaker System is a snap to install. Simply
follow the color-coded installation card (or just blindly shove cables
into sockets Altec Lansing has smartly fitted each cable end and
socket in a unique way that makes it truly impossible to screw up the
connections) and youll be up and running in no time. To take advantage
of the 5.1 surround sound, youll need a sound card that supports it.
Dont have one? Thats OK the 251 Speaker System is adaptable enough
to work with 4 channel surround or 2 channel stereo sound, so whatever
your sound card puts out will sound better with these speakers attached.
There are two drawbacks to the system, and they are the same basic
drawbacks mentioned in our review of the 5100 Speaker System (the
high-end of Altec Lansings lineup). The satellite speaker cables must
plug into the subwoofer, which limits where you can place your subwoofer
in large part due to the fact that the wires just arent as long as wed
like. I can understand being more upset about the limited placement in
the high-end 5100 System, but at $99 Im content to deal with the
placement issues. Also, the cables are long enough to allow you to
position your speakers around your immediate computer desk area you
just wont be getting optimum placement for whole-room listening
(although far more than the whole room will be able to hear the
sound). The other drawback is also tied to speaker placement. Altec
Lansing gives you stylish detachable stands for the satellite speakers,
so you can get that "elevated" look if you desire, but there is no way
to mount these things on the wall. It seems like a wall mount bracket
wouldnt be much harder to include than a mini-stand, and being able to
wall mount the speakers would alleviate some of the placement issues
coming from the wire length.
Overall these are small quibbles, and I recommend this setup to
anyone looking to upgrade their sound quality and get the most out of
their games. When I heard these speaks cranked up over the din of E3 I
was impressed. When our friendly Altec Lansing representative yelled to
me that the 251s cost only $99 my jaw dropped. And now that I have this
setup blasting the sound out of my PC, I just smiled contentedly and
waive off those who would intterrupt my game by feigning deafness.
Whats that? Cant hear you. My ears are busy.