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Manufacturer: Altec Lansing
Min OS X: Any Version    Requires: Minijack Audio Port

Altec Lansing 2100
October 23, 2002 | Greg Gant

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Computer speaker companies continue to explore various shapes and sizes. Three years ago, speakers still came in boring beige and the Altec Lansing ACS-48 set was the king of 2.1 sound. Today, modern style and non-traditional speaker design with dual drivers and dual subwoofers have inspired the creation of the 2100.

Specifications and Features
The Altec Lansing 2100s pack two satellites, each with two 1-inch drivers and a subwoofer with two 4-inch drivers. Between the satellites and subwoofer, the set sports a frequency response of 40 Hz to 20 kHz. Tonal audio tests confirmed the speakers can reproduce audible sound to 30 Hz, although not nearly as faithfully as the rated 40 Hz. The speakers pack a 65 dB signal-to-noise ratio, which means white noise can be heard if the speakers are left on in a quiet environment. Fortunately, this won’t be a problem for most gamers. When put in same room my Digital Audio G4 (not even as noisy as the newer G4s), the speaker hiss could only barely be heard only when the volume was turned up really high without any sound or music playing.

It should also be noted the subwoofer is not magnetically shielded, meaning it shouldn’t be placed near any video monitoring devices. Altec Lansing recommends not placing the subwoofer within three feet of a video monitor, which for many people, means not under a desk. I placed the subwoofer under my desk and neither my Samsung Syncmaster 755DF nor my Viewsonic G790 showed any signs of distortions. I decided then to test the range of the distortion. The subwoofer for both monitors started to show very minor distortions at one and half feet. Depending on many different various setups, users may or may not be able to move the subwoofer as close to their monitor.

The 2100s follow the current trend of computer speakers with a standard wired remote controller. The remote controller is a no frills unit with volume up/down and power on/off seated in a detachable metal stand. A minor complaint of mine is that the controller doesn’t give any indication of the current volume, nor can you adjust the volume when the speakers are off. Unlike the Monsoon PlanarMedias or Altec Lansing 4100s, the bass must be adjusted on the subwoofer and the remote doesn’t have a headphone jack, both of which are inconveniences.

Like other computer speakers, Altec Lansing boasts the 2100s connectivity to video game consoles, CD players, TVs and other media devices. They take it a step further by including a 1/8"-to-RCA converter. Out of the box these speakers can be connected to all the aforementioned devices (assuming the device in question uses the standard RCA connectors). The speakers also come with full color pictorial guide detailing the various connectivity options.


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