Getting a good sounding entry level 2.1 PC speakers system is quite challenging, with so many known and unknown brands available on the market.
Among them, the Altec Lansing VS2621 is one good looking budget 2.1 PC speaker set, it has been in the market for quite a while now and today, let's take this set for a ride and listen to them sing their hearts out.
The Altec Lansing VS2621 is a 2.1 speaker system that works with a PC, MP3 player or any audio device with a 3.5 mm stereo output. The speaker has a clean yet stylish design.
Each compact trapezoidal satellite speaker has a single 2-inch full-range driver that pumps out 7.5 watts (RMS) of power. The subwoofer has a side-firing 4-inch driver with a rated power output of 13 watts. The system total output is 28 watts RMS, which is just enough for office use or a small size room. The speaker is rated with a Sound Pressure Level of 93dB and the frequency response is 45Hz to 18 kHz, which means that the speaker won'?t give you those earth-shaking effects. Signal to Noise ratio is rated at average >65dB.
Build quality of the speaker is average with the satellites being made of glossy plastic with the front having metallic colour plastic grille. The satellites face slightly upward while placed on the desk, this helps the sound to project more towards the listener sitting in front of it.
The subwoofer has wooden enclosure which feels more solid than the plastic satellite speakers. The side-firing driver remains unprotected, without any sort of cloth or grille. The air vent is located conveniently at the front, but the speaker makes placement a little critical and care needs to be taken as you could easily kick the driver if it resides under the desk. The cables are of average quality, but the build quality of the speaker in general is satisfactory for an entry-level product.
The right channel speaker has controls for volume and tone, an orange LED indicator and an aux-in to connect an external audio source to the speaker. The two satellites are connected by a fixed cable of around 5 feet long, and the right satellite has two other cables attached to its base, one to the sub and the other to a PC/audio source.
In terms of connectivity, the speaker offers two audio inputs (one via aux-in and the other via 3.5mm stereo plug) but there is no headphones-out. The system also does not offer remote controls which is justifiable for an entry-level set. The back of the subwoofer has a power switch which is a bit inconvenient, and you won'?t find dedicated bass level control either.
Setting up the speaker was a simple plug and play process, and there was no issue with the placement nor with the wiring. I tested the speaker with a PC (using M-Audio Fast Track Pro, Creative X-fi XtremeMusic and an onboard AC'?97 soundcard), Acer Aspire One and iPod Touch 4th Generation.
First thing I noticed was the well-balanced sound output from the VS2621. The system produced a warm and bright sound that is very pleasant to hear with all genres of music. For a basic 2.1 PC speaker, the VS2621 sounded more natural than what we heard before.
The 4-inch woofer driver sounded punchy and offered good mid-bass (50Hz to 80Hz) with most music we played. It has a slight delay, but performs satisfactorily. We did not expect the system to shake the ground, but keeping the volume around at 60 to 70 percent of its maximum, it delivers a warm and punchy bass that is far better than what we heard from systems like the Creative Inspire T3130 or Logitech Z323.
The lack of bass adjustment is a slight concern while playing at loud volume as the bass became muddier with lesser definition. For critical listeners though, the bass is a bit overwhelming and sounded loose, especially at louder volumes. Again, it is pretty good from a cheap basic system.
The mids are clear and focused with good imaging. Female vocals sounded sharp and clear, while male vocals sounded rich and crisp. Although we wish they sounded a bit more refined and slightly crisper, we could hear most of the instruments played.
The lack of refinement is noticeable as vocals or guitars sounded a little harsh and coloured. The abrasiveness in the mids was quite audible at louder volumes, but at moderate volume they sounded satisfactory. It has good imaging and presence but could have been more refined. All in all, it is a good mid-range audio experience from a budget set.
The VS2621 sounded bright and did not sound muffled or veiled. The highs offered good brightness, without being harsh or piercing to the ears. It could have been slightly brighter and more projected as the mids could overpower it at times. It was hardly the sweetest highs and the best extension we have heard, but definitely brighter and better than what you get from comparable systems such as the Logitech Z313, and more detailed than what I heard with the Creative Inspire T3130.
The speaker played without distortion up to 80 percent of the maximum volume which is good. Stereo imaging is good, but for movies and gaming the VS2621 would just be adequate as the sound reproduction was not as good as it was for the music. Dialogue sounded quite laid back, and sound effects including surround were just average.
The Altec Lansing VS2621 is a good entry-level speaker that offered a well balanced sound for its asking price. It is pretty good value for money, and we would recommend it over the Creative T3300 and the Logitech Z313 for its warm and crisp sound reproduction.