Altec Lansing 5100 5.1 Audio Speaker System

Now that the RIAA has decided to begin prosecuting users of Kazaa and other file trading networks for illegally sharing MP3s, digital music enthusiasts are flocking to digital download services like Apple’s iTunes and BuyMusic.com. The increase in demand proves that digital music is not going away any time soon. With the computer fast becoming the media center of a home, consumers will begin demanding better quality sound than what they’re used to from their home PC. The folks at Altec Lansing have been busy making products like the 5100 5.1 Audio Speaker System in response to that demand.

The Altec Lansing 5100 is a 5.1 stereo surround sound system. The number 5 represents the number of satellites (or speakers): two front, two back and one center. The 1 is for the subwoofer, which can be placed anywhere but is usually placed on the floor just in front of you. The 5100 includes a wired remote control. This allows you to easily power on and off the device, control the volume, adjust equalizer settings, and switch between stereo, 4.1, and 5.1 modes. The remote also has a jack for plugging in headphones (not included).

One look at the Altec Lansing 5100 Speaker System and you can tell the engineers put a lot of thought into style and design. Each 8″-tall satellite is composed of a sleek and slender plastic housing, suspended by a silver aluminum arch. The cones are silver neodymium and only about 1″ in diameter. The remote control is modeled in the same style as the satellites and features a matching aluminum arch cradle.

Now that the RIAA has decided to begin prosecuting users of Kazaa and other file trading networks for illegally sharing MP3s, digital music enthusiasts are flocking to digital download services like Apple’s iTunes and BuyMusic.com. The increase in demand proves that digital music is not going away any time soon. With the computer fast becoming the media center of a home, consumers will begin demanding better quality sound than what they’re used to from their home PC. The folks at Altec Lansing have been busy making products like the 5100 5.1 Audio Speaker System in response to that demand.

The Altec Lansing 5100 is a 5.1 stereo surround sound system. The number 5 represents the number of satellites (or speakers): two front, two back and one center. The 1 is for the subwoofer, which can be placed anywhere but is usually placed on the floor just in front of you. The 5100 includes a wired remote control. This allows you to easily power on and off the device, control the volume, adjust equalizer settings, and switch between stereo, 4.1, and 5.1 modes. The remote also has a jack for plugging in headphones (not included).

One look at the Altec Lansing 5100 Speaker System and you can tell the engineers put a lot of thought into style and design. Each 8″-tall satellite is composed of a sleek and slender plastic housing, suspended by a silver aluminum arch. The cones are silver neodymium and only about 1″ in diameter. The remote control is modeled in the same style as the satellites and features a matching aluminum arch cradle.

Setting up the Altec Lansing 5100 Speaker System is quick and easy. The subwoofer, which powers all your satellites, connects to any electrical outlet. Easy to read diagrams are included which walk you through the rest of the installation, and include settings for various types of sound cards. The satellites plug into your subwoofer via color coded plugs. It seems the engineer who selected the colors must have been colorblind since three of the four plugs are in various shades of orange. This makes it very confusing in low-light situations. Being that your subwoofer is typically under your desk, you might want to take a flashlight with you.

You don’t have to be an audio engineer to tell that the Altec Lansing 5100 Speaker System sounds great. But if you are, you’ll notice that the sound is clear and crisp without being artificially colored. Altec Lansing has used quality components, making this one of the better surround systems out there for gaming. The satellites are much more directional than typical computer speakers. There is a limited “sweet spot”, making it necessary for the listener to be properly centered between each speaker for optimal sound quality. 73 Watts RMS make the 5100 powerful enough to fill an average room with sound.

The subwoofer produces some very accurate bass all the way down to 40 Hz, although the specs sheet on alteclansing.com claims it reaches 30 Hz. In any case, the bass is low enough to feel while blasting Ludacris or playing Warcraft. The EQ sounds great too, despite the fact that only the treble and bass are adjustable.

Overall, the Altec Lansing 5100 Speaker System is a great performing system. Although priced on the high side for a consumer computer audio system (US$179.95), you do seem to get what you paid for in terms of quality components and great sound reproduction. I was going to buy a stereo surround sound system for my home computer this would probably be it.

Product Specifications

Power: 73 Watts RMS

Front Speakers: 7 Watts/channel @ 4 ohms 10% THD @ 100 – 22000 Hz 2 Channels Loaded
Rear Speakers: 7 Watts/channel @ 4 ohms @ 10% THD @ 100 – 22000 Hz 2 Channels Loaded
Center Speaker: 22 Watts @ 4 ohms @ 10% THD @ 20 – 22000 Hz Single Channel Loaded
Subwoofer: 23 Watts @ 4 ohms @ 10% THD @ 30 – 85 Hz Single Channel

System Response: 32 Hz – 20 kHz (-10 dB)
S/N Ratio @ 1 KHZ INPUT: > 70 dB

Drivers (per satellite): Two 1″ neodymium micro drivers
Dimensions: 2.25″ (W) x 2.5″ (D) x 7.3″ (H)

Center Speaker: Two 1″ neodymium micro drivers
Dimensions: 6.4″ (W) x 1.9″ (D) x 2.6″ (H)

Subwoofer Driver: Two 4″ long-throw woofers
Dimensions: 6.5″ (W) x 13.5″ (D) x 12.0″ (H)

Requirements

Analog stereo or Multi Channel Sound Card (for surround sound).

Warranty / Other Information

1-year limited warranty from Altec Lansing.

Conclusion

For a solid performer look no further than the Altec Lansing 5100 5.1 Audio Speaker System. The combination of crystal clear sound and room-thumping subs make the 5100 one of the best consumer surround sound systems we’ve heard. The system is beautifully designed and fairly priced for the level of quality you are buying.

Pros:

Very clear sound
Accurate and powerful low-end frequencies
Beautifully styled
All features easily accessible via remote
Center channel mix switch
Headphone jack

Cons:

A wireless remote would be nice

Quality: 10 out of 10
Features: 10 out of 10
Price: 9 out of 10

Overall: 10 out of 10

tagged:

1 comment

  1. This page truly has all of the info I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*