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Altec Lansing BXR1221 2.1 Speaker
The PC speaker market will never tire of belting out options for its varied consumers, the latter ranging from gamers to ‘DivX’ junkies to music lovers. The model we have today is by Altec Lansing, a very popular brand in this segment; named the BXR1221 speaker set. It falls under the value PC speaker category, thus all those looking for a budget speaker set, for your new netbook or desktop, should look closely.
Design and features
This speaker set is a compact, cute and almost cuddly. The pics might mislead as to the overall size of the units — they are quite small. It’s a 2.1 set with a subwoofer and 2 satellites. The sats are uniquely shaped, just like conical disco lights, the ones that are perched on the trusses on top. These speakers have a matte black finish, and are supported by a lead colored brace on the front panel, which acts as a stand. The left unit has a similar lead colored volume dial positioned topside; also it houses the connections at the back, which include AC input (adapter included) and a subwoofer input.
All wires are attached to their respective units. No free dangling ones are included, thus this increases ease of connection and use. The sub is a straight up rectangular affair, with a lead rimmed reflex port on the front face. The woofer is downward firing, and measures about 4-inches diameter. Each satellite speaker has a single 2-inch driver housed in the front cross section, hidden safely behind a permanent cloth grille. Overall, I must say that this model really looks very good and has a finish quality like some of its more expensive counterparts. The output power is rated at 30 watts total. Frequency response is rated at 30Hz – 20 KHz.
We plugged the little boys together, and into our PC. Before starting music, we played some single sine tones and frequency sweeps to see the response. The bass goes low. It's audible clearly till 35 Hz, after which it tapers off fast. The highs too are quite impressive at the fag end of 12 -16 K, no spikes or ‘jagged edges’ in the sound, meaning the treble’s sibilance was smooth sounding. Overall frequency balance was above average, with no boomy bass, something I was afraid of.
We moved on to music MP3s, and then played a rip of Final Fantasy VII Advent Children. It was during these stages that I realized this model’s main flaw. It’s not powerful enough, not loud at all. Even for a single bedroom, private audience scenarios, the speaker lacks the dB SPL. It’s a sad scene, as everything else is very good, be it frequency response or purity at its highest volume setting. It actually doesn’t distort, like other low priced budget models. The amp should have/could have been more powerful.
At an MOP of Rs. 1,499, this model really comes reasonably priced, but lacks power. It looks very cute and neat, has high portability, and also has a more than decent frequency output balance. Anyone not really interested in louder sound levels, will appreciate the model. But that is a rare bunch, and the rest will surely find this one too soft for audio fun.