Altec Lansing offers a wide range (both in price and configuration) of computer speakers for the consumer market. Here we will take an in depth look at their 251 Gaming Theater, It is a 6-piece; 5.1 speaker set which consists of a subwoofer, front and rear speakers, and a center speaker. The computer and gaming markets are crowded with plenty of 5 and 6 piece sets like this mainly due to the growing popularity in PC gaming and the constantly falling prices of computers. Lets find out how the Altec Lansing 251’s hold up in this growing industry.
The speakers look great; they are sleek and stylish, yet still conservative enough to compliment any computer desk. Everything appears to be well built. All of the speakers have a sturdy feel and have a non-removable grille to protect them.
As you can see from the pictures all of the satellite speakers plug into the back of the subwoofer. Everything is color-coded making for a very easy setup. Just take the speakers out of the box and within five minutes you are hooked up and ready to go. All you have to do is position the speakers where you want them and then plug each into the subwoofer. Then all you have to do is plug the power cord into the wall and hook the subwoofer to the back of your computer. Each of the five satellite speakers has a unique colored connector on them to ensure that they are plugged into their proper input.
The right front speaker is home to your volume controls, headphone jack, and the power button. There are three controls total, which include the master volume, center speaker, and surround sound. I like this because it puts all of the controls within arms reach if you have the speakers on your desk.
One of the key features about this set that I really like is the headphone jack on the right front speaker, this allows for front access to the input rather than crawling around under the desk to plug or unplug the headphones. The second thing I really like about this set of speakers is the mini-jack to RCA converter that is provided. This allows you to hook these speakers straight up to your TV or console games easily.
The five satellites have stands, which are no more than pieces of metal that slide into place on the bottom of the front and rear speakers. The stands are sturdy and once in place they actually do compliment the overall look of the speakers. The center speaker stand has a rubber bottom that allows you to set the center speaker on top of your CRT monitor; however, if you have an LCD monitor it will have to just sit on the desk. It also allows you to tilt the center speaker vertically providing optimum sound for the center channel.
The subwoofer has a removable grille and little rubber feet on the bottom of it. The power converter is also built into the subwoofer, which I think is a very nice feature because it eliminates having one of those big power adapters taking up room on your surge protector. The only thing I didn’t understand about the sub is why the bass control is on the back rather than up front with the rest of the controls.
Now on to sound quality, and let it be clear that these speakers are designed specifically for gaming! That being said I had to play some music through them. Highs and mid tones are crisp and clear, no distortion at all. The subwoofer is powerful, and delivers quite a bit of bass, however it does get distorted if you turn the sub all the way up and the master volume three quarters of the way up or more, but if you turn the subwoofer down you can crank the master volume all the way up and shake the house. Though you’re not going to get the music quality of a $300 or $400 set the quality of music is still good.
The surround sound is awesome for everything from racing games to first person shooters, the audio is clear and crisp and the bass is strong. Sometimes grenades in first person shooters will shake the walls if you have these turned up too high. I have to say the Altec Lansing 251’s do what they were made to; every game I have played with these speakers has sounded great.
Overall this is a great set of speakers for approx. $80.00. The only negative thing I found about them was the lack of a remote, which is not a big deal, but most higher priced speaker sets come with a remote. These speakers should please even the most serious gamers out there, unless you are used to Bose, or !