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Clear, but not loud speaker

tech reviews Updated: Sep 28, 2009 19:54 IST
Siddharth Bhatia
Siddharth Bhatia
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Thanks to the whole market of gamers, ‘DivX’ junkies and music lovers, PC speakers will never go out of production. Altec Lansing knows this only too well. Their latest speaker system — the BXR1221 — is a PC speaker for netbooks and desktops.

Design
The speaker set is almost cute. It may look big in the pictures, but the speakers are actually quite small and compact. The 2.1 set has a subwoofer and two satellites, which are shaped like conical disco lights.

They have a matte black finish and are supported by a lead coloured brace on the front panel that acts as a stand. The left unit has a similar lead-coloured volume dial positioned on the top and houses AC input (adapter included) and a subwoofer input at the back.

All wires are attached to their respective units. No free dangling ones are included.

The sub is a straight up rectangular affair, with a lead rimmed reflex port on the front face. The woofer is downward firing with a 4-inch diameter. Each satellite speaker has a single 2-inch driver housed in the front cross section, hidden safely behind a permanent cloth grille.

Overall, the unit really looks good. The output power is rated at 30 watts total. Frequency response is rated at 30Hz – 20 KHz.

Performance
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 with no spikes or ‘jagged edges’ in the sound.

Overall frequency balance is above average, with no boomy bass.

It was when we played a rip of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children that the speaker’s main flaw was visible: it’s not powerful enough. Even for a single bedroom or private audience scenario, the speaker is just not loud enough.

This is rather sad considering everything else — from frequency response to purity at its highest volume setting — is very good. It doesn’t even distort as other low priced budget models tend to.

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