Altec Lansing 2100 (2.1) Speaker Review
MSRP: $99.95 U.S.


Let me first off thank Andrea from Altec Lansing for sending over the speaker set to review.

Altec Lansing has been in the audio industry for a very long time. They have constantly brought great products to the forefront of PC audio. Ranging from every area such as 2.1, 4.1 and 5.1 speaker sets. Throughout time, I’ve been a very happy Altec Lansing user, using the Altec Lansing ACS54 gaming speakers. I’ve constantly followed up on their offerings and I can honestly say Altec Lansing is an excellent company to look for in a speaker company.

Today we are happy to introduce our Altec Lansing 2100 speaker review. Will the Altec Lansing 2100 continue the trend of being a great speaker system for it’s segment as the ACS54 did for it’s segment in the past? Let’s find out!

About Altec Lansing

Altec Lansing's early technological developments in acoustical and electronic components have earned a place of prominence in sound reproduction few companies can match. The predominance of Altec's name over the years in sports stadiums, arenas, theatres, airports, auditoriums, churches, amusement parks and more recently on desktops within homes and at the workplace attest to this fact.
Altec Lansing speaker systems have formed the backbone of the sound systems in such world renowned places as The United Nations Building, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Disneyland and Disneyworld, New York's Lincoln Philharmonic Center and the Schubert Theatre, MGM's Grand Hotel, The Singapore National Stadium, and The Sydney Opera House, to name a few.  Today Altec Lansing speakers appear in myriad environments, addressing the wide array of needs for quality audio among diverse professional business people, musicians, families, students, music connoisseurs and gaming aficionados within their respective milieus.

First Impressions

The speakers arrived in a big Altec Lansing box with Styrofoam inside for protection. I was very anxious to unpack everything to get the review started. The box itself was attractive and presentation was excellent.

The unit features 2 satellites, 1 subwoofer and 1-wired remote. What is included with the Altec Lansing is:

- The Subwoofer
- 2 Satellite speakers
- 1 wired remote
- 1 AAC1 Y-Adaptor Cable
- The manual

The subwoofer is constructed out of wood and was very well made. The front looks like plastic because the grill gives off that plastic look. Nonetheless, it was very attractive to say the least. The subwoofer has rubber feet's at the bottom so they do not slide.

That also holds true with the satellites. They are very small and weigh not too much. The stands for the satellites are constructed out of cast alloy. This is where the majority of the weight of the speakers actually comes from. They also can fit in tight spaces, which is a big plus.

Comparison of my Altec ACS54 Sub and the 2100 sub

One thing I would like to mention are that the subwoofer unit is not magnetically shielded, meaning you should not put them near your monitor or T. V. I have chose to put the subwoofer underneath my computer table for PC audio testing. I would suggest at least putting them 3 feet away from a display. Altec Lansing should have made these magnetically shielded, regardless of pricing.

The remote is a handy tool for controlling the volume levels. However, I found them to be too simple. More options would have been better.

I liked the fact that the package was well protected and organized. The units all have long wires, which is a definite plus.  You just need to hide away the wires, or you will have a wire fest!


  • 35 Watts Total Continuous Power RMS (2x7 W/Satellites; 21.5 W/Sub)
  • 50 Watts Total Peak Power
  • High Performance Micro Drivers
  • Ported, Dual Subwoofer Drivers
  • Digital Controller
  • Total Connectivity
  • Cast Alloy Stands

The specs are very good for a 2.1 speaker system. It’s 50 watts maximum power. With 35 watts of total continuous power, this is the spec that holds true for normal use. 50 watts maximum are when you blast the speakers up full blast. Continuous power is normal use of the speakers.

The signal-to-noise ratio is rated at >65dBA’s. To test this spec out, I turned on the speakers cranking up the volume without any audio source and listened to find any hissing sound. There was small hissing sounds/background noise present. This will not be a problem because I assume most of us buy speakers to listen to music...Don’t we?

Installation has always been a trend of Altec Lansing’s and they hold true yet again. Color-coded connectors of satellites and the remote will connect to the back of the subwoofer. The back of the subwoofer has those same colors. All you need to do is connect the colors. Anyone can connect it because Altec Lansing just makes it plain easy for you.

Enough about specs! Talk about how it performs!

During testing, I put the speakers through various testing. From music, DVD’s and Xbox/games.

Music Testing: Source from iRock CD/MP3 Player

Installation went easy as usual. All I needed to do is use the green, 2 headphone jack (INPUT) and connect one to LINE OUT of the CD/MP3 Player and the other to the required connection at the back of the subwoofer.

CD used: Bryan Adams – Waking up the neighbours

Track: 2: Hey Honey – I’m putting you in - This song was used to test the clarity of the vocals. The speakers performed really well with excellent sound reproduction of Bryan Adams voice. His vocals were crisp and clear and easy to understand. Highs were also good as well. This was with the subwoofer levels adjusted to maximum and the iRock player equalizer set to FLAT.

Track 5: Not Guilty – I used this song to test out the sound reproduction of the guitar that is playing in this song. The 2100’s were yet again clear and performed really well.

Track 10: All I want is you – This song uses lots of bass and with the subwoofer levels on max, the 2100’s were literally shaking the floor! The bass reproduction was excellent. I was impressed. However, I did notice that the subwoofer was outperforming the satellites. The satellites were underpowered and were getting little unclear. This is with the volume really high. With more power to the satellites, I felt it could perform much better.

XBOX testing

The installation goes as follows. You have to use the Y-Adaptor cable for this to work. As always, plug the video cable of the Xbox into the T. V. Connect the red and yellow audio connectors in the red and yellow connectors in the Y-Adaptor cable. Now connect green cable with 2 audio jacks into the Y-Adaptor end (green).

Halo – I played Halo and the Altec’s performed well. The gunning sounds from the automatic had a little too much bass for my liking. There was too little treble. I had to reach back behind the subwoofer to turn down the woofer levels. This brings me to my point. If the remote had had bass and treble options, it would have faired much better. Overall, the bass was excellent and the satellites were a little unclear (to much bass).

NFL Fever 2002 – The speakers faired better than Halo. The announcers voice was clear and the speakers overall produced good sound. The bass was good also.

DVD: Joy Ride – Watching the DVD through the 2100’s were much better than the Sony TV speakers. The satellites were very clear and the bass was very good also. An excellent balance between bass and treble.

Computer Audio – I connected the 2100’s up to my computer via nforce sound, and set the audio options to 2 speakers. While listening to various audio and music, the sound was very clear. This time I could control the bass and treble options through the nforce sound mixer. The subwoofer was strong and solid providing a floor shaking experience. Playing UT 2003 faired well to with clear sound reproductions of bombs and weapons.


Overall, I came away with a very good impression. Altec Lansing has done it yet again providing a very good 2.1 speaker set. The sound was very good with good highs and good lows. Depending on what the Altec’s were connected to, it did well. Some minor sound quality issues were experienced depending on what it was hooked up with. The highs were relatively good with some occasions where it was unclear and needed more power. The lows were good to and were not distorted most of the time during my tests.

The problems I felt are was a couple of things. First off, the remote. I would like to see more options on the remote such as bass and treble options to turn them up or down. Playing Halo, I wanted more treble because the sound had too much bass. Therefore, I had to reach behind the sub and adjust them.

Second of all, the option of going behind the subwoofer to turn the levels up or down was a pain to say the least. I didn’t really enjoy having to do that when there was a remote in front of me. It also holds true when you have the subwoofer in tight places. You would have to take the sub out and adjust the bass.

With good sound, great packaging, long wires, easy connectivity, and a included AAC1 Y-Adaptor Cable, the Altec Lansing 2100 is a solid 2.1 speaker set performer for it’s segment. Also, with it’s MSRP of $99.95 U.S. you can easily find it for a cheaper price. A good value.

Altec Lansing has set the bar for things to come, and I will be using this for future references on future reviews.

I rate the Altec Lansing 2100’s a…


Pros & Cons

+ Good sound for segment
+ Included Y-Adaptor
+ Easy installation
+ Multiple connectivity and uses
+ Construction
- Subwoofer not magnetically shielded
- Satellites need a bit more power
- Subwoofer level knob behind subwoofer
- Remote lacks bass and treble options
- Depending on what connected to, may not be clear enough

Let me again thank Andrea for taking her time for sending these to review.  The review couldn't have been done without her help.  The Altec 2100 go for $99.95U.S. but can be found for much less.  If your in the brink of buying 2.1 speakers, make sure to check the Altec 2100's out. 



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