Altec Lansing VS4121 2.1 Speaker System Review


Altec Lansing has made quality sound systems for over a long number of years and they are a brand that everyone knows. I have been impressed each and every time Altec Lansing products come by. The continued commitment to quality, ease of use and packaging makes Altec Lansing stand out.

I was impressed with the 2100’s a while back. Although there were some downfalls, the 2100’s impressed me. Since then, Altec Lansing has released their newest 2.1 speaker system, dubbed the Altec Lansing VS4121. Continue reading the review to see what we have to say.

Nice box design as usual; this time blue

The packaging

The Altec Lansing VS4121 arrived in a corrugated Altec Lansing box as usual without any harm. Opening the nicely designed blue Altec Lansing box, I am accustomed to the great packaging it has. The Quick Start Guide is printed ingeniously on the flaps of the box.


  • Front Speakers: 6 Watts/channel @ 4 ohms @ 10% THD @ 150 - 20000 Hz 2 Channels Loaded
  • Subwoofer: 19 Watts @ 4 ohms @ 10% THD @ 20 – 150 Hz Single Channel Loaded
  • SYSTEM RESPONSE: 25 Hz – 15 kHz (-10dB)
  • DRIVERS (PER SATELLITE): Two 28mm full-range and one 3" mid-bass driver
  • DIMENSIONS: 4" (W) x 4.7" (D) x 9.2" (H)
  • SUBWOOFER DRIVER: One 6.5" long-throw woofer
  • DIMENSIONS: 8" (W) x 9.9" (D) x 13.6" (H)
  • Subwoofer not magnetically shielded

As you can see by the specifications, the Altec Lansing VS4121’s looks pretty good. The 6.5” long-throw subwoofer should give us some impressive bass and the satellites should be able to do well with the added mid-range speaker and the tweeters for the highs. The subwoofer is not magnetically shielded and should be left at least 2m away from any magnetic mediums.

Out of the box impressions

The Altec Lansing VS4121 looks simply gorgeous. It is dark-grayish in color and looks mean and down to business. The subwoofer also looks sweet with its big 6.5” driver that really impresses me. If this is anything like the XA3051’s bass ability then we are in for a treat. The woofer is made out of solid wood and plastic at the front with a woofer grill. The subwoofer weighs relatively light at around nine to ten pounds.

The rear of the subwoofer contains three color-coded connections to get the unit up and running quickly.

What are included with the Altec Lansing VS4121 are the following items:

  • 1 Subwoofer
  • 2 Satellites
  • Manual
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Console Gaming Y-Adaptor
  • 3.5mm Audio Cable

The Altec Lansing VS4121 comes with the Y-Adaptor, which allows you to connect to any of your game consoles. You use the audio cable to connect the anything like MP3 Players, etc.

Nice bluish/purplish LED and you can use your headphones on this unit as well

This is where things get unique, the satellites. The satellites have a unique base/stand. This is no ordinary base though. Underneath the base has integrated 3” mid-range speakers. The speaker’s sound is driven out through the bottom evenly from both sides as the stand has a small slant. Because of the speakers, the rest of the satellite is steady on any surface. The front of the satellite has two 28mm high-range range drivers/tweeters. One of the complaints from the 2100’s that are addressed with the Altec Lansing VS4121 is that the bass and treble controls are built on the right satellite. These are dials that are of high quality along with the volume control. The Altec Lansing VS4121 has a cool blue/purplish LED that adds to the overall finesse. The 4121 also contains a headphone jack.

The mid-range speaker is integrated on the bottom


As with all Altec Lansing products, installation is a snap and is foolproof. Color-coded connectors help you know where to connect what.

Using the Altec Lansing VS4121

Testing my CD collection

The Altec Lansing VS4121 exhibits very little hissing and background noise when powered and without any source.
While listening to CD’s I have in my collections, you can appreciate how the Altec Lansing VS4121 performs. The sound quality is excellent and very clear. It’s rich and lively. The subwoofer is “AWE INSPRING”. The bass is accurate and top-notch. It gives you that definite punch in the gut. This was even with the dials in the middle, default. There is even more room to improve the bass and treble stays clear. Ramping up the bass levels explodes the subwoofer with power and shakes your ground. You can feel the air pumping out violently at the front of the subwoofer. The satellites perform really well and are very clear. If you hold up the mid-range speaker near your ear when your music’s volume is high, there is some distortion but the way the mid-range separates the sound evenly from the ground up, you will hardly notice any distortion thus it sounds perfect.

To install the Altec Lansing VS4121 to play your console games is very easy to accomplish. With your Y-Adaptor, connect your red and white audio cables connections to the adaptor end and then connect the 3.5mm audio cable to the end of the adaptor then to your auxiliary port at the rear of the subwoofer.

Xbox Gaming – The results

Halo – Great sound, and big bass. A little too much bass is easy to fix by turning the bass down. Explosions and special effects were felt.

Dead of Alive 3 – Sounded very good. Not too much bass in this game but punches, kicks were very well executed.

NFL Fever 2002 - Commentators are easy to hear and ambient sound is also heard. The treble dial helps out in this game.

Panzer Dragoon Orta - Excellent sounding unit, with nice sounding bombs, and shooting lasers. I was impressed. Not to be here but I suggest picking this game up, it rocks!

PC Gaming + MP3 – Overall with a good sound card you will hear great sound. MP3’s depending on their bit-rate sounded rich and songs which had bass, had big bass! Games like NFS: HP2 and UT2003 played very well with these speakers. The sound of engines revving was inviting.

DVD: Lord if the Rings 2 – WOW. The Altec Lansing VS4121’s make the experience of watching this master piece even more worth while than using the TV speakers. The highs were very good with nice amount of treble. The dials helped tweak the sound for the best sound possible. The music came alive through the Altec Lansing VS4121’s. I think the best part of watching the movie was the bass! There is one word to describe it: VIOLENT! You really will be shocked and fond about how great this little unit is. The bass was so damn good that my family kept on saying turn it down; turn it down!


I think Altec Lansing says it best when one of their movies on the web page were saying that it’s not about the amounts of watts but it is about how the sound changes your room. And the Altec Lansing VS4121’s do just that.

There is no doubt that the Altec Lansing VS4121’s are the best 2.1 speakers I have ever tested and even blazes by the 5100’s in sound quality. What a year makes. The sound quality is as I have said it, excellent, rich, and lively. The bass and treble dials help in producing the sound you want. The only gimmick I had with the Altec Lansing VS4121 is that the subwoofer is not magnetically shielded.

This is a sharp performing unit that blows the 2100 and 5100 out of the water. It boasts great construction, sound and style.

I rate the Altec Lansing VS4121 a…


Pros and Cons

+ Sound Quality
+ Sexy styling
+ Violent bass
- Subwoofer not magnetically shielded

Alternative Pricing (Very affordable, great deal for a great system):



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