Enhanced for your pleasure.
The mad inventors over at Altec Lansing have just surfaced from their subterranean
laboratory with their new 140 watt 4.1 surround sound system in tow. And bless
the gaming gods, it showed up at GR in a lovely brown package.
Oddly, it's named the 4100 Enhanced (enhanced from what? Who
knows?). It's a simple system with great performance, not to mention a kick-ass
digital remote unit. Ringing in at a fairly reasonable $200 dollar dip in the
pocket book, the 4100 had piqued our interests.
But before putting these puppies through their paces, you gotta connect them
to the computer. No problem. Simply plug the color-coded speaker cords, digital
remote and sound card connectors to the corresponding pigments on the back of
the pounding subwoofer. Now plug the sound card connectors to the "front" and
"back" ports on your sound card. Last up, plug in the power cord to give the
whole system…well, you know, power. That's it - it takes about fifteen minutes
and you're ready to play.
You won't be disappointed, either, as the 4100 are made to game. Good
3D positional sound is essential for any gamer worth his weight in spent Deagle
shells, and lucky for us Altec knew this going in. The 3D positional audio produced
by the 4 speakers is extremely distinct. Pinpointing the position of certain
sounds in Counter-Strike
(gunfire, footsteps etc.) is quite easy. Rock on!
Which is exactly what you'll be doing once you hear your favorite music on
the 4100. While not quite as suited for music as the 641
and the 621 (400 & 200 watt sets) we reviewed a few months back, Altec's
latest more than hold their own against comparable speaker sets. There is absolutely
no distortion, crackle, background hum or hiss. The music is clear and the sound
is thoroughly enjoyable no matter what type of music you play.
Plus, it's all controlled by the snazzy digital remote unit. Place it within
reach of your keyboard and you can easily adjust the volume, bass, treble or
turn the power on/off for quick muting without having to move an inch. No more
fumbling behind your computer trying to locate the headphone jack, as a jack
is included so you can game late at night without waking the neighbors. The
little unit also has a button for gaming and stereo modes. If the sound doesn't
clinch it for you, then the handy-dandy remote unit will.
Altec has one more trick up their hi-tech sleeve. The included AAC1 RC cable
allows you to connect the 4100 to a DVD player, stereo television, VCR,
cable box and more. This means you can have your beloved console systems benefit
from this great setup.
One of my only problems with the 4100 speakers is that they're not very
attractive. Sure, they don't have to be to perform well, but they look a bit
unfinished, like the face of each of the four speakers is missing. You won't
be buying them for their good looks. I know it's a bit petty, but hey, I'm a
The subwoofer is also a bit large. Though it's not nearly as awkward as the
641 series subwoofer, it's still larger than it needs to be. Given, the size
probably has something to do with the excellent sound quality. Still, this is
one area that Altec should consider improving upon.
But what are you waiting for? Go grab yourself a set of Altec Lansing's new
4100 Enhanced 4.1 speaker system. The price isn't too bad, you get great
sound, awesome 3D positional audio, a kick-ass remote unit and cool connectivity
options. This is the best mid-range 4.1 system we have heard so far. Great,
another reason to play more Counter-Strike.