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Altec Lansing 251 Speaker System
Page 2 - Packaging, Installation and Design
Author: Philip Lam (Phirewerkz)
Date: July 27, 2003
Category: Audio
Options: Printable Version 12 pt Times New Roman 10 pt Times New Roman 12 pt Tahoma 10 pt Tahoma


The Altec Lansing 251 System came in a very attractive red box. The box clearly shows the speaker system in all its glory as well as all the features it encapsulates. When the box was opened, the speakers were tightly cushioned by Styrofoam pieces. Each of the individual speakers was wrapped in plastic bags with twist ties. The cables were also neatly wrapped in plastic bags with twist ties. Overall, the surround sound system was in perfect condition with no scratches of dents. The package also comes with speaker stands and an AAC1 Y-Adapter, so the speakers can be used in conjunction with a PlayStation 2.

The Box
The Box
The Packaging
The Packaging
ACC1 Y-Apapter
ACC1 Y-Apapter

One of the greatest things about this system is the simplicity. Each of the speakers is clearly labeled on the back with their position (Front Right, Back Right, etc...). This makes it very easy to decide where each speaker goes. After positioning the speakers and subwoofer, plugging in the cables was even easier. Each of the cables is color-coded and shape-coded to match the color and shape of the sockets of the subwoofer where they are to be connected to. As a result, it is practically impossible to go wrong; even if you are colorblind, you can figure it out by the shape of the cable. The cables that connect to the sound card are also color coded in order to ease the installation (not that it was hard). Furthermore, the wire length for the back speakers (approx. 16 feet) supplied is long enough to fit accordingly to my system layout.

The Clear Label
The Clear Label
Color-Coded Cables
Color-Coded Cables

If you still need assistance, there is an instruction manual and a Quick Connect Card. The Quick Connect Card is very easy to follow with nice, big colored pictures to guide you along. It also shows the user how to connect the cables under certain circumstances, such as if you are using a computer with or without a 5.1 sound card.

Overall, the Altec Lansing 251 system is extremely easy to install. In fact, I didn't even need to refer to the Quick Connect Card help me out. My first impression of this system is that is very user-friendly and simple, which is important because more people (who don't have as much computer knowledge) are beginning to buy surround sound systems.

The Big Picture
The Big Picture

The Altec Lansing 251 system is designed very nicely, the grey and black color scheme makes the system look very slick. Along with the non-removable metallic speaker grill and wooden casing, the Altec Lansing system will attract any customer. All the speaker sockets are cleverly placed on the subwoofer, to prevent a big wiring mess. A subwoofer volume control is also included on the back of the subwoofer. This is excellent because it allows the user to easily adjust the bass to whatever level they desire.

Sockets and Bass Control
Sockets and Bass Control

Sound controls (Center Speaker Volume, Master Volume, and Surround Sound Volume) are also integrated into the Right Front speaker to allow for easy access while playing an intense computer game. A headphone jack is also placed beside the sound controls so the sound can be directly vented to your ears and not your parents sleeping upstairs. The speakers can also be pointed upwards with the help of the stand included. One improvement would be designing a new stand for the center speaker. The stand as of now works perfectly because I have a normal monitor. However, the stand will not balance if someone were to have an LCD monitor. The Back Speakers also have holes on the back so it can be mounted onto a wall, which is a very convenient.

The Master Controls
The Master Controls
Center Speaker Stand
Center Speaker Stand

With 5.1 speakers at such an economic price, many features have been omitted in this system. First, there is no remote control or a separate unit to adjust the volume of the speakers. As a result, you can not change the volume when you are away from your computer. Also, there is a reduction in the size of the subwoofer, which leads to the reduced amount of bass production. The non-removable speaker grills may also lead to a build-up of dust, whereas other more expensive models allow the user to remove them for cleaning.

Page 1
Performance and Soun...



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