Altec Lansing BXR1120
- Good detail, nice mid-range
- Bass a little lacking, muddy sound at times, distortion at high volumes
Altec Lansing's BXR1120 is a fairly standard PC speaker set. Its audio could use a little work, but it will satisfy many users.
It is a difficult job manufacturing PC speakers. They are far from the sexiest products around and for the most part a good set simply looks and sounds pleasing. Altec Lansing is, by now, a veteran in this space and the company's latest speaker set, the BXR1120, is a good example of what to expect from such a product. While it isn't incredible by any stretch of the imagination and don't have any special features on offer, the sound quality is decent and aesthetically it will fit in well with most modern PC setups.
Sound quality is obviously the thing of key importance with speakers, and the BXR1120 should satisfy most users in this regard. They offer fairly typical, entry-level speaker sound, which is relatively well balanced but a little flat at times. The bass is quite weak, lacking power and depth, which has an impact on the energy of the music. This is not surprising; most speaker sets without a subwoofer are a little lacking in the bass department.
The mid range has nice detail and a good level of energy to it, but things become a little muddled at times and you'll be hard pressed to separate all the individual notes. Meanwhile, the treble is fairly good with a nice smooth sound that complements the mid range nicely.
Volume levels were a mixed bag. The BXR1120 is capable of achieving relatively high sound levels, but at anything past about three o'clock on the volume dial, there was significant distortion.
During our gaming tests, it performed well enough, handling the surround sound element about as well as we'd expect a set of 2.0 speakers to. They don't beat a good pair of headphones, or a proper 5.1 surround setup, but they give enough sense of space and position to be useful. The lack of bass, however, was a little problematic during our gaming and movie tests as rumbling low notes are often critical to immersing yourself in these forms of entertainment. There is a 'tone' control present on the front of the unit, allowing you to tweak the sound a little, but it didn't really improve the sound much.
The BXR1120 comes with an auxiliary port, allowing you to hook up your MP3 player without unplugging them from the PC. It also includes a strange dock-style attachment designed to hold an iPod; however, as it just sits separately on your desk, we fail to see the usefulness of it. A headphone jack is also included for more private listening.
Aesthetically the BXR1120 is fairly standard PC speakers. It's a matte black and looks good if not particularly flashy. It is relatively small and won't take up much space on your desk, although wall mounting is an option if required.
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