Altec Lansing VS2721 ReviewManufacturer: Altec Lansing
UK Price (as reviewed):
US Price (as reviewed):
Compared with other speakers we’ve seen recently, such as the Antec Rockus 3D
and the Corsair SP2500
, the VS2721 is tiny, with a subwoofer that's roughly the same size as a shoebox. Thankfully, this is reflected in the price - the VS2721 costs just £50.
The two compact satellites have rubber-padded bases, plus drivers for the mid-range and separate tweeters for the high-end. The benefit of this design is that having dedicated drivers performing specific tasks should improve the depth and detail in the important mid-range.
The subwoofer is equipped with a 4in driver, while the mid-range drivers in the satellites are 3in in diameter; above these are 1.5in tweeters behind a black foam mesh. The size of the subwoofer will make finding a home for it considerably easier than the beastly subs bundled with the Antec and Corsair sets.
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The satellites are connected to the subwoofer using RCA leads and there's also a remote that connects to the subwoofer using a proprietary jack. This has controls for volume and tone, with the latter enabling you to strike a reasonable balance between bass and treble. There's also an auxiliary input and headphone output on the remote, both of which accept 3.5mm mini-jacks - very handy if you want to connect your MP3 player, laptop or headphones to your speakers with a minimum of fuss.
We were disappointed when we fired up the VS2721 for the first time. The speakers exhibited very little balance across all ranges, which is no doubt due to the diminutive subwoofer. When we cranked up the volume to levels that would be sure to annoy the neighbours, the bass became more evident although it lacked detail. Gunshots and explosions suffered if there were too many other sounds to contend with. At more typical volumes, however, the mid-range was good, thanks to the separate drivers in the satellites.
Music was the main benefactor here, and the VS2721 is very versatile, proving equally adept at classical music, pop and rock. Background noise in loud game and movie scenes was rich, with plenty of detail. Above medium volume, however, the high-end lost some of its appeal.
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Otherwise, it was crisp and well balanced, with only very high volumes showing a slight loss. The sound of cymbals, for example, deteriorated slightly at high volumes. Overall, the Antec Lansing VS2721 speakers were a breath of fresh air. The all-important mid-range was rich and strong, even at excessive volumes. Game and movie sounds were clear, and exhibited a level of detail similar to that of more expensive sets.
Unsurprisingly the high end sets that we’ve seen recently are superior, but the VS2721 costs £50 rather than £170 or £200. If you can't afford the Corsair SP2500, the Altec Lansing VS2721 is a good but not spectacular alternative and is much cheaper.