Be it watching movies or playing games on your PC, you always want a set of speakers to make the experience more fun. Of course, everyone has a different budget for the speakers they buy. Altec Lansing recently launched their BXR1321 speakers for the lower-end of the price range. This is something one would look at if they used a desktop or a laptop in a small room.

Features and Design
Being a very entry-level speaker set means there are very few features that come with the speakers. The Altec Lansing BXR1321 are some of the most basic 2.1 speakers with nothing more than two satellites, a subwoofer and a power adapter.

Power and subwoofer connector ports

Power and subwoofer connector ports

The speakers are very small and the subwoofer is just a tad larger than the satellites. The satellite speakers have a cloth covering the front and are made of plastic, are light weight and not very stable. The slightest of taps can push the satellites off balance.

The cables used to connect the satellites to each other cannot be disconnected. The subwoofer has a cable that runs to the right satellite that also houses the volume control and power knob. The cables used are not of the finest quality neither are they very long. Being low-power speakers, don’t expect to be sitting several feet away and listening to the speakers.

The 4-inch downfiring driver

The 4-inch downfiring driver

The subwoofer like we mentioned is really small and has a downfiring driver design. The driver used is a 4-inch one. There are feet raising the woofer from the ground that are not made of rubber, but of plastic.The rest of the body is wood.

The satellites on the BXR1321 are 2W each and the subwoofer has a total power output of 4W. The entire frequency range of this speaker set as per Altec Lansing's specifications is 50 Hz to 18 kHz.

The first thing you notice is that the speakers aren’t very loud. The satellites are loud in general but the woofer doesn’t have enough bass to match the satellites. The satellites don’t sound great either – the speakers over-emphasize the upper range of mids while not doing total justice to the extreme high end of the frequency range. The sound is quite muddy and it’s hard to make out fine details. There isn’t a lot of distortion when you increase the volume control to the maximum, but then again, the speakers aren’t very loud.

Compact and underpowered subwoofer of the BXR1321

Compact and underpowered subwoofer of the BXR1321

The very unstable design of the subwoofer means that there are certain frequencies between 140 and 160Hz at which the subwoofer starts vibrating out of control and starts sliding around. There’s also a rattling sound that can be heard as a result of this. The performance of the woofer isn’t great either. At almost the frequency range that it is supposed to handle, it performs poorly due to the lack of power. The woofer itself is also very light and it’s hard to expect a very deep, very immersive and filling sound from it.

Overall, the speakers don’t sound great due to the fact that the satellites are tiny, loud and harsh and the woofer doesn’t kick in at any point. A separate volume control for the subwoofer would have probably helped boost it a little.

The Altec Lansing is designed for a completely different audience. Its low price tag means that you aren’t going to get great power or outstanding performance, but at the same time, we expected a little more considering its price of Rs. 1,750.

Altec Lansing's new low-cost offering - BXR1321

Lacking power

That price isn’t extremely low either. There are certainly much better solutions for a little more money if you’re looking specifically for 2.1 speakers. On the other hand if you don’t care for a subwoofer, there are cheaper 2.0 speakers that might lack bass but sound better.

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