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Altec Lansing 641 Speakers Review

/ Jul 7th, 2002 No Comments

Altec Lansing is a company with a rich tradition in PC gaming and speaker sets. Known for dollar-for-dollar value, their speakers have won numerous awards from sites around the net. We recently gave their 251 speaker set a 92% rating, and now we take a look at their top of the line experience – the Altec Lansing 641 Speaker set. This ultimate 5–piece system immerses gamers in breathtakingly powerful sound.

They boast 400 Watts of Total System Power (200 RMS) over Class-D circuitry. A midrange speaker and wide-dispersion polymer tweeter assure a crisp, spectrally balanced sound. A dual-ported subwoofer delivers deep, sustaining bass that brings your favorite games to life. Altec Lansing says, “If you’re serious about gaming, this system will blow you away.” Big words indeed!

The specifications on the 641 set are rather powerful and impressive, especially considering the $199 MSRP – which can most likely be found at $179 at your local retailer (that’s what we saw it at).

  • 400 Watts Total System Power (200 Watts RMS)
  • Tri-Mode Selector
  • Dual Subwoofer Drivers
  • Mylar Tweeters
  • High Performance Drivers
  • Full-Function Digital Controller
  • Total Connectivity
  • Headphone Jack
  • Auxiliary Input Jack
  • Wall Bracket
  • Shielded Satellites

Impressive stuff if you ask us. The system power of the speakers is LOUD, and using the selector (which looks like a remote control), you can set the speakers to just the front two, all four in stereo, and a “gaming” mode which basically increases the bass a whole lot. The high performance drivers and mylar tweeters bring out the richness and power that you expect from high performance speaker sets, and the very convenient headphone jack located on the selector remote control type thing is REALLY great, for those times you don’t want to disturb people.

When opening the HUGE box up, there is one single thing you will notice once everything is out of the box – the enormity of the subwoofer. This is the grand-daddy of all subwoofers for PC gaming I think. I couldn’t believe how tremendous this damn thing was – and I got excited … I could just picture walls cracking as I cranked up Warcraft III … I could imagine cars exploding so loud in GTA3 that the neighbors would be calling for the SWAT team. My mouth drooled and my eyes flashed.

The speakers were solid and didn’t seem like cheap plastic stuff … you really get the sense that this speaker set is the pride and joy of Altec Lansing. Installing the speakers was incredibly simple, even without looking at the very helpful manual.

I should remind gamers of one thing – when setting up a subwoofer make sure that the sub isn’t simply pointing toward you. That wastes the whole effect of the sub. You want the sub to point against surfaces to create as much tension as possible between the sub and objects/walls. So, luckily enough, I was able to situate the massive subwoofer (the size on this sucker is exactly 8.3″x18.5″x18″) against the wall where the wall meets the side of another wall, ensuring the best possible bass effects.

So after setting up the speakers and making sure they were all pointing the right way and looking all spiffy I threw the machine on and turned on some of my favorite MP3s. The first thing that struck me is the power of these speakers and the sub … you LITERALLY get a bang for your buck here. They are FRICKIN’ loud to put it mildly. In fact, they are so loud, when you turn them up higher and higher you start to laugh this blissful glee type laugh that only comes when truly intimidated by something unbelievably cool.  Power – check.

The crispness and surround sound capabilities are definitely impressive and the 4.1 speaker experience is enjoyable. Personally speaking, I don’t like a speaker on top of my monitor, so the 5.1 solution isn’t *necessarily* for me. Anyway the crispness and accuracy of the sound and the surround sound capabilities impressed me … and upset my neighbors. Sweet!
Coolness, Crispness, and Neighbor Annoyance factors – check.

I really wouldn’t have expected this set to have a $199 suggested retail price to go along with them. I honestly would have guessed in and around $300, or maybe even higher. Props to Altec Lansing for creating a fantastic high-quality product and putting it at a price we can all afford.

Usefulness? Geeze, if you play games, or listen to music, or like to HEAR things, then you can use speakers. The better the speakers, the more immersed you will get with your games – guaranteed. The Altec Lansing 641 speakers are fantastic for performance … so if you need speakers for games, then these are choice. Need speakers to listen to music? Take a look at these.

I think you’ve caught on by now that Altec Lansing has impressed the hell out of me with these 641 speakers … they’re amongst the finest I’ve had the honor of reviewing. Coupled with the fact that you can get this speaker set for under $200 is simply amazing. This is a lock for an Editor’s Choice product.

The Final Word: For under $200, these are the best speakers on the open market, bar none!

Score: 96%

Editor's Choice Award

Sean W. Gibson

Sean W. Gibson

Founder, Featured Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Sean Gibson has been the owner and Executive Editor of Gaming Illustrated for over eleven years. His roles include acting as CEO and President of Gaming Illustrated, LLC and also includes being a reviewer, previewer and interviewer. Sean's opinions on this site do not reflect those of his full-time employer.
Sean W. Gibson
Sean W. Gibson

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