Altec Lansing speakers deliver at reasonable cost

Not everyone has space around his computer for four or five satellite speakers and a subwoofer. And many of us don't want to pay $200 or more just to get good sound out of our PCs.

Altec Lansing's Model 2100 solves both problems. It's a three-piece system that costs only $100 and delivers excellent sound without requiring you to lay down wires and hang a bunch of speakers like Christmas decorations on the walls and shelves around your computer.

The Model 2100 is easy to set up and connect to a PC sound card, thanks to color-coded cables and simple instructions. It offers 35 watts of continuous power and 50 watts of peak power through two satellite speakers that sit on the desk and a foot-high subwoofer in a wood cabinet that occupies a 6.5 by 13.5-inch footprint on the floor.

The satellite speakers, sleek, slender and slick as they are, remind me of a low-budget set of Harmon Kardon SoundSticks for the Macintosh, although they're not quite as cool as the see-through Mac speakers. A controller, wired to the subwoofer, offers an on-off button and volume control, but not much else.

For $100, it's hard to find better sound than the M2100 delivers. Playing MP3 music files, listening to Internet radio or playing an audio CD through the first three-quarters of the volume range doesn't tax these speakers (that's about as loud as you'd want to go anyway). You can even use the speakers with a video game console if you purchase a special Y-adapter from Altec Lansing.

Information: 800-258-3288 or www.alteclansing.com.

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