Over the past year or so, we have covered almost the entire range of Altec Lansing speakers and were pretty impressed with most of them. Just when we thought that we had reviewed everything they popped up with newer models, the MX-5021 and the FX-6021. We had reviewed the MX-5021 a few weeks back and it was easily the best 2.1 channel speaker system in the Altec Lansing lineup and arguably the best around. Today, we have for review, the FX-6021. Can it do better than the best? Let's find out.
For starters, in terms of looks, the FX-6021 doesn't even look like a distant cousin of the MX-5021. It comprises of a big wooden, front firing subwoofer fitted with a 6.5 inch long throw driver and a pair of sleek satellites each fitted with six (yes, Six) 1 inch neodymium drivers for reproducing the full spectrum of highs and mids. The satellites are just an inch thick, 2.5 inches wide and 14.4 inches tall. A heavy detachable metal stand is provided for placing them on the desktop. They can also be mounted on a wall.
All the necessary cables were supplied in the package. Also present were a couple of remote controllers, one corded and the other cordless. Functions like master volume, bass and treble can be controlled using the remotes. A headphone jack, an auxiliary input and the IR receiver for the cordless remote are present on the corded remote module. In addition to the usual inputs and outputs, the subwoofer also has coaxial inputs for connecting A/V devices.
As for the technical specifications, the system has a total continuous power rating of 75 Watts RMS with 12.5 Watts allocated to each of the satellites and 50 Watts to the subwoofer. Loudness, measured in terms of Sound Pressure Level (SPL) stands at 105 db. It supports an overall frequency response of 32 Hz to 18 KHz. So good overall specifications and cool looks, now let's get down to the performance.
The performance was a little disappointing. Looking at its specifications and terms like In-Concert technology printed on the box, I was expecting a lot more from these, but unfortunately, they couldn't perform to my expectations. The subwoofer is excellent and gives you nothing much to complain about. However, the satellites do let you down especially in the mids department. The highs are reproduced well thanks to the dedicated drivers but the midrange, especially the lower mids, are a major let down in spite of having dedicated drivers for reproducing them. They completely lack the depth that you expect from high-end speaker systems. Even though the Neodymium magnets are more powerful than the standard magnets of similar size, the one-inch driver size is no good for mid-range reproduction. That can only give a cosmetic touch to the speaker. This one is certainly not for hardcore music enthusiasts. However, its performance in movies is pretty good and that in games is comparable to other quality 2.1 channel systems around.
Now for the price. The pricing of these speakers makes the buying decision simpler. So should one buy these? At Rs. 14,000, the answer is a resounding NO. And especially when you can get the MX-5021, a speaker system from the same company that sounds way better than this, for a full four thousand Rupees less. Buy the FX-6021 only if you own a sleek LCD screen and are looking for speakers whose looks will make it an object of jealousy. If performance is what you seek, the MX-5021 is the way to go.
Test Unit Sourced From: Zeta Technologies, Mumbai.