Altec Lansing FX6021
At a Glance
The metal grills, silver-colored enclosures, and curves and angles of the FX-6021 scream "Power Mac G5," and Altec Lansing's top of the line speakers will do your G5 (or aluminum PowerBook) proud. The towering six-driver satellites sit on weighted bases or can be mounted flat on the wall (six foot extension cables are included), and we love the multi-function controller, which lets you set the volume, bass, and treble, as well as connect headphones and a second audio input, all without having to crawl behind the subwoofer. (This audio input is mixed with the main input on the subwoofer, so you can quickly connect your iPod even if the FX-6021 is already connected to your computer.) You even get a wireless remote that provides the same options as the controller unit.
In terms of sound quality, the FX-6021's satellites produce impressive sound quality whether you're up close or across the room. We were impressed by their excellent detail and midrange, as well as some of the best imaging and soundstage -- the recreation of the placement of instruments and voices -- of any "computer" speakers we've heard. Our one complaint is minor: The 50-watt subwoofer has a mere 6.5" driver; it can't produce the lowest of lows, and those looking for "kickin'" bass should consider something like the Cambridge SoundWorks models. However, we found that the overall sound produced by the FX-6021 more than made up for this shortcoming: The FX-6021 is among our favorite speaker systems, for both its sound and its design.--Dan Frakes