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Altec Lansing GT 5051R: 5.1 Sound Without the Clutter?

Small And Well Thought Out

Apart from the design of its surround system, the 5051 is a fairly classic, but it is also small and very well thought out. The power supply and amplification are naturally built into the subwoofer cabinet, where the audio inputs are also mounted - a 5.1 input (three 3.5 mm jacks) and a stereo input with cinch connectors. There's a switch for choosing between multi-channel (5.1) and stereo sources. Operation is different depending on the type of sound card to which the system is connected. The subwoofer itself is a 5" (13 cm) speaker with bass-reflex load. Obviously you can't expect miracles from it where sub-bass and maximum volume are concerned, but for up-close listening at reasonable volume, a system like this can do the job.

The satellites have small full-range speakers - the most appropriate solution, in our opinion, for this category. They deliver enough energy in the midrange and the treble doesn't drill into your ears. All the controls are grouped together on top of the right satellite. The only criticism might be that the display is not very visible when the satellites are at the proper height for listening, and invisible if you use the remote control from any distance. Placing them on the front of the satellite would have been more practical... but also less esthetic.

Technical Characteristics:

  • Bass power output : 30 W
  • Satellite power output : 5 X 10 W
  • Frequency response : 40 Hz - 20kHz (-10 dB)
  • Inputs : 5.1 + stereo
  • Headphone jack :on right satellite
  • Satellites : full-range 3" (75 mm)
  • Subwoofer : 5" (13 cm)
  • Satellite dimensions : 2.5 x 14.3 x 7.5" (64 x 365 x 191 mm)
  • Subwoofer dimensions : 8.5 x 16 x 7.8" (216 x 406 x 198 mm)