By Ian Chiu
USB audio is regarded as a decent (or the only viable) option to upgrade a sound card on a budget-type notebook. For Altec Lansing, USB interface for its new model of surround sound speakers is a welcome addition besides having just analog inputs. It provides a SRS option for both PC and Mac laptops, whose sound outputs are often just S/PDIF – which means you need have a decoder. After some 2 weeks of extensive usage, Everything USB was quite pleased with the FX5051′s performance, though, they would rather stick with analog instead for best gaming performance. Here’s what they said in the conclusion of the review.
Clean vocals, guitar solos, and bass hits were really brought to life, and I’m amazed just how much bass Altec Lansing crammed into that small subwoofer. There wasn’t any noticeable distortion until I turned the volume past painful, and no overpowering bass or treble at flat levels. The digital control pod is superb, and the infrared remote is frosting on the cake. Despite my preference for analog due to how DirectSound is handled, the 5.1 channel USB connection is a welcome addition for laptop and Mac users alike, although it won’t remove any hiss. If you’re in the market for medium-high end speaker systems, definitely check these out.
[Altec Lansing FX5051 5.1 Surround Sound Speaker Review @ Everything USB]