by May 11, 2002 0 comments



Altec Lansing commands respect when it comes to quality sound. The Select 641 is one of the ‘high-powered’ models intended for use for PC gaming and gaming consoles. It can, of course, also be used with other audio sources like portable players, PCs or even video sources for a home-theatre experience.

Being a 4.1 speaker system, it contains four satellite speakers and one sub-woofer unit, all of which total up to a RMS wattage of 200. Each satellite consists of a 1” Mylar tweeter and 3” mid-range driver. A requirement that makes a lot of difference as to how much ‘surround’ you can have, is the cable length for the satellites. The Select 641 came with one of the longest cables we have seen–around 10’ for the front satellites and 16’ for the rear! These should be sufficiently long to cover a standard-sized room. The sub-woofer cabinet is as big as a full-blown ATX PC cabinet and houses two 6½” long-throw woofers. The long throw emerges from two tubes that carry the deep sounds. The sub-woofer is non-directional and is ideally placed under a table on the ground.

This can also be used with video sources for a home-theatre experience

ALTEC LANSING SELECT 641
Price: Rs 18,000
Meant for: Heavy-duty gamers
Features: One subwoofer, four satellites, total 200 W RMS power
Pros: Great performance throughout the audible frequency range, very powerful output, long satellite cables
Contact: Trifin Technologies, Delhi. Tel: 011-6236061, 6226777. 
E-mail: trifin@vsnl.com 

RQS

The satellites come with metal stands with rubber feet to prevent them from sliding around due to vibration when you turn up the volume. They can also be wall mounted with brackets. The sub-woofer unit houses the amplifier circuitry and the power supply. The speaker system comes with a wired remote control with its own metal stand. The remote has a power button, a mode selector, buttons for bass and treble level control and a volume control knob. A headphone jack on the remote allows for personal listening. 

The satellite connectors, the jacks for input and for connecting the remote are at the back of the sub-woofer cabinet and so are a power switch and a fuse. On the top of the cabinet, towards the front, is an auxiliary input jack for connecting a microphone or any other source. 

The speakers work in three modes–stereo, stereo x2 and gaming. While the stereo mode powers the sub-woofer and just the front satellites in stereo mode, the stereo x2 and gaming modes give you discreet 4-channel sound and a sub-woofer. Unfortunately it does not take a digital input from a sound card like the Sound Blaster or the Audigy series. 

We tested the speaker system for its frequency response against a claimed range of 27 Hz—20 kHz. The sub-woofer had no problem in reproducing a sine tone of even 20 Hz. The satellites could handle up to 20 kHz, with just slight distortion coming in between 19-20 kHz. The speaker system has a claimed Signal-to-noise ratio of more than 70 dB.

With all kinds of audio–MP3, audio CD tracks, game sounds and even Dolby tracks, the system was excellent in performance. 

The Bottom LinePriced at Rs 18,000, the Select 641 is expensive, but a worthy investment if you are a total gaming freak.

Ashish Sharma at PCQ Labs

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