On the test bench in the DreamStation.cc lab are the Altec Lansing’s GT-5051 side-firing dipole surround speakers. Altec Lansing’s new speaker technology let’s you have three speakers and one subwoofer to reproduce true 5.1 surround without rear speakers. Could this be the end of running wires all over the room or are they just bouncing things off the wall to see what sticks? Let’s find out.
Altec Lansing’s GT-5051 sound comes “from a patent-pending side-firing surround technology and patented Dynamic EQ technology that utilizes custom-built, high-fidelity drivers and a state-of-the-art equalization circuitry.” With a total continuous power 80 watts RMS and sound pressure level (SPL) of 106 dB the front, surround, and center speakers are 10 watts/channel @ 8 ohms @ 10% THD, and the subwoofer is 30 Watts/channel @ 8 ohms @ 10% THD. System response is 40 Hz - 20 kHz. Drivers are one 3″ full-range driver for the front and center channel, and a 3″ full-range dipole driver for the surround channel. Front speakers measure 3.7″ x 3.6″ x 7.8″ (94 mm x 91 mm x 198 mm), and the center speaker is 6.3″ x 4.25″ x 3.9″ (160 mm x 108 mm x 99 mm). All satellites are shielded for use near video monitors. The subwoofer driver is one 5.25″ long-throw woofer subwoofer and measures 7.4″ x 9.2″ x 12.5″ (188 mm x 234 mm x 317 mm). Weight of the whole system is 14 lbs (6.3 kg).
Altec Lansing’s GT-5051 can be used with a 6-channel sound card in 6-channel surround mode. It can also be used in 2/4 channel mode for six-speaker sound from any source CD player, MP3 player, or standard 2 or 4-channel sound card. Altec Lansing’s GT-5051 also comes with multiple input options to connect a computer, MP3 player, DVD, TV or gaming console all at the same time. It also features a headphone jack for private listening.
We tested the Altec Lansing’s GT-5051 with:
Computer: Half-Life 2 and Wakeboard Unleashed
Xbox: Halo 2, Hunter the Reckoning: Redeemer, Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge
PlayStation 2: Burnout 3: Take Down, Taiko Drum Master and Amplitude
Game Cube: Donkey Konga and Super Smash Bros. Melee
Rio 600 MP3 Player: variety of artists; Fuel, Mudvein, Three Doors Down and more
DVD: Spider-Man 2, Star Trek: Nemesis and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
CD: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas soundtrack, Rachmaninov, Brahms
The set-up of the Altec Lansing’s GT-5051 was very easy. All the cables for the GT-5051 where color code. All the colors matched up with the colors on all of the plugs on each speaker. The manual was very clear and detailed. All the cables were well shielded and with about a six foot long cable on each speaker which can reach just about anywhere you need. The speakers are made of black laminated boxes with black cloth grills. There is a volume control and power button on the top of the right speaker. Volume controls are for the center speaker, sub and rear channels. Each volume control has its own blue light to tell you how loud each channel is. Altec Lansing’s GT-5051 sub woofer delivered room filling bass with good low frequency. The rear speakers sit on top of the front speakers and are angled at 30 degrees. The midrange and highs are full-bodied and sound very good. The reflected surround sound makes music or sound effects sound rich, full and immediate. The center channel is crystal-clear with movie dialog. Music sounds very realistic with a wide sound stage. Games also sound good with sounds coming from all sides like you would get from a full surround with rear speakers. Movies sound is solid with all dialog and sound effects sounding just like a full surround system.
Altec Lansing’s GT-5051 is a great idea for taking up less space with good sound. They are small enough to keep them out of the way and not to take up too much space. The sound from the Altec Lansing’s GT-5051 was clean and clear with very low distortion even at some very high levels. For my taste it could have used a little more mid-range and low bass. I would highly recommend the Altec Lansing’s GT-5051 for someone that would like 5.1 surround without taking up a lot of room, like a college student or someone with a small apartment. The GT-5051 would give great sound for a small price.
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