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XA 3021

Developer: | Publisher: Altec Lansing
Players: | Release Date: 05/12/17 | Genre: Accessory

At E3 2002, no matter what booth you went to, you saw all publishers using the same speakers. Regardless of the platform, everyone had Altec Lansing's XA 3021 speakers setup. For those of you who are not familiar with Altec Lansing, they have been making some of the best PC speakers for many years. For the first time, they are entering the gaming market with a series of speakers designed to help you hear the games you play, the way the developers intended for you to hear them. Many of you aren't aware of this but regardless of whether you spend 100 or 1,000 dollars for a new television, the speakers found within are small and lack the sound quality from large home theater systems. For only ninety nine bucks, those of you who are not fortunate to have a nice home theater system can finally change the way you hear games.

Inside the XA 3021 package, you will find a subwoofer, two satellite speakers, and a wired remote system that includes a jack for headphones. The total power of this system is forty watts. While this may not sound like a lot, I have found little to complain about. Before we get into the sound quality, I want to stress how easy these things were to setup. The hardest part in setting up the speakers was getting them out of the box... they were that easy. Using the cables included in the package, everything plugs directly into the subwoofer. The cables running into the Satellite speakers are very long--so you have plenty of room to place them wherever they need to go. Also, the satellites can be angled up or down depending on where you sit.

One word of caution is that the subwoofer is not magnetically shielded. This means that if your television is on and the subwoofer gets near it, the picture will be very distorted and could potentially damage it. Take great care in where you place the subwoofer and make sure that it is far enough away to ensure your TV won't be harmed.

Each speaker is black, has grey grills, and green lettering. Apparently, the designers at Altec Lansing really enjoyed the color scheme for the Xbox and decided to make use of it, adding the grey in it to distinguish itself from the Xbox. Personally, I really like how these speakers look. They are very stylish looking. However, growing up in my mom's house, she would have flipped out completely if I tried to plug these on our main television. I am sure some of you "younger folks" may run into a similar problem. If you are one of the unfortunate people in this category, here is the perfect way to get your color coordinating parents to go along with your new speakers. Blindfold them and set them in the living room. Pull out their favorite DVD and play a scene with lots of loud sound for them on your normal speakers. After this is done, plug in the Altec Lansing XA 3021 speakers and let them hear the difference using the same scene once more. Once they hear the difference, looks shouldn't mean much. Not only can you now listen to all of your games in high quality, the whole family can listen to this great sound during their favorite TV shows or while watching movies! If there are times when you can't make much noise, pull out a pair of headphones and plug them into the jack on the wired controller. You can continue to game and the rest of the house can be happy with the peace and quiet.

While I would have preferred to have a surround sound system, you will have a difficult time finding a better speaker system for your TV at this price. For only a hundred bucks, all of your games will sound excellent. However, if you just have to have surround sound, you can wait for Altec Lansing to release their surround sound system. This will run two hundred bucks and have Dolby Surround Pro Logic Technology--along with over 100 watts of power! But if you can't wait around for Altec Lansing to release this set or can't afford two hundred dollars, the XA 3021 is an excellent deal. These speakers will provide you with sound that is hundreds of times more clearer than what you will be able to hear on your normal TV. This set is highly recommended.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 07/17/02

Screenshots for XA 3021

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