Altec Lansing PT6021

by Rory Buszka on December 15, 2006 in Audio & Media

Altec Lansing fields us a new concept in powered audio – a simpler route to home theater sound. Their new PT6021 system holds special promise for Home Theater PC applications. But can it meet the performance challenges of true home theater use?

Page 2 – Out of the Box; Specifications

My PT6021 review sample arrived in a plain cardboard box, with minimal exterior markings. It is sometimes the case that manufacturers order their products from China in plain cardboard boxes, and then repackage them into the consumer cartons, featuring the product’s image, features, and other pertinent information. I suspect that my review sample was simply sent directly to me without being repackaged. Upon opening the box, I was greeted by the instruction manual, and the top of the subwoofer module. The other system components were securely packed in the side of one of the Styrofoam blocks.

The carton contained the subwoofer with attached power cable, the instruction manual, the satellite speakers with attached cables, weighted bases for the satellite speakers, the universal remote, a smaller credit-card remote, the control pod with attached cable, a stereo RCA signal cable, two eight-foot speaker cable extensions, and brackets for mounting the satellite speakers to the frame of a flat-panel television, with an additional packet of hardware for assembling the brackets. I unpacked all of the carton’s contents and laid them out for a photo. Batteries for the universal remote are packed with the instruction manual, and the button-cell battery for the smaller credit-card remote is also included.

The inclusion of two eight-foot extensions for the satellite speaker cables is thoughtful, but I was disturbed by the omission of a 3.5mm cable, even though the 3.5mm jack is present on the rear of the subwoofer. Those who seek to use these speakers with a home theater PC (or a PC of any sort, or a portable music player, etc.) will find themselves making a run to the local RadioShack for the appropriate cable. I see no reason why a 3.5mm audio cable should not have been included with this set, and I think that Altec Lansing would do well to revise the package to include one.

Altec Lansing PT6021 Specifications



Frequency Response

32Hz-18kHz (-10dB)

This system is
capable of covering most of the audible range. The 32Hz low frequency
point might be a tad optimistic.

Maximum Output

101dB SPL

75-80dB is about as
loudly as I personally care to listen. Extra headroom is always
appreciated, though.

System Power

58W RMS @ 1%THD

This is a continuous
rating, instead of a peak power rating, as some manufacturers will
sometimes advertise.

Subwoofer Power

44W RMS @ 1%THD

This isn’t bad, but
it isn’t as powerful as some of the competition’s subwoofers.

Satellite Power

7W RMS @ 1%THD

Both satellites
combine for a total of 14 watts. The low end is where the real amplifier
punch is needed.

Satellite Drivers

(Per Satellite)

Six 1” Micro Drivers

These drivers have
the combined piston area of a single 2.5” cone, though the smaller cones
should offer greater clarity and wider horizontal dispersion.

Subwoofer Driver

One 6.5” Long-Throw

This is a smaller
driver than some of the competition uses, though it’s not just about the
driver. The enclosure design also plays a major role in a subwoofer’s
bass output.


Wired Control Pod;
Infrared Wireless Remotes

Many high-end
systems use external control pods, allowing for greater placement
flexibility of the satellite speakers while ensuring that the controls
are within easy reach.

Input Connections

Stereo RCA Inputs;
3.5mm stereo input on subwoofer, 3.5mm auxiliary input on control pod

This system accepts
stereo inputs from a variety of sources, and the auxiliary jack on the
control pod is a nice touch.

Satellite Dimensions

2.5” (W) x 1” (D) x
14.4” (H)

These satellites are
slim, but they are tall. They’ll look great next to your flat panel
display…or attached directly to it.

Subwoofer Dimensions

8.5” (W) x 7.9” (D)
x 16” (H)

This subwoofer
features a taller, slimmer design as well, with a smaller footprint than
the competition.

(The full list of specifications can be found in the PT6021 brochure. The specs listed here are the ones you’re most likely to use in comparing this system to others.)

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