Altec Lansing XT1 Notebook Speakers

by Rob Williams on April 25, 2005 in Audio & Media

You think just because you have a Notebook PC, that you have to have poor sound? Altec Lansing disagrees, and they prove it with their XT1 Notebook Speaker set. Read on to see how they perform.

Page 3 – Performance

I tested the sound from the speakers by listening to different types of music, as well as checking out a movie. My music tastes range from Metal to Rock to Dance, so I couldn’t wait to see how each genre sounded.

I first threw on some Nine Inch Nails. I was immediately impressed with the bass from the songs, especially from a set of 2.1 speakers. Oh wait, these aren’t 2.1 speakers, so where’s the bass coming from? The speakers have something called Quality Bass, a technology that allows great bass from your speakers, without a woofer. Altec Lansing doesn’t go into the exact technicalities, but it works well.

I also threw on a track from the Global Deejays. Once again, the speakers had excellent quality, and even at high volume there was no distortion.

Next up was a scene I like to test sound with.. the final freestyle session in 8 Mile. Quit laughing. No, really. This scene is a good one for testing sound, because there is a lot of background noise and freestyling along with music. It all takes place in a basement shack, so we hope it would sound just like that.

Again, I loved how the speakers performed. You could easily hear the background noise, which you are meant to, subtly, in this scene. The echo, people talking the background.. it sounded awesome. The music and freestyling was VERY clear. I would not have any problems whatsoever watching movies with this kind of sound.

I also tested the speakers with Counter-Strike: Source, and again, it sounds much better than the regular speakers. If you are a lan party type person, and have a gaming notebook, then these speakers would compliment it perfectly. The sound was crisp, and was easy to listen to. Playing the game with the regular Dell speakers I have, used to give me a headache, but these didn’t.

I mentioned earlier that the speakers also work in Linux, as well as Windows and Mac OS. I should mention, that Linux does not utilize the speakers as well as the other two OS’s, and that’s why it’s likely unsupported. The only way to control the volume, is through the Linux sound manager, not by the volume control on the speakers themselves. Also, the speakers sound much better in Windows than in Linux, so if you were to get these speakers for a Linux only notebook, I would not recommend it, as the sound quality is not that great, but sounds similar to the tin cans you received with your notebook. I am unsure why exactly they don’t sound as good in Linux as they do in Windows, but that’s the way it is.

Either way, these are great speakers, and I recommend them to anyone who wants great sound out of their notebook. The design, physical quality and superior sound makes these certainly worth the money. I’ve personally only had good experiences with Altec Lansing in the past, and my primary computer speakers are Altecs as well. Check them out for sure. Thanks to Caroline from Altec Lansing for allowing us to review the XT1 speakers!


  • Great design and quality
  • USB powered
  • Extremely portable
  • Quality Bass is great!

  • Auxiliary setting requires your computer be on

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Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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