Review Index:

Altec Lansing MX5021 Speaker System

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Altec Lansing

Test Setup

There are two environments which we test the Altec Lansing MX5021: the computer workstation, and the home theater. In each location, we run a batch of subjective listening tests consisting of music, video games, and movies.

Computer Setup

Motherboard DFI Infinity NF2 Ultra
CPU AMD Athlon XP3200+
RAM 2x256MB Corsair PC3200 TwinX Platinum Series
Sound Processor nVIDIA SoundStorm
Audio Driver v4.31
Audio Output Altec Lansing MX5021
Altec Lansing ACS54 (4.1 speakers)
Sony MDR-CD270 headphones (digital reference, full seal)
Athena Technologies Audition Series speakers (home theater)

I realize that the nVIDIA SoundStorm is not the best sound processor to use, but hopefully it will produce some noticeable results for our purposes.

Music Selection
For this review, I selected a broad sample of music styles to give us a fuller picture of how the MX5021 performs. The following is a list of some of the albums/songs I listened to while testing these speakers.

Alternative / Rock Nine Inch Nails - Downward Spiral *
The White Stripes - Elephant *
Pop Dashboard Confessional - A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar *
Evanescence - Fallen*
U2 - All that You can't Leave Behind *
Hip-Hop / Rap Missy Elliott - This is Not a Test! *
50 Cent - Guess Who's Back *
Electronica Fatboy Slim - Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars *
The Prodigy - Fat of the Land *
Trance Airwave - Believe
DJ Tiesto - In My Memory *
Classical Bizet - Carmen
Mozart - Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Jazz Diana Krall — The Look of Love *
John Coltrane — Blue Train *
Misc Garden State — Original Soundtrack *
Lush — Split *
Samsung Chillout Sessions Vol. 2

Movie Selection
For selecting movies, I picked Finding Nemo, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and Lost in Translation. Each of these movies have their own specialty: Finding Nemo excels at positional audio and ambient sound, The Two Towers for action effects, and Lost in Translation for dialog and artistic expression.

Game Selection
To test gaming, I used Doom 3, Unreal Tournament 2004, and Freelancer. I also tested using two THX certified games: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Need For Speed: Underground.

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