Labtec LCS – 2414

The built-in speakers on Macs are not the best quality, so if you want to listen to music – or play games – it’s a good idea to get external speakers. This can be an expensive exercise, but Labtec has come out with some speakers that include a subwoofer for just £42.50. World at war
While playing games, these speakers performed excellently – explosive sounds turned my front room into WW3 battle ground. The only drawback is that background hiss is amplified when playing badly recorded sounds. This hiss occurred when I tried recording my own voice onto the hard drive – a treble control, or graphic equalizer, would have done away with the problem, but this was sadly lacking. With audio CDs, the speakers performed well in the mid-range, creating good-quality, warm-sounding aural sensations. Extreme sounds were distorted – jungle, reggae, and industrial noise all suffered. Fine for Mariah Carey tunes, not so hot for drum-and-bass. Don’t believe the hype
Labtec’s claim that these speakers will “become an industry classic” is something of an over-statement, especially when you can direct your computer’s sounds through a second-hand amp, connected to a speaker set-up, with superior results. The beige colour is not inspiring. Offering the speakers in black could have enhanced aesthetic appeal. However, the subwoofer is enclosed in wood, for floor placement. Set-up is easy too, with colour-coded connections. The satellite speakers are tiny, but offer a rich, large sound – in the mid-range at least. Frequency response is an adequate 40Hz-20KHz. Power output is 25W – the subwoofer rates 15W, and the satellites 10W between the two. Volume is controlled through one of the satellites, the on/off switch sits on the subwoofer, the unit needs a power supply. I would have preferred the volume control on the subwoofer, so I could have raised the speakers away from the computer. The cables are a little spaghetti-junction-like, making these a desktop solution.

OUR VERDICT

These speakers are OK, but for better results I would recommend buying higher up the Labtec range. The Labtec 2414 Audio f/x is good, but its higher-end products rock. These budget speakers simply perform.

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