Chances are you've still got the speakers that your computer shipped with. Chances are they aren't that great. Chances are Altec Lansing want to woo you with its latest offering - the VS2421. But can it? We get listening to find out.

Claiming the speakers will "reset expectations for PC sound performance" the VS2421 boasts two 2.5-inch satellite speakers and a slim 5.4-inch subwoofer, which has been designed to fit easily under your desk or on a wall thanks to the wall mounting option.

After the quick set-up of connecting the speakers and the wired remote control all that's left is to plug them into your PC and away you go. Again space-saving junkies will like the fact that there is no additional powerbrick with everything contained in the subwoofer unit.

As the main unit is hidden out of the way, Altec Lansing have put all the controls on a fairly large black box that sits on your desk and this gives you a built-in microphone, an optional microphone jack for better quality audio (you'll need it) as well as a 3.5mm headphones jack.

The control pod part of the system also has a plug'n'play AUX input for your iPod, MP3 or CD player and offers volume as well as treble, bass and mute functions.

Turn them on and the speakers perform well and in our tests with music, video (we watched and games, although the turning the bass dial up high can cause distortion at medium to high sound levels.


At £40 the Altec Lansing VS2421 speakers offer a good sound for your PC for those on a budget.

We are kidding you or ourselves in saying that it's the best we've ever heard, and audiophiles will say they lack warmth and mellowness to the overall sound.

Additionally, we aren't too sure about the large control box either, surely it could have been smaller? But these grumbles aside, as far as budget upgrades go, you can't go wrong.