Labtec LCS-2414 3-Piece Multimedia Speakersby Mike Andrawes on May 12, 1999 10:53 PM EST
This is probably the most important area to consider when choosing a speaker set, whether for the computer or a home theater. Once again, the most important thing to keep in my mind when buying an audio equipment is that your ears are always the best judge because everyone has different musical tastes. It is also necessary to keep in my mind what you plan to use the speakers for. Just about anything will get you buy if you just want Windows beeps and dings, but if you plan to listen to music 6 hours a day, you are going to need much more. With that in mind, not many people by three piece speaker sets for beeps and dings, so the focus here will be on music and (to a lesser extent) gaming.
The Labtec LCS-2414 continue to surprise when it comes to sound quality, especially considering their size and price. Usually, the weakest part of a system this size and price is the bass response. With just a 4" sub, don't expect the bass to shake the walls, but what this sub does do is produce excellent distortion free bass that can go surprisingly low. Labtec claims that their dynamic bass equalization will prevent distortion of the bass at any volume level and it seems to be quite effective.
Similarly, the satellites produce very directional sound, which is to be expected from such small drivers. Again, their frequency response is quite good, especially considering the lack of a dedicated tweeter. Highs are crisp and clear. With such small drivers, quite a bit of the midrange is sent to the sub, which muddies up the stereo separation a bit. Highs however, come clearly from one satellite or the other.
With its minimal sub and power output, you won't be able to crank these loud enough to have a big party, and the satellites do a poor job of filling the room with sound, but, sitting at a desk with the speakers right in front of you and the sub on a nearby piece of floor, they sound excellent. The LCS-2414 simply do not try to over exert themselves, and thus produce distortion free sound at any reasonable sound level. To top it off, there is little background hiss, even when turned all the way up.
No tone controls or sub level control are available, but they are not really needed. The response is smooth and the transition from sub to satellite is even smoother. There is also a distinct lack of gimmicks such as "3D" sound that many other speakers offer. These "3D" sound features often cause distortion and generally make things sound funny, but some feel that it helps fill the room better. This reviewer certainly does not miss the feature in the LCS-2414's though.