Altec Lansing ADA885 Page: 1
Introduction

If you have hundreds upon hundreds of songs on your hard drive, or live for FPS games, you obviously have the need for a serious speaker setup. When 2.1 isn't enough and 5.1 is too much, 4.1 meets your needs perfectly. That's where Altec Lansing comes in with their ADA885 speakers. Featuring THX Lucasfilm certification, and Dolby Digital & Pro Logic support, these speakers fit everyones needs. If music, movies and gaming are your thing, these speakers are a must.

Packaging



Shipped in the Altec Lansing box, the ADA885's weigh slightly over 35 lbs. You'll see why in a bit. When you open the box, you're greeted with a bundle of cables. These cables are the ones that connect from the subwoofer to your PC.



Once you remove the cables & styrofoam, you're now facing a huge subwoofer and the rear satellites. Great packaging job, Altec, it looks like nothing moved an inch during shipping.


Specifications
Taken from the Altec-Lansing Manual

Specifications
System Resonse: 27Hz-20kHz
Total Audio Output: 120 Watts (103 dB SPL @ Listening Position)
Input Impendance: >10k Ohms
Analog Input Sensitivity: 300 mV for full output
Digital Input: S/PDIF

Satellite Speakers
Drivers: Four 3" full Range, Two 1" Tweeters
Power: 60 Watts (15 watts per driver)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >70dB
Distortion: <.8% All modes, -3dB, full power

Subwoofer
Driver: One 8" dual voice coil
Power: 60 Watts
Crossover Frequency: 150Hz
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >70dB
Distortion: <1% All modes, -3dB, full power

Power Requirements

USA/Canada: 120v/360W/60Hz

Dimensions
Subwoofer: 365mm (W) 260mm (D) 290mm (H)
Main Sats: 137mm (W) 110mm (D) 162mm (H)
Surrounds: 110mm (W) 104mm (D) 117mm (H)



The speakers also include a nice quick start guide, and a full manual. You can use these speakers two ways. In a 2.1 configuration or a 4.1 configuration. The rear speakers can actually mount on top of the front sattelites, making a very powerful 2.1 configuration. The quick start guide (left picture), is on the Multi-Channel side. Flip it over, and it tells you how to set it up for 2.1 mode.




Altec Lansing ADA885 Page: 2
Appearance



Lifting the humongous subwoofer from the packaging was a task in itself, but after getting it free, it's pretty easy to handle. If you havn't noticed already, this subwoofer is huge! On the back of it, you'll see a lot of connectors including the digital input, and an interesting diagnostic button.



Wow, 360w, that's some serious power draw! The subwoofer, which also houses the amp, has its own dedicated fuse. That obviously tells you, that this thing is a power hungry monster. If you look closely at the power cord, near the subwoofer, you'll spot the spare fuse Altec Lansing included for you. Good idea Altec!



The satellites are pretty large too. The right satellite has the LCD on it, which shows the mode you're in, and displays volume, bass & trebel level, etc. It's also backlit, a nice touch if you have the lights off. The small black thing on the right satellite is the IR reciever for the remote control. The left satellite is just a mirror image of the right. On the left side of the left satellite, there is a headphone jack if you wish to use them, but why would you?



Taking the speaker grille off my left front satellite revealed the 3" speaker & 1" tweeter.  Looks nice in there, and should be good for providing awesome midrange performance, along with ear piercing highs.



Altec Lansing ADA885 Page: 3
Appearance Cont.



The rear satellites are pretty much the same as the two front ones, minus the larger bases and the Altec Lansing logo's. These speakers have very long cables too, which is one of the most complained about things from users, about speaker manufacturers.  They're at least 10 feet long, if not longer.



The included remote is a nice feature too, especially if you're going to be using this speaker system with a HTPC or something similar. It works very well at the desk, or across the room.



Just to get an idea of how big the subwoofer really is, it barely fits under my desk with my garbage can next to it. I always use my subwoofers as foot rests, and this one works very well for that, with the nice large top... just if you wanted to know ;).




Altec Lansing ADA885 Page: 4
Setup



I placed the rear speakers on the desk that is directly behind me, which serves as a place for my spare rig, or a place for friends to hook their computers up.  Overall, the setup was extremely easy.  The plugs and connectors are all color coded, and knotched so they will only fit in their connector, one way.  This makes installation for everyone fast and trouble free.

Testing

   

There are many different modes, my favorite being Pro Logic.  There are five to be exact.

  • Pro Logic
  • Dolby Digital
  • Stereo X2
  • Stereo
  • Quad

Stereo, is just using the front two speakers.  Stereo X2 is just the standard 2 channels on all four speakers.  Quad is the standard 4.1 configuration, but tones down the bass.  Pro Logic & Dolby Digital are for movies and music, and both utilize 4 channels.  Dolby Digital from what I can tell seems like a toned down Pro Logic, bass wise.  To be honest, this system puts out oodles of punchy, clean, distortion free bass as it is.  Anyway, I used my trusty Sound Blaster Live! 24-Bit sound card, and played my usual music, which tends to be a mix of 70's rock, 80's, and other misc stuff.  The highs were crisp, the midranges vibrated my ribcage (freaky feeling), and the lows would easily make a constipated person run for the bathroom. 


Altec Lansing ADA885 Page: 5
Conclusion

Well, none of you know how much these speakers cost. None of you know that these speakers were initally made in 1999. Yes, 7 yr. old design. Ever notice how older speakers sound better than modern ones? Anyway, these speakers left me truely speechless. I've had Logitech's, harman/kardons, and now these, and there is no comparison. THX makes a difference. You hear things in songs you've never heard before, and that's the truth. For such cheap speakers, and for so many features, these could easily blow away $250+ computer speakers in price:performance. Oh yeah, they cost me about $52 shipped from Directron, new!

Pro's
-Amazing sound quality
-Easy setup
-Remote & LCD
-Very loud
-Huge subwoofer

Con's
-May not look right with your setup (beige)
-May be too large for some people with smaller spaces



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