Automatic Center in Gateway has a lot of its old stock on sale, some going for 70% off. Curiosity got a hold of me and I bought a pair of earphones from Altec Lansing. Originally retailing for 600 and from a known speaker brand, I figured there shouldn’t be anything wrong with the pair.
This time however, my assessment was too optimistic. Not to tarnish the reputation that Altec Lansing has on the speaker side of things but this pair of earphones are the sorriest piece of audio technology I have ever encountered.
The packaging was ok for the most part; it even comes with its own compact case which rotates to cleanly tuck away the 1.2m cord which is very thin btw. It is supposed to be powered by two 15mm dia Neodynium magnets with a 20-20k frequency range but the drivers inside the plastic earpieces who proudly bear the Altec Lansing logo sound nothing like what is listed on the spec.
Listening to it sounds like there is a diffusing element in between the sound and your ears which limits the frequencies to what sounds like muddy midtones and cranking it up actually physically hurts the eardrums. I needed to ‘cleanse’ my ears of the noise by putting on my trusty ATH-EC700 and listening to music once again… what came out of the Altec Lansing pair can only be called bad sound.
I tried another pair of the same make and model but I got the same lousy performance. This goes to show that even though the name is trusted, not all of the products are excellent… even if it is within their field of specialization already. This experience also reinforces the need to actually audition audio tech first before purchasing them. Sealed, untested units have a greater possibility for disappointment and loss of money.