Harman Kardon SoundSticks II or Altec Lansing FX6021 - 2.1 Speakers

Rob587

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
799
1
Orlando, FL
Which are better? Price is not really a determinate. I want the ones that sound the best. I am mainly choosing from these two because of the looks and the fact that everyone has them. So whats the general consensus? I listen to Rock and Rap. Which speakers do you guys reccomend? Harman Kardon SoundSticks II or Altec Lansing FX6021 - 2.1 Speakers?

Thanks
 

Rob587

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
799
1
Orlando, FL
do you feel like when you turm them up all the way that they are nice and loud? the volume meter seems kinda small.
 
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ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
1,672
65
USA
After listening to both the SS-II and the FX6021 at home, I chose the SS-II after preferring it over the FX6021 in every A/B comparison. The midrange and treble frequencies are, in my view, noticeably more coherent and composed (i.e. no distortion). The subwoofer is likewise coherently integrated. It plays remarkably well at all reasonable volume levels without sounding thin, tinny, screechy, etc. I didn't think the FX6021's frequency response held together nearly as well from low to high. It exhibited various sonic artifacts and midrange-to-treble coherence was noticeably weak.

The FX6021 is more expensive, has more features including a remote control, but I was after sound quality first and foremost and the choice was clear. Sound reproduction is, however, a *very* subjective thing so I'm sure many others will have different opinions. You should really listen to both and pick the one whose sound quality makes you smile.
 
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ToddW

macrumors 6502a
Feb 26, 2004
655
0
do the sound sticks II have a headphone port broken out on them. I'm in the running for some new speakers for my imacG5 and can't decide on what to get.
 
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Rob587

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
799
1
Orlando, FL
I went to compusa today and I listened to the soundsticks but the altec lansings werent working. So im still not sure.
 
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puckhead193

macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
9,246
473
NY
Rob587 said:
I went to compusa today and I listened to the soundsticks but the altec lansings werent working. So im still not sure.
I know the apple store near me has the altec lansings on show (of course next to the 30 incher)... its preference and how much you want to pay. If i was a billionair and could have any speakers i would prob get Mark levinson but i'm not :p
 
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ksz

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2003
1,672
65
USA
ToddW said:
do the sound sticks II have a headphone port broken out on them. I'm in the running for some new speakers for my imacG5 and can't decide on what to get.
Nope, no headphone port on the Sound Sticks.
 
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yinyang

macrumors regular
Aug 14, 2003
103
0
sunny brisbane
ksz said:
After listening to both the SS-II and the FX6021 at home, I chose the SS-II after preferring it over the FX6021 in every A/B comparison. The midrange and treble frequencies are, in my view, noticeably more coherent and composed (i.e. no distortion). The subwoofer is likewise coherently integrated. It plays remarkably well at all reasonable volume levels without sounding thin, tinny, screechy, etc. I didn't think the FX6021's frequency response held together nearly as well from low to high. It exhibited various sonic artifacts and midrange-to-treble coherence was noticeably weak.
hhhmmm - i'd go the other way, though i never listened to the SSII at home, only at an apple reseller. i thought the SSII were too 'warm' though not as 'muddy' (sorry for the lack of tech terminology) as the creatures and felt that the 6021 produced a 'cleaner' sound.

i think that there is very little distortion in either SSII or 6021, but the way the sounds are reproduced obviously vary and are appreciated differently!! :)

rob587 make sure you try and listen to an assortment of music when testing so you get a better idea of both speakers' capabilities!

have fun :cool:
 
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fennek

macrumors newbie
Feb 10, 2004
14
0
Leipzig, Germany
I agree with ksz.

Especially when you are listening at low levels you will notice the advantage the ss II have.
I could never tell in the store by the way and I think you should get a couple of songs that you know well, then plug the speakers into your ipod or portable cd player. Be shure to take digital music which has been imported at good bitrates, otherwise all high and low pitches will be gone.

Another thing to bring up is the different way these boxes actually create sound. The reflex systems will get very high quality low levels at low Volumes (loudness- and space-wise) where as the regular systems will need bigger diameters, cones and / or volumes to create the same percieved level of sound. However this really only works well at close ranges - which happens to be what you are looking for. This may be the reason why some feel to have heard a "warmer" or "clearer" sound in loud surroundings. Also I wouldn't think that you would crank those boxes up since you probably need something for "while working".

Personally I got the SS II right after they came out, they have a nice range and play jazz just as good as classical and electronic music. I don't listen to rap so I couldn't tell. Bass down to Kickbass level is surprisingly good (electronic) as are high levels and upper midranges. (Use trumpet sounds to test that.)

Maybe if money is not an issue you should get both, try them for a week and then return the ones you did't like.

Let me know...
 
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Rob587

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
799
1
Orlando, FL
Well, rap is aout 85% of what I listen too. Every time I listen to speakers they all seam pretty clear as are the ssII and the altec lansings. In the stores they always have like slow rock wich calls for little bass and alot of highs so I am never able to discern wich has better bass. Ill try bringing my ipod, that soounds like a good idea. But anyway, to me they both sound equally as good clearity wise, so I guess I just want to know which ones can handle bass of hard rap without sounding like they cant handle it.
 
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Rob587

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 4, 2004
799
1
Orlando, FL
so which have better bass handeling? I assume the ones (altec lansing) with more watts?

P.S. I really like anything JBL comes out with.... i.e. creatures.... to bad they dont make some bigger louder stuff.
 
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