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Altec Lansing Expressionist Plus speaker system
$99 computer speaker system puts out clear and crisp sound
By Joshua Virata

Altec Lansing has just released its new 2.1 channel/subwoofer music system, the Expressionist PLUS, FX3021. Different from run of the mill computer speakers, the FX3021features dramatic piano black cone-shaped drivers and subwoofer. The system's subwoofer utilizes a floor facing 5.25-inch, long-throw driver that produces powerful rich bass. When coupled with the the pair of 2-inch speaker drivers, the system delivers clear, distinct sound.

The system's three parts rely on Altec Lansing's Audio Alignment technology that works to provide you with the best audio experience possible, delivering music to the listener in the way it's meant to be heard. Audio Alignment technology is Altec Lansing's proprietary technology that ensures that the drivers, enclosure, and electronics in the Expressionist PLUS system are all balanced for optimum sound reproduction.

In testing the system I played a range of music, from pop, rock, and jazz, to hip-hop, classical and acoustic, as well as a couple of action filled movies. All of the audio sounded clear and clean, with the exception of a few songs that had heavy percussion and electric guitar in it. The subwoofer did fill up the room with deep bass, and the knob on top of the sub made it easy to adjust the sub volume on the fly also. The speakers produced clear audio, they were great in producing highs, mids, and lows and had great representation all around. Controls for the Expressionist are very simple and to the point, there is a knob on top of the subwoofer that acts as the on and off button as well as the sub volume adjuster, there are also volume up and down buttons on top of the right satellite speaker that are easy to press. Also located on the right satellite is a power indicator light, but I feel like there should be some sort of indicator that shows the volume of the system either through lights, or with tones in the audio.

Altogether the system has 33 Watts of continuous power, 4 Watts per channel for each speaker, and 28 Watts for the subwoofer. The system has a frequency response range of 40 Hz - 20 kHz (-10dB) with a signal to noise ratio at 1 kHz less than 72 dB.

The speakers of the Expressionist PLUS are daisy chained together from right to left driver, with a master plug to the subwoofer leading out of the right speaker. Ports for audio input (computer and AUX), output, and power are all located on the back of the subwoofer. This makes for easy set up of the speakers because there's no fumbling with cables for the left or right channel, but on the other hand it makes it so that placement is somewhat limited as to where the subwoofer can go, though the main lead cable is long enough to have some wiggle room in placement. The speakers rest on metal stands and are adjustable up and down on their axis to adjust for their placement, either higher or lower than the listener.

At a price point of $99 USD the Expressionist PLUS computer speaker system is a great buy for the first time computer buyer, or for people looking to replace older speaker systems that don't produce the best sound.

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Joshua Virata is a 2008 graduate of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, CA. He has been using computers since the age of 2 and is proficient in the areas of home wired and wireless networking, music creation, secure computing, cell phone communication and GPS navigation. You can email him at [email protected]

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