Altec Lansing Expressionist BASS FX3022

This PC speakers promise to deliver "all the bass in half the space", but do they deliver?

Altec Lansing Expressionist BASS FX3022
  • Altec Lansing Expressionist BASS FX3022
  • Altec Lansing Expressionist BASS FX3022
  • Altec Lansing Expressionist BASS FX3022
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Impressive design, built-in subwoofers have ample mid-bass

Cons

  • Harsh treble, no remote volume control or input

Bottom Line

While these speakers aren't particularly refined for music listening, ample bass makes them well suited to movies and gaming.

Would you buy this?

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Although "all the bass in half the space" — Altec Lansing’s motto for its Expressionist BASS FX3022 speaker set — is not entirely true, it does speak volumes about the aim of the system. But is it really possible to squeeze a full-sounding subwoofer into the base of a five-inch wide PC speaker?

As it turns out, it isn't. While there’s a large gap between the Expressionist BASS FX3022 and the volume and bass levels of a discrete subwoofer, the speakers do an admirable job of recreating low frequencies.

You will either love the retro-futuristic steam-punk design or think it is hideous and plasticky. The slightly conical speakers are just over 25 centimetres tall, with a base width of around 13 centimetres. The piano black finish means they can either look stunning when clean — or dirty and covered with fingerprints. The latter is a distinct possibility when you consider the lack of a remote control; you will constantly be touching the speakers to change volume levels or turn them off.

The cord connecting the two speakers is about two metres long and cannot be detached. This might prove troublesome for those who want their speakers a wide distance apart, but we like the solidness of permanent connections. There are two 3.5mm jacks — presumably one for connecting to a PC and one for an auxiliary device like an Apple iPod touch.

The Expressionist BASS FX3022 system does deliver an impressive amount of bass considering it doesn't have a discrete self-powered subwoofer. It does not extend deeply into the lower registers, but mid-bass reverberated well and added a rich dimension to music. Treble is a mixed bag, coming in strong and sweet at low to medium volumes but becoming harsh and scratchy at higher volumes. The speakers are far more suited to gaming and movie watching, where deep booming bass is commonplace.

The soundstage was impressive, with sufficient depth and detail to give binaural recordings a three dimensional feel. Volume levels were more than sufficient, but we would have liked independent controls for treble and bass adjustment.

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