Not everyone likes the idea of having PC speakers with a separate subwoofer. But the reality is that unless you step up to something like Audioengine's fairly large and pricey A5 bookshelf speakers, you tend to need a 2.1 system to deliver a richer, more bass-laden audio experience.
Altec Lansing's Expressionist Plus FX3021 2.1 system isn't nearly as beefy as the company's current top-of-the-line PC speaker system, the Expressionist Ultra, but it manages to deliver decent sound at an affordable price--less than $100. It also looks good, though the speakers' glossy black finish is a fingerprint magnet.
The system comes with a small, cone-shaped subwoofer with a downward-firing 5.25-inch driver and two small satellite speakers with 2-inch drivers that are mounted on thick wire stands that let you tilt the speakers up at an angle, instead of them pointing straight ahead.
The speaker cables are hard-wired into the satellites and--as is the case with virtually all 2.1 PC speaker speakers--connect to ports in the subwoofer, which is small enough to set on top of a desk but will most likely end up placed on the ground.