Altec Lansing Expressionist Plus FX3021 review: Altec Lansing Expressionist Plus FX3021

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.4
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Decent sound for the money; bass is fairly tight; speakers are good-looking and relatively compact; satellites angle can be adjusted.

The Bad Audio inputs are on the subwoofer, making quick hook-ups to portable devices potentially inconvenient.

The Bottom Line Altec Lansing's Expressionist Plus FX3021 is a good compromise for someone looking for a compact, affordable 2.1 PC speaker set that delivers decent sound.

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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 Audioengine 5 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.

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Where to Buy

Altec Lansing Expressionist Plus FX3021

Part Number: FX3021

MSRP: $99.95

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Speaker System Type PC multimedia speaker system
  • Nominal (RMS) Output Power 4 Watt
    28 Watt
  • Amplification Type active
  • Connectivity Technology wired
About The Author

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music and The Big Exit. Both titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, and Nook e-books.