Altec Lansing's conventionally shaped BXR 1320 USB-powered speakers offer an expansive sound with credible bass that belies their size, but be prepared to ride the volume control.
The Altec Lansing BXR 1320 system looks perfectly conventional. Two speakers, with the right-hand one containing the amplifier and controls, they are raised above the desk surface on integrated stands and point slightly upwards.
The two speakers are connected by fixed wires. The left-hand unit, which is driver and enclosure alone, weighs nearly 210 grams, which is a relative heavyweight in this role. On the front of the right-hand unit, next to the power LED, is a rotating, hard-wired switch for power, and next to that is an analog volume knob.
Contained within the two enclosures, behind the removable cloth grille, are 50mm full-range drivers. The 3.5mm signal cable and the USB power cable are joined together until near their ends for relatively neat cable management. If your computer has weirdly located connections, they can be easily pulled apart to reach two different locations.
Altec Lansing says that the system is good for frequencies from 180 hertz to 20,000 hertz at -10dB.
Set-up and cartage
As with other analog speakers, the set-up was straightforward, because you're not messing with software. Just plug the green plug into the headphone output on your computer, and the USB cable for power, rotate the power switch clockwise and off you go.
And as with other two-speaker units, lugging it around with your notebook might lead to a few tangles. But sitting on your desk at home, ready to be plugged in at any time, it's ideal.