Altec Lansing's Expressionist Ultra MX6021 currently sits at the top of the company's line of stylish "expressionist" PC speaker systems, which also includes the Expressionist Classic, Expressionist Bass, and Expressionist Plus. Of the four models, the Ultra is the only one of the bunch that Altec truly designates as a "gaming" PC speaker on its Web site. The Ultra earns that designation for being a brawny 2.1 system that features a 6.5-inch, front-firing subwoofer and 200 watts of sound.
In keeping with the Expressionist design, the Ultra has a modern look: the subwoofer (measuring 15.8 tall by 15.1 inches wide by 10.2 inches deep) is shaped like a flat-topped pyramid, and the cylindrical satellite speakers are set into translucent smoked plastic stands. The satellites sport 3-inch midrange drivers and 1-inch inch neodymium tweeters.
The two satellite speakers connect directly to the sub (the cables are thick) along with a separate desktop controller that lets you turn the system on and off, as well as adjust volume, bass, and treble levels. If there's a shortcoming to the system, it's that the speaker cords are a little on the short side and that they use a proprietary connector, so you can't go by extension cords at a retail store. As a result, you lose some flexibility on where to place the speakers. However, if you're someone who expects to stick the sub under a desk or table and have the satellites on either side of your monitor, the Ultra will work fine for you.
Just how good does the Ultra sound? Read the