By Jon Deragon, Visca Consulting
Tuesday, November 6, 2003; 3:00pm EST
Having a thumping sound system attached to your computer is much more important than back in the day of the bleeping internal PC speaker. Now much of your home entertainment is driven by your computer. Music from MP3's, the powerful sound track of games, DVD movie watching and sound production and editing tools on your computer all need a quality component audio system being part of your system.
There are numerous manufacturers of speakers designed for desktop computers. However many of them produce speakers which are, less than stellar in sound quality. Our voyage through the maze of available speakers that offered both great sound and price ended when we discovered the Altec Lansing ACS45.2 PowerCube. The three-piece sat / sub package consists of 2 3" driver 6-watt satellites, and 1 6.5" long throw 20 watt subwoofer in a compact enclosure and necessary wiring. Installation is quick and fool proof with its color coded wiring, volume and power control is through two buttons located on the Right satellite and is equipped with an LED indicating power. Bass level adjustments can be made using a dial located at the back of the subwoofer.
We were impressed by the build quality of the speakers. The subwoofer had a decent weight and quality feel to it with attention to detail, the satellites are compact and attractive in design for prominent placement on a desktop. We were not impressed however, with the fact that you need to press both up and down volume buttons at the same time to turn the speakers on or off. Why they did not just include a separate power button is baffling.
Once the unit is on and we start the music - is when the system really starts to shine. Whether its voices, instruments, gaming sound effects, the speakers produce them all with equal realism and quality. The openness, sound stage and energy of the music is great. It handles low volume levels with detail and smoothness, high volume levels with almost no distortion and a strong presence. The subwoofer manages to easily fill a large room with surprisingly deep bass. The treble comes out crisp, open and much less muffled than many of the competing products. Mids and bass are forceful, and even managed to get some of the picture frames in the room rattling against the walls. There is however, at very high volumes, a slight lack of driver control in the subwoofer resulting in loose and undefined bass (expected in a system of this price and of a subwoofer cone this size).
The great thing is, you get the sound quality expected out of a home stereo system in a small component system, all inexpensively priced at around $65US retail. You can get these speakers at just about any computer retailer that sells multimedia peripherals, and we highly recommend you do exactly that!
About The Author
Jon Deragon is president and founder of Visca Consulting, a firm specializing in web site design, development and usability for businesses of all sizes. His many years in the technology industry has enabled him to write quality, in-depth product reviews to assist businesses make more informed technology purchases. He welcomes any questions or comments you may have regarding his company's services, this review or interest in having your company's products reviewed.
http://www. viscaconsulting. com/