Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra Review


Not all speaker sets are created equal, that much is certain.  Altec Lansing has sent me their latest — and what I consider their best — the Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra Speakers.

The Expressionist Ultra is currently the top of the Altec Lansing line.  This very stylish three speaker system boasts 200 Watts of power, and its tremendous sub woofer is bigger than the computer the system is connected to.


The left and right channel have a mid range and a tweeter;  the tweeter looks like it is almost suspended in midair thanks to the clear casing.  You can only see about a half inch wide cable that connects the tweeter to the midrange.  The speaker design is very modern, and it fits in well with LCD displays.


The woofer has a front firing 6.5 inch driver.  I currently have this hooked up to the Neuros Link review unit.  The woofer is taller than the Logitech Z Cinéma Advanced Surround Sound System speaker system I reviewed last year, although narrower.  The cabinet mostly from heavy duty particle board, and it seems very well built.  This speaker set should not have the same issues that I had with the Logitech system.


The Expressionist Ultra also has a beefy volume control that can also adjust both treble and bass.  You just tap Bass or Treble, twist the control, and watch the LEDs to set it to the desired level.  For volume, you just twist the dial without pressing any buttons.  It is easy to see the level thanks to the same LEDs you use when adjusting Bass and Treble.  In the middle of the multi-function control is the speaker systems power button.  The cable is long enough on this control to set it on top or below your monitor.  The only thing I don’t like about the multi-function control is the fact that the LEDs will pulse back and forth when you are not adjusting the volume, bass or treble.  This can be a bit distracting in a dark room, but not overly so.  Your mileage may vary on this one.

There is also an Auxiliary Input connection so you can attach a TV, Stereo, or other device’s cable to the system at the same time as the main device.  This makes it convenient for using other audiovisual sources without having to disconnect the Expressionist Ultra from your computer.


This system produces clear sound and enough volume to make the room’s window glass vibrate.  When playing games, this system produces bass that you can feel; you won’t just hear the bullets hit you in the game, but you will feel them.  I like the sound of this system better than the sound from Expressionist Plus.  They are both good systems, but the Ultra is a good step above in both volume and sound quality.

The Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra is currently $149.84 on, which is much better than the $199.99 MSRP.

Altec Lansing is allowing me to keep this speaker set.

What I liked: Excellent Design.  Beefy construction without looking like it’s beefy thanks to the interesting styling of the left and right channels; These speakers should last a long time, thanks to the high-quality construction.

What needs improvement: Would like to see a remote control on these; $149.84 seems a bit pricey


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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.

3 Comments on "Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra Review"

  1. Bernice Cramer | October 16, 2009 at 9:37 pm |

    "you won’t just hear the bullets hit you, you'll feel them" RT@GearDiarySite: Review: Altec Lansing Expressionist Ultra

  2. Does your speaker have a hissing sound when no sound is being played? This happens to the unit I just received. If there's something playing it's fine. But if it's just unplugged from a device but on, it hisses. Even if plugged in, but music is paused it hisses. Really annoying.

  3. Grant Reed | July 27, 2012 at 7:04 pm |

    lol 3 years too late but yeh it shouldnt do that… -.-

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