Altec Lansing ATP-3 Speaker System


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Rating: Excellent!


If you’re still suffering with those tinny $5 speakers that came with your new computer, Altec Lansing has an affordable solution for you. The ATP3 is a three-piece amplified speaker system – a subwoofer and two satellites, all in a “stealth” black finish. If the Altec Lansing name sounds familiar, it should. They’ve been in the audio business for decades. This is no fly-by-night outfit that will take your money, then leave you hanging when they go belly up six months later.

The subwoofer unit contains a 6 1/2 inch driver, while each satellite contains two high frequency “micro” drivers about 1 inch in diameter, and a 3 inch midrange driver. The subwoofer unit is driven by an 18 watt amplifier, while the satellites are allotted 12 watts. The power supply is built into the subwoofer, so there are no annoying “wall wart” external power supplies. The subwoofer has no switches or knobs of any kind, so you can hide it behind your computer desk, though it’s attractive enough that you might be tempted to leave it in plain view. System power, volume, bass, and treble adjustments are all on the right satellite speaker.

Speaking of the satellite speakers, these are very cool looking! They’re very thin, with a round base. At first glance the base appears purely decorative, but picking one up reveals the downward firing 3″ midrange driver. The style of the satellites would compliment a flat panel LCD monitor beautifully – in black, of course!

The system looks great, but how does it sound? Amazing, considering the whole system can be had for under $70 from most retailers. It won’t rattle the windows, but the subwoofer provides ample bass; the satellites provide clear sound at close range. The system is capable of playing more than loud enough to be enjoyed, without showing any signs of distress. The satellites are very directional, so they sound best at arm’s length – preferably on a riser, so that the high frequency drivers are at ear level.

I played a variety of music while testing the system. From Stevie Nicks to Staind, Miles Davis to Madonna, to Telarc’s all digital recording of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, the overall sound of the system was quite pleasing. The ATP3 seemed particularly well-suited suited for jazz, though it sounded fine on everything I threw at it. It’s no match for a real component audio system, but the ATP3 will unleash the sonic potential of your computer, without breaking the bank. I recommend it!

Submitted by: General_K

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