We can’t claim to totally understand the design vibe behind Altec Lansing’s inMotion MAX, but Expressionist BASS ($130, aka FX3022) makes a bit more sense visually and conceptually. We’ve been playing with a pair of $600 Focal XS multimedia/iPod speakers for the last couple of weeks and enjoying them, yet Expressionist BASS seems like a way more mainstream concept: dump the need for a subwoofer by just integrating two firmly stabilized sub-class drivers into the bases of cone-shaped left and right desktop speakers.
Altec has placed 1.5” drivers at the top of each of the cones, firing forwards from steampunk-styled grilles, and 4” drivers at the bottom, with fin-like feet to provide stabilization. The result is nice, warm sound, though there’s no remote control, no way to play with the audio balance—volume and power controls are all you get—and of course no iPod dock for the setup. Hence, it’s here on Backstage. We’re going to continue to try it out for a little while and see whether it’s worthy of supplanting some of our other multimedia speaker favorites. More pictures of these interestingly designed audio towers are available by clicking on this article’s title.