- Good bass
- Clear dynamics and great tones
- inconsistent cosmetic finish
- non-adjustable bass
Altec Lansing has been around close to two decades but its presence in the Philippines have been inconsistent in the past years so still many are not familiar with them.
Such is the case of the Altec Lansing Circus, 1 2.1 speaker channel set at a sub-Php3k range. Does it have all the bells and whistles? Here’s a quick review.
Design and Construction
The Circus is offered in a two-colored facet that can easily complement your PC or laptop. Two small speakers are made in a way that the speaker unit itself protrudes much at the back, but is not in any way a hindrance to the overall balance as it is supported by the equally-proportioned stand.
The speaker’s front part is painted in a glossy black finish that can be a host of fingerprint smudges, but is easily removable. The main round speaker is embossed inside, and is accentuated by a small red lining that highlights it. There’s also that huge Altec Lansing logo on top of each speaker, but we think it’s quite a large one and destroys the overall aesthetic.
The big subwoofer, on the other hand, may look hard to carry but is the exactly opposite as we found it to be well-hefted enough to be carried around. It consists of a large bass speaker in front, covered with a sheer fabric. There’s also an accentuating red ring at the bottom that houses the bass port. It’s odd that the subwoofer is done in a matte black finish compared to the glossy speakers, but we’re not compalining.
At the back are the usual ports you’ll have for your audio — RCA ports are placed for the left and right speaker, as well as for the volume control which acts as another input port for your own headphones. There’s also the power switch, and the attached wire for direct plugging into an AC socket.
There’s also an attachable control that lets you insert an audio input and a microphone, and also adjusts your volume. Cords lengths overall are very decent for sound to enjoy, not only for personal consumption but also for family entertainment. The Circus is also easy to set up given its straightforward characteristics — even a grade schooler can assemble the parts easily under five minutes.
First off, this speaker system boasts of good bass. When we say that it’s a good one, we mean it — this one packs a whole lot of good seismic bass coming from its subwoofer for you to enjoy your techno, dubstep, or even top pop hits. While it can be generally good, the bass is not adjustable to the point that some music come off as too bassy — even when there are normal human conversations.
As for its overall sound, It presents itself with a great balance of crisp, sturdy, and balanced tones with a wide range and rich, punchy dynamics, though it may be sibilant at times especially when the volume is cranked up. The soundstage is also good as the Altec Lansing Circus has a great depth as heard from certain tracks. Certain details may be amiss such as a few lows and mids, but those cannot be noticed if you’re a casual audio listener.
Another thing we liked about the Circus is its maximum loudness, which could be very thundering for personal consumption and is great for open-spaced areas when set at the maximum volume.
Altec Lansing made a good job on delivering great sound with the Circus 2.1 Speaker system. It has all the great goodies packed in a 2.1 speaker system that’s lightweight and easy to carry around. Music is extremely balanced, and could be the speaker of your dreams if you’re all about that bass and a few trebles.
With that being said, all the goodies come with a price. At Php2,300, the Circus may be on the higher end of the spectrum when compared with other 2.1 channel speaker systems around, but the great sound justifies its price. We find the choice of matte-and-glossy speaker combination odd, but one could shrug it off as it exudes a great look suitable for personal or family entertainment.