Without question, the PowerCube Plus ACS48 was one of a few product releases by Altec Lansing, Labtec and a few other companies that changed computer audio forever. Ten years ago, soundcards were starting to get better, but speaker offerings still largely consisted of two-piece, unpowered sets that sounded like cheap headphones. The PowerCube Plus ACS48, a strong, powered system, with a subwoofer — it was one of the best computer audio systems ever made.

As you read this article, you may not think much of the 20 and 40 watts tat the ACS48 runs on. After all, basic home theater systems today run on 100+ watts. But on a computer system, you just didn’t see much in the way of power.

This review was originally produced by The Review Center in 1998.

Retro: Altec Lansing PowerCube Plus ACS48This kind of thing is always a joy to review. Not only was it easy to set up, but it was especially fun to turn up the sub-woofer as loud as possible and blast some music!

The award-winning ACS48 system was much more than we bargained for with an under $100 system. A few quick facts about this well deserving 5-star system include:

  • Volume Controls Adjust All Three Speakers Simultaneously: just 1 volume control
  • High quality, high performance three-piece system
  • Powered speaker satellites are electronically controlled and magnetically shielded
  • Powered subwoofer extends the low frequency response to add realism and bass

Electric power is a must have on a computer speaker system. We were all happy to see this included in the unit. Overall, this is a great system, boasting a 40 watt subwoofer, 20 watt satellite speakers.

The wood subwoofer is an ingenious add-in. It really brings out the true quality of the sound. Plastic is not as high quality as a genuine wood base. The wood really makes the sound rich and vibrant. The subwoofer is just perfect — it’s not something that you hear in a car that sounds like a nuclear device going off, but instead, its adequate 40 watts make it a perfect music and gaming speaker system. It might not be the best choice for an office, though.

If you really want to get crazy, Altec Lansing also makes the ACS251, a standalone powered subwoofer that you can wire up to any other speaker system.

Overall, the PowerCube Plus ACS48 is one of the best computer speaker sets we’ve seen.

Technical specifications:

Drivers (per satellite):
One 3″ shielded full range driver and one 3/4″ high frequency tweeter
Drivers (subwoofer): One 6 inch long throw woofer
Satellite Power: 20 Watts per channel RMS at 0.8% THD
Subwoofer Power: 40 Watts at 0.8% THD
System Response: 35 Hz – 20 kHz
Input Impedance: >10k ohms
S/N Ratio: >65dB

Quick hits:

Company Name: Altec Lansing
Price: $99.99

Overall: [rating:5/5]

An original Reviewcenter.com editor's choice!

About The Author

From 1997-2004, The Review Center (Reviewcenter.com) was a portal for technology and video game news. It was most well-known for one of the first Playstation 2 launch game guides and helping to break the news about Sega ceasing video game console production.

5 Responses

  1. James HUBBARD

    I am trying to find the powercube part of my ACS48, mine is broken. I have the two small side speakers.

  2. glennroel2

    I still have mine after 20 years although the drivers on both sats have been already replaced


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