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I bought a set of these speakers about a year ago for my son who wanted them for his laptop. He is a bit of a noise buff (he calls it music, I call it noise), and hence, I thought I would get him a reasonable pair rather than just some cheap tin can type affairs that would normally be knackered within a few months of use. At the time the price was around the £50 mark when I purchased them from Amazon, and checking today, that still seems to be the price that they retail for on the site.
The speakers themselves are fairly compact and heavy for computer speakers. Size wise they measure 15cm high by 6cm wide and 6cm deep and are in the form of a rectangular black plastic box with rounded edges. The speakers come connected together via a single cable, and are powered via the mains, meaning that they have their own inbuilt amplifier rather than relying on the output from your computer. You then have another cable which goes down to a 3.5mm plug that you can then plug in to your computer.
On the front of one of the speakers you have 3 rotary control knobs – Bass, Treble and Volume, where the Volume knob also doubles as the on off switch. Just below these you also have 2 separate 3.5mm sockets. These are a useful addition because in one you can plug your headphones in to listen without the speakers playing, and the other you can plug in say an Ipod or mp3 player to play your music separately through the speakers. Personally I find these to be a nice little useful addition that you don’t often find in computer speakers. Another nice little touch is that they each have a removable grill that you can clip on and off to protect the speakers.
Now what initially attracted me to these speakers was the fact that Creative claim to be able to provide a good bass response without the need for a sub-woofer (normally a larger separate box type affair that you find with some computer speakers to try and give you more bass). Looking at the frequency response range, they claim to produce a range from 50Hz (at the bass end) up to 20kHz (at the treble end), which is about a mid-range speaker response when you compare this range to others. You can get speakers with a lower bass range, down to 20Hz, or more treble up to about 22kHz, but at those frequency ranges, you would be hard pushed to notice any real difference in a few Hz, and for the extra cost to get those few extra Hz in sound quality and range, you have to question is it really worth it when you probably won’t notice the difference anyway.
So does the Creative claim hold true? Well the speakers give 14 watts RMS per speaker, and when you put them to the test, they do give a very good response and performance, and to be honest, I was quite impressed with their sound performance. The bass has enough oomph to ‘feel’ it through the table, and the treble is high enough and clear enough to hear spoken words and whispers on an audio tape. My son has tried a few times to turn them to the max, and whilst they are quite loud in the room, they are not so loud that they will bring the house down, and if he closes his bedroom door, it just turns into a reasonable low loudness around the house.
In summary, spending around £50 for a set of computer speakers did give me a preconceived idea of what sort of good quality I should be getting for my money, and these Creative speakers more than surpassed that idea. They look stylish and are well built, with a very good sound range and response. And then you get those nice little finishing touches – the headphone and mp3 player connections on the front, and the removable speaker grills. So overall, these speakers were well worth the investment, and despite my son trying his best to destroy them with some mundane noise he calls music, they still operate as well today as when I bought them last year. So overall, easily a 5* recommendation for a quality Creative product.
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