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I got my hands on a set of Creative Inspire 5.1 5300 speakers with my new PC system, and to think that I was at first dubious as to whether or not I should shell out 50 quid for an upgrade from the pathetic bog-standard computer speakers!
The set up was easy with the help of a clear and simple diagram of the layout, and there was also help for connecting the speaker system to a variety of different sound cards. Creative also included a useful set of stickers to put on the speakers and wires, to ease the set up further.
I have a large desk so it was easy for me to position the satellites, but if you’re struggling for space then a pair of stands can be purchased separately for the two rear speakers.
The sound is quite simply superb. The powerful sub-woofer works particularly well, and after a short amount of time twiddling the bass level control, I was delighted with the final sound. I am a fan of classical music, and upon playing a CD the sound was bright, clear and a pleasure to listen to.
The surround sound really comes into it’s own when watching movies or playing games. With huge bass, and crystal clear effects speeding to you from every direction, I was amazed at how the speakers add to the overall experience.
One of the most useful features of the system is the compact remote control. This is wired, and plugs into the back of the sub-woofer. From here you can turn the power on and off, and there is a nice big volume wheel. Typically you don’t need the volume up past 45 degrees, but on full-blast the sound quality retains its clarity and brightness. There is not even the slightest hint of distortion.
My one reservation with the system is that it turns the space below your desk into a jungle of wires – there are actually 10 wires running into the sub-woofer, so it can easily become a mess down there. However, this is to be expected with all surround sound systems.
Aesthetically, the stylish black design looks great, and the (removable) front pannels proudly show off the silver creative logo. The wooden subwoofer is of excellent quality.
These really are a fantastic set of speakers, and at under £80 you won’t have to dig too deep into your wallet. They put the traditional pair of poor quality PC speakers to shame – I would recommend an upgrade to all.