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Creative Inspire 265

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      16.12.2008 10:38
      Very helpful
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      4 Comments

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      A good value pair of compact(ish) computer speakers

      Until recently, I've not needed speakers for my computer here at work. I had earphones (not improbably loose ones) for those rare occasions I needed sound, and the company we shared offices with always had their music playing (some of which was truly odd, but that's another story).

      The company with whom we were sharing offices have now moved, and so I seized the opportunity to play my music without earphones(all hail Last.fm), and thus ordered a pair of speakers. As these are not mine (I'm claiming them on expenses), I didn't want to pay a fortune for them, so I searched Amazon.co.uk and found that they were selling Creative Inspire 265 speakers for the very reasonable price of £15.43 including delivery (£10.93 before delivery).

      My taste in music is esoteric. I like folk, rock, folk rock (see a trend developing here?), prog rock and classical, mostly. I am not playing music terribly loud, as I am at work, and I'm not a speaker geek - I like to hear the bass, and prefer it when my treble isn't tinny, but I honestly cannot tell the difference between music adjusted by a graphic equaliser, and music just allowed to belch out of the speakers. I mention this so that you understand how I'm judging these bad boys.

      These were, unsurprisingly, a dawdle to plug in. I plugged the speaker jack to the sound card jack at the back of my HP desktop, and the power leads into the mains. I made sure I put the left speaker on my left, and therefore the right speaker on my right. The speaker cables are sufficiently long to allow me to put the speakers on either side of my desk. The power cable, on the other hand, is a wee bit short.

      I have been listening to Last.fm this morning (mostly folky this morning, thus not heavy on the bass), but oddly have YouTube on right this second, as someone has sent me Jingle Bells by Basshunter - which, as you might imagine, is very heavy on the bass (thanks Ade - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=UGquX-SQtZA). And I can confidently attest to the effectiveness of the bass on these speakers, especially for the price. Neither the bass nor the treble is distorted or tinny. I now have Lindesfarne playing - this is a more balanced track - perhaps heavier on the treble. Again, there is no distortion at low volumes. I don't tend to blast music here in the office (for one, much of my job is phone based), but when I have cranked the volume up, the levels do seem to have remained true.

      The box tells me that my speakers have 'features and benefits' that I would frankly think would be standard (it's like advertising a car "now! With steering wheel!"). They offer me 'outstanding stereo performance; volume control; power on/off with LED indicator; headphone jack, Space Saving Design (capitalisation theirs) to maximise my desktop space (I think more accurately it just takes up less room, rather than making my desk magically bigger); and built in bass port for deep and rich bass.' I can confirm that these do indeed provide all those things. (I love that the on/off button is seen as a feature.) The volume control is quite sensitive. The trick is to balance the speakers' volume control with that of the computer, and, indeed, the site or program you are using to play your music. This is important, since the speakers will also channel any computer sounds (such as IM tones, email alerts and so forth) - I have had one or two heart-stopping moments when my computer has announced that I have mail rather more loudly than I would have liked.

      To sum up, these are good computer speakers for the money. If you are a serious musician, composing or mixing music through your computer, you are likely to want higher end speakers. But if you just want to play YouTube or Last.fm or CDs or MP3s through your computer, the Creative Inspire 265 computer speakers are more than adequate.

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