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I'm always listening to music on my home PC, be it in aid of writing an album based review, or just for relaxation purposes after a hard days work. However, one thing which has continually annoyed me since I first began this after-hours tradition, is the poor quality speaker/sub combo I've had in place, hooked to my PC for far too long. A year ago the system I had in place finally popped, the sub finally collapsing, giving me an excellent excuse to try out one of Creative's much acclaimed 'Inspire T3100' speaker set.
The first product I ever reviewed on Dooyoo was my Creative Zen Media (MP4) Player, and I have to say its incredible how far this technology based company has evolved over the years. Gone is the unreliable tendency, and increasingly poorly manufactured components - the Inspire range has swept a new light of ability over one of Sony and Apple 's biggest media rivals, and at a fraction of the cost.
I found the T3100's sound to be excellent in the majority of ways. The treble and mid-range of those two boldly designed desktop speakers is well balanced and a pleasure to listen to. But it's with the bass box that the quality is let down slightly - I found it difficult to balance my sub's depth with the two comparitively under-powered speakers. There is a simple to use adjuster on the box but its still difficult to find a suitable level, as the device seems to just switch between deep and shallow bass. Similarly, you find yourself constantly tweeking the box between the contrasting genre of song in your playlist - but maybe that's just me being too perfectionist.
Though the quality of sound is very impressive, it's the build quality of these devices that I've found most illusive. Despite the feel of the plastic being quite cheap, they still excert a durable consistency under touch. They feel as though they will last a long time, and the netting over the individual speakers strengthens this belief. I have sensed no vibrations or rattling sounds in the sub or other speakers which is a relief, for this is something I constantly had to deal with, with my old ones.
The system requires one socket as expected, but I doubt it drains that much power, considering the general size and volume of the device. Due to the complex subject of acoustics and not due to the size of the sub, it's always best to place this on the floor under the PC desk near the plug sockets. The bass can radiate up to your ear-drums far better this way.
Overall I have to say I am very happy with my purchase. One year on and I havn't had a single problem with the speaker set where previously I had. The bass isn't rattely and the cables, jacks, and power cord have stayed in perfect working order. A product I am forced to recommend sheerly due to its wonderful allround performance!
Speakers... As they come these are pretty good
2.1 surround system.
I've owned 2 sets of these now (managed to blow one sub), I was impressed with the first set so much even though I did break them I went and brought the second set. Says it all really...
Pretty cheap, Easy to set up (simple click system to attach the feet or a screw hole in the back if you would like to mount them, I find the feet are stable and so have no need to wall mount) and sound decent. The bass itself has a control on the rear of the sub, range from nothing to heavy.
The 3-pin plug itself is quite bulky so I required an adapter to put it into my multi socket strip, and the sub is also of a reasonable size.
They look simple and can colour co-ordinate with most laptops / computers. Very easy to use and install as are most speaker systems, would highly recommend them to anyone.
The T3100 speakers sit nicely on your desk, with flat solid feet that clip on easily straight out the box with a very simple setup. The mains adaptor is very chunky and does not fit into a strip plug easily, but it can be done. The size of the adapter is necessary for the juice required to run the subwoofer. Also the adaptor can get hot but this is standard for these sorts of appliances. The speakers have a solid aluminium rim on the main speaker, finished in perfect black plastic which, when combined are very pleasing on the eye! The subwoofer itself physically is very large and it sits best under your desk, if you like to keep your sub on your desk then this set is not for you.
The right hand speaker has On/Off click volume control which is the simplest knob to just turn for power and volume all in one. Each speaker is a paltry 18cm tall and do not overcrowd your desktop space at all, they just sit there in the background and do their job. There is a headphone socket on the left of right hand speaker in case your PC tower/laptop does not have one accessible from desk, although this is not ideal as the location of the socket means your headphone cable runs over your hand while you type or use the mouse. The 17 watt subwoofer is small in comparison to others in the same price bracket but it does not show and offers great amount of bass for the money.
The best price for the T3100's is on ebuyer.com at £30.87, which in my opinion is an absolute bargain considering the build quality, specifications and for a brand of the stature of Creative. The next price level in the Creative 2.1 range of speakers are the Z-4's which at £55 are quite a jump, for a questionable rise in sound quality, I would definitely stick with the T3100's.
I recommend you use these speakers for your PC/Laptop/Console for listening to MP3's or playing games, also they are especially good for watching films with on your computer as the bass is very solid and the sound is beautifully balanced for such affordable speakers.
For anyone looking for an above average pair of speakers to compliment an already good system such as a PC or Games Console I would suggest the T3100's from Creative. I have had a set for over two years and have never had a single problem with them. Just set the bass on the subwoofer to no more than two thirds, and volume on the speakers to roughly half and you are all set for a great aural experience!
Having used only my laptop's in-built speakers for about a year, I thought they sounded great. Then I happened to hear some 2.1 speakers in action and after that my laptop speakers just sounded tinny, quiet and lacking in bass. It's funny how you don't realize how good something is until you see/hear it for yourself.
Deciding that I must have some, I scouted around on Amazon for bit looking for 2.1 speaker systems (2.1 meaning two speakers and one subwoofer). I thought 5.1 (five speakers, one subwoofer) would be overkill for my needs and in general were substancially more expensive. I looked at Logitech, Labtec and Creative branded speakers as I did not really know what to look for and I recognized them as being major brands. I chose the Creative Inspire T3100 speaker system as it had some very good reviews saying that the sound quality was good and I thought it looked stylish.
They cost me £27 (a bargain!) from amazon.co.uk and I had then delivered a few days later. The box they came in wasn't too big, but there was a lot of packaging in it! I don't think so much packaging should ever be necessary, and when the box is still full (of packaging) when the product has been taken out something must be wrong. Included in the box were two speakers, one subwoofer, two speaker stands, a power cable, a quick start guide, support info and safety information. Everything needed was included in the box, which is always good.
The two speakers are stylish and are of a reasonable size - not small but not huge either. The subwoofer, on the other hand, is as stylish as a big black box can be and it is definately larger than I expected. It's probably meant to be 'minimalist' or something, but I don't think much of it. The build quality of everything seems to be very good and solid though. Nothing feels at all cheaply made, and the plastic feels very high quality. All the equipment has a nice matt finish to it which I like.
There is a huge amount of wiring associated with the speaker system (this is so you can wall mount them if you want), but it wasn't too bad when I used a few cable ties to wind up the excess wires. The plug for the system is also the power transformer, which means that it is larger than the average plug. It is wider too, so depending on your sockets you may have problems puting another plug next to it. I think that you will probably be okay though, as I didn't have a problem with this.
Now onto the most important factor - the sound quality. I tried the speakers with a few rock songs and then watched the whole of 'Transformers' with them. The quality of the sound was a huge step above any speakers I have used before. The already incredible stunning soundtrack of 'Transformers' got even more spectacular! The overall sound is very rich and has a strong bass.
The speakers have a huge amount of power behind them. At half volume they were already very loud and when I turned them all the way up it was almost deafening! The right speaker has a volume control knob that controls the volume of the entire system and the the subwoofer has a seperate knob on it so that you can fine tune the bass levels to your liking. So if you don't like a strong bass, you can turn it down! Additionally, there is also a headphone jack on the right speaker in case you feel like listening in private.
Overall, this is a very impressive speaker system at a low price. Once you try these, you'll never want to listen to anything without them!
Two 6 Watt satellite speakers
One 17 Watt Subwoofer
Overall frequency response: 40Hz to 20kHz