Price:

PCWorld (USA) - - Feature -

from Ama­zon re­view­ers, though most of them seem to prize the low cost and sim­plic­ity of the sys­tem over the sound qual­ity. If those are your pri­or­i­ties, then these speak­ers prob­a­bly won’t let you down, par­tic­u­larly if you’re look­ing to in­crease the vol­ume out­put of your mo­bile de­vice. How­ever, you can get all that plus rich, immersive au­dio with some of the other bud­get com­puter speak­ers we’ve tested.

CRE­ATIVE IN­SPIRE T12

$49 from go.pc­world.com/ct12

Cre­ative Labs has been syn­ony­mous with great-sound­ing PC speak­ers for years, so I gen­er­ally ex­pect ex­cel­lent au­dio even from the com­pany’s lower-end prod­ucts. The In­spire T12 speaker sys­tem did not dis­ap­point, de­liv­er­ing warm stereo sound at a great price com­pared to other bud­get PC speak­ers we’ve tested.

Done in matte-black plas­tic with a glossy black front panel, the speak­ers are aes­thet­i­cally kissin’ cousins to Cre­ative’s higher-end T20 se­ries. Each 7.09-by-2.80-by3.86-inch speaker fea­tures a tweeter on the front and a woofer that takes up the en­tire back­side. In lieu of a sub­woofer, the T12 uses Cre­ative’s Bass­flex tech­nol­ogy to ex­tend the low fre­quency.

Set­ting the T12 up is a cinch. The left speaker has an at­tached ca­ble that plugs into the right speaker to tie them to­gether. Also on the back of the right speaker is the power port, and an au­dio in­put jack you con­nect to your PC’S head­phone port us­ing a sup­plied 3.5mm cord. On the front is a vol­ume knob that dou­bles as the power switch, a head­phone jack for pri­vate lis­ten­ing, and an aux­il­iary-in jack for lin­ing in your smart­phone or other MP3 player.

The T12 have im­pres­sive sound for desk­top speak­ers at this price. The high end was crisp with­out ever get­ting tinny, and the Bass­flex tech gives the bot­tom end a pleas­ing punch. The speak­ers also pack a vol­ume wal­lop that be­lies their small size. Cranked all the way, they eas­ily fill a mod­est­sized room with sound, though the au­dio tends to muddy at that level, too. I found the half­way point on the vol­ume knob to be the sweet spot for desk-bound lis­ten­ing,

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