delivering satisfying sound whether I was listening to classical, rock, jazz, or hip-hop.
The T12 are also a great audio enhancer for music and movies on your phone or tablet, but having to physically tether your mobile device to speakers seems fairly archaic in 2018. For its part, Creative offers a wireless version of the Inspire T12 ( go.pcworld.com/ t12w) that’s virtually identical, save for a Bluetooth pairing button where the aux input is on the wired version. If you want to upgrade the audio quality of streamed music and videos on your PC and are working with a modest budget, the Inspire T12 fit the bill. They won’t dazzle you with design like the Gogroove BASSPULSE, and they don’t integrate the wireless capability like most newer systems do. But if those aren’t deal-breakers, they will provide balanced sound with plenty of bass that brings out the best from most styles of music.
If the phrase “PC speakers” still conjures images of a pair of beige boxes, Gogroove’s BASSPULSE may be a bit of culture shock. This 2.1 speaker system promises to turn any music listening session into an instant party with a boost to the bottom end and colored lights that pulse to the beat (choose among the blue we tested, or green or red, on Amazon). This set is at the high end of our price range compared to other budget PC speakers in our roundup, but it offers a rare bit of flair.
The BASSPULSE system consists of an 11-by-9.25-by-4.5-inch, 10-watt side firing subwoofer and two 8.25-by-3.5-by-3-inch satellite speakers, each with 5 watts of power. The sub is sturdily built and weighs about 7 pounds, while the satellites are slim sheets of sculpted acrylic, each with a Neodymium Full-range driver embedded at the top and angled to target your earholes when you’re sitting at a desk. All three pieces have built-in LEDS that glow blue, red, or green depending on which model you buy.