These days it has become very easy to get multimedia speakers for your computer at a fairly low cost. A good set of 2.1 speaker system costs less than Rs. 2,500 these days. Since there are quite a few of them available in the market, we decided to take a few of the good ones available and pit them against each other to see which one is the best.
For this comparison we chose nine sets of 2.1 speaker system, all priced under Rs. 2,500. Although sound quality was a priority, we went easy on them considering their modest price tag. So here are the contenders that we chose for the test.
Creative Inspire T3130
The Creative Inspire T3130 is priced at Rs. 2,000. It's powered by a 25 Watt RMS amplifier, with 15W going to the subwoofer and 5W to each of the satellite speakers. The design of the speakers is decent; they neither look bad nor too great. The satellite speakers cannot be adjusted in anyway nor can they be wall mounted. The T3130 comes with a wired remote controller with a built-in power switch.
Unfortunately, the T3130 does not have a secondary axillary input for connecting your MP3 player or any other input, nor does it have a headphone jack built-in. The down-firing subwoofer is pretty small and light and has a bass port in the front. The volume control for the subwoofer is located at the back; a pretty inconvenient location.
The performance of the T3130 is average. The first thing I noticed was that the satellite speakers were overpowering with their mids and highs, while the subwoofer could not quite keep up with them. The mids lacked smoothness and sounded a bit nasal. The treble was sibilant at times and sounded annoyingly sharp at times. The audio is pretty clear; no doubt about that. But it seems to be trying too hard to be clear.
The subwoofer on the other hand is quite meek. The sound it produces is mostly mid-bass and the deeper notes are lost. It cannot produce the warmth required in the sound, which makes the whole sound thin and flat. Very few tracks actually sounded good on these speakers. In movies the dialogues were reasonably clear, however, the bass was not sufficient. The speakers also distort at higher volume levels. You can hear minor distortion around the 50% volume mark and after 75% the distortion becomes unbearable. Having said that they can get pretty loud and unless your room is really big you won't go beyond 50% volume.
Overall, the Creative Inspire T3130 are not worth the price they sell for and some of the others in this test perform much better for the same price.