Creative Labs leading 5.1 surround speaker system is the Inspire T6300. This is the flagship model compared to the T3300 dual satellite stereo system also in the Inspire line. The last time I spent time with a high-end speaker system from Creative Labs was a review I did more than 5 years ago for their GigaWorks 500 5.1 Dolby THX speaker system. That system remained in the office pumping tunes and game audio for about 5 long years post coverage. I bet it would still work just fine, if I plugged it in now.
The Creative Inspire T6300 includes two larger front satellite speakers, 2 smaller rear speaker and another smaller sized satellite for the center speaker. The 5-speakers plug into the included subwoofer. Each speaker is capable of 7 watts RMS per channel with the subwoofer pumping 22 watts. The system is controlled by a wired remote with a volume dial. The dial can be used to power the system down with a click past the lowest volume. You also get a warranty sheet and quick start guide.
I was surprised, Creative’s Inspire T6300 speaker system is about half the size of the GigaWorks 500. Across the board, the subwoofer and at least three of the satellites speakers are much smaller. It should take up much less floor and desk space. Yet I was concerned the overall performance would be hamstringed in some way.
Silly me! These are an incredible set of speakers. The tonal accuracy and clarity across all ranges is amazing. The GigaWorks 500 never provided the sense of completeness that the Inspire T6300 does. That is to say, none of the 3-ranges seems to play the background to either of the others. Highs are crystallized and full but bereft of any hollow, tinny sounds. Moreover the bass is stronger from this subwoofer than the larger and decidedly heavier GigaWorks 500 sub. I booted up few game – Battlefield 3, CoD: Black Ops 2, Borderlands 2, Trine, Planetside 2 and WarFrame and watched a couple movies – Madagascar 2 and Avatar. The system seems to handle positional audio better than conventional speaker systems. Plus the subwoofer features a dial on the back to enhance or decrease the bass. This came in real handy depending on the game or movie running.
I tested the Inspire T6300 5.1 system with and without the PC’s Sound Blaster Z soundcard. Without question the system performs better with the audio processing unit. Everything is sharper, more full-bodied and clearer. Yet Creative’s leading system will “inpsire” the most basic onboard sound processors to put on their best behavior.
The scope of bass boom and volume comes from the long and wide port tubes within a speaker. Creative uses a dual set in each speaker to achieve punchier, louder “booms”. This is their new Dual Slot Enclosure design. With it, the speakers have deeper playback capabilities due to the dual port tube design in the smaller confined speaker housing.
I definitely appreciate the enhanced crystal clarity and the additional attention to tonal accuracy. Still there are a number of features creative have let fall to the wayside. The speakers themselves are very light. I’m not sure if this contributes to their canorous performance, but I don’t like how easily they topple over if slightly bumped. Also the volume control is virtually unneeded. You can adjust volume and power on/off. I typically adjust speaker volume within Windows. Also, with the GigaWorks control you could change the volume for Center, Rear and Subwoofer. You could also adjust bass and treble right there on the controller, with a mute function to boot.
I guess that amounts to some minor bells and whistles whose omissions I will have to adjust to. Hey, I’m fine with that. This is a stellar 5.1 speaker system that performs like you would not believe with multi-range clarity and diverse bass options to the party or game pumping.
Bottom Line: You will not find another 5.1 system that can perform at this level, for under $100. Bar none!
· Outstanding audio playback & clarity
· 5.1 surround sound
· DSE design format is a winner
· Adjustable bass
· Sub $100 affordability
· Unappealing light weight of satellites
· Lackluster wired control unit
The Creative Sound Blaster Recon 3D Omega wireless headset is available at Amazon for $79.99
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.