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Creative Gigaworks T3 Desktop Speakers
It’s time again, to go back to the audio realm, and cover what we cover best: good old stereo 2.1 speakers. There have been a lot of 2.0 and wireless models in the recent past, even by Creative themself, but this time it’s back to basics. This is a brand new model by the popular multimedia brand Creative, called the Gigaworks T3 2.1 speakers. It’s one of their flagship models and looks really interesting.
Design and Features
This neat little stereo speaker set really defines the word subtle beauty. The finish of the various subwoofer surfaces, the control pod etc. is really very good looking. The only thing I personally do not like, is the form factor of the 2 small satellite speakers. They are essentially cube speakers (yes they do remind one of Bose), perched on a thin necked stand protruding out of a square base. Everything is black all over throughout the set’s aesthetics, topped off with a tinge of metallic silver accents here and there.
One of the silver scents is in the form of a cool looking ring on the round surface of the control pod. This pod is probably the best pod design I have seen in a while. The whole top surface rotates and doubles up as the volume knob. Besides, on the knob we have a headphone out and aux in, so connecting your MP3 player is easy.
Moving on to the subwoofer, here too we have a simple yet good looking design: a straight edged affair, cubical almost. There are 3 drivers facing 3 sides (front, left and right panel) so the idea is to permeate low frequencies all around, which is theoretically and acoustically a smart idea, just hope it does not boom and overpower the rest of the frequency band. The back panel has the control pod and left/right speaker connections plus volume knob for bass volume. Overall the units are heavy, the finish is pristine, and build quality can be termed as above average, reliable even.
The rated frequency response for the speakers is 30Hz - 20kHz. The signal to noise ratio is > 90dB. The sats have 2-inch full-range ‘audiophile grade’ drivers, while the subwoofer also has some proprietary feature called Creative SLAM (Symmetrically Loaded Acoustic Module) technology. This basically is three drivers in a portless, enclosed casing, with the 3 drivers firing in 3 separate axes, powered by one master driver which is the front firing one.__STARTQUOTE__The bass is kickass. No doubt about it, it is healthy and quite tight in timing also. __ENDQUOTE__ The diameter of the drivers is 5.5 inches measured by us. There is no mention of the material of the drivers, and since they are all grilled up, we cannot speculate and comment on the same. No worries, we can play the speakers for sure, and that will expose anything and everything we need to know.
We started out routinely with our Sheffield Test and Audio disc, and also Tech2 labs' very own audio test tones made by yours truly. I mainly wanted to check the output with individual frequency bands of sound. So we played white noise and sine tones both separately in a sweep across 20 Hz -20kHz. This was fun, and mainly impressive as many 2.1 sets get exposed totally by this simple test. Here in our case, the crossover point of the frequency, between the subwoofer and the satellite speakers was very much in control and not boomy or weary. At the high frequencies there was a bit of up and down levels though.
Then we played good old rock and roll tracks to start off with followed by our humongous collection of MP3s. A few artists we checked the T3s with were Jamiroquai (on CD), The Police (on Flac) Autechre (MP3) and Prefuse 73 (on CD). The first and main result of subjective listening is this: the bass is kickass. NO doubt about it, it is healthy and quite tight in timing also.
Highs and mids are second best to put it in perspective as they were nice, but not as impressive as the bass. Since these speakers are 2.1 multimedia speakers I can give it the benefit of doubt for being a bit forward sounding. It was never harsh though, that’s good. Overall volume is very loud, and things like distortion and other misbehavior due to bad speaker design were simply absent.
We played half of Iron Man (the second half) and quite enjoyed the roaring clanking SFX at the end. Metallic clanks and thunderous booms of our favorite Sci-Fi movies are well suited o this tight controlled subwoofer. One more point I would like to make, on a critical note, is that it does not sound so open, but then I guess that is the job of a full fledged cabinet wielding speaker. These little cubes cannot give that classy front to back depth in the sound.
At Rs. 16,699, these cannot be called cheap, but they are really better than your average 2.1 set. They do have competition by flagship models of rival groups like Altec Lansing, but the T3s can hold their own. The bass is great, the aesthetics are sweet, and overall, it is recommended.