No Creative product is complete without the extensive documentation that comes with it and this is no exception.
You have a user’s guide, a quick start guide and the customer support documentation.
Now we come to the final bits that are tucked away in the box.
These are the “small” assortments that you need to make your speakers work, tucked away underneath the 5 speakers.
Basically there are the wiring for all the speakers, a power cable, some screws and plugs to hang the speakers up with, speaker stands, double cinch to single stereo jack adaptor and wiring labels.
The speaker stands make the speakers more complete in terms of style, the finishing touch so to speak.
You can easily mount the stands on the speakers; they screw on the back after carefully aligning them with the small notches on the back.
These are the normal stands for a desktop usage; even the rear speakers have these desktop sized speaker stands, instead of longer elevated speaker stands.
It means you have to find something to put the rear speakers on or hang them from the wall to keep them at the same level.
This makes that the stands are easily removed when needed, instead of getting stuck when you need to remove them.
The center speaker has its own little feet to stand on, but it also has a speaker stand that screws on just as easily, to keep it from falling from CRT monitors.
If all goes well the end result should look something like this:
Here’s a full list of the items found inside the box:
- Two front satellite speakers
- One center satellite speaker
- Two rear satellite speakers
- One subwoofer
- One PowerTouch™ Wired Controller
- Three 6 ½ ft / 2m cables for front and center speakers
- Two 16 ½ ft / 5m cables for rear speakers
- Five removable speaker grilles
- Four desktop speaker stands
- One down-facing center speaker stand
- One 5.1 audio cable
- One video game adapter
- One power cable
- One user manual
- One Quick Start leaflet
- One Warranty and Technical Support booklet
The usage is actually very simple, but I would like to show you some details when using the speaker set.
Most of the work comes from setting up and connecting the speakers, from there it’s pretty much smooth sailing.
I showed you the remote control earlier and now I can show some more functional details of it.
Remember that the remote control is wired, instead of wireless, and for good reason.
It’s clear to see what buttons like mute and power/standby do, but let me explain some of the ones that are not obvious.
The CMSS upmix mixes up a stereo source to 5.1 surround sound, or at least it tries to do so, that button toggles it on or off.
Mixing happens on the subwoofer itself, not on the soundcard.
Point 3 marked in the picture are simply lights that act as an indicator of what is selected.
Selecting the center, rear, sub or treble level is done by the integrated volume/select control button.
On the left of the remote control is another set of lights indicating the level for the selected item, if nothing is selected the default level it shows is the volume.
Each of these settings are preserved as long as the speaker system is powered, as soon as the power is off or the power cable is removed, all settings are gone.
The box, the manuals and the website all praise the speakers and subwoofer about how they are designed to maximize the airflows for optimal sound.
And of course I couldn’t withhold those pictures from you.
The only thing left that I want to show you is the auxiliary input on the back of the subwoofer.
It allows you to connect auxiliary devices on the speaker set, such as MP3 players or game consoles.
What it will not do is decode Dolby signals for you, it can only up mix stereo source to 5.1 sounds.
You can’t really benchmark this type of product to give you an idea on how it performs, unless I use resources I don’t have.
So I’ll save the verdict for the conclusion and wrap it all up there.
Sound is a very relative thing; it differs from one person to the next, so testing speakers is also a tricky thing.
I’ll try and give it a verdict as best I can, surely there will those that disagree, so be it.
The speaker set is of excellent quality, the design is stylish and the attention to some details is good.
For example one thing I like is the speaker stands that you screw on instead of clicking them into place, it gives a much better stable look.
With 310 Watts coming out of the speakers, it’s very loud, so much so that I haven’t had the volume up higher than 2 notches when I was in the same room as the speakers.
Personally, the sound coming from the speakers is clear and good quality, this of course is the part that is subject to personal opinion.
I’ll put it this way, I’d trade my 6.1 set in for this one if I could and both are Creative speaker sets ;-)
The pricing is on the high side, but granted for the higher quality it delivers.
I don't normally gatecrash other people's reviews but on this occasion it's justified. I recently travelled to London for a press briefing covering Creative's X-Fi sound chip and all the demonstrations there were piped through a set of these speakers.
Volume aside I think what cought my eye, or more accurately my ear, was the percussive nature of the bass even at high volumes, something that seemed most unlikely from a mere 8" sub speaker.
I can't comment on sound quality when paired with other sound cards, though based on what I heard when paired with an X-Fi card these speakers are capable of some big, bold sounds that you wouldn't imagine possible from their proportions.
The 3DVelocity 'Dual Conclusions Concept' Explained: After discussing this concept with users as well as companies and vendors we work with, 3DVelocity have decided that where necessary we shall aim to introduce our 'Dual Conclusions Concept' to sum up our thoughts and impressions on the hardware we review. As the needs of the more experienced users and enthusiasts have increased, it has become more difficult to factor in all the aspects that such a user would find important, while also being fair to products that may lack these high end "bonus" capabilities but which still represent a very good buy for the more traditional and more prevalent mainstream user. The two categories we've used are:
The Mainstream User ~ The mainstream user is likely to put price, stock performance, value for money, reliability and/or warranty terms ahead of the need for hardware that operates beyond its design specifications. The mainstream user may be a PC novice or may be an experienced user, however their needs are clearly very different to those of the enthusiast, in that they want to buy products that operate efficiently and reliably within their advertised parameters.
The Enthusiast ~ The enthusiast cares about all the things that the mainstream user cares about but is more likely to accept a weakness in one or more of these things in exchange for some measure of performance or functionality beyond its design brief. For example, a high priced motherboard may be tolerated in exchange for unusually high levels of overclocking ability or alternatively an unusually large heat sink with a very poor fixing mechanism may be considered acceptable if it offers significantly superior cooling in return.
The Mainstream User ~
There’s not much to say then what’s been said in the main conclusion.
It’s an excellent product, delivering good quality audio.
But there’s a catch with the pricing, this speaker set might be a tad expensive for the mainstream user.
The Enthusiast ~
This is an excellent speaker set that can compliment your high end audio card and get the most out of it.
It’s a stylish product that produces high quality audio and it’s loud too!
What else could you want? Blast your ears off with this set.
We're always looking for ways to make our reviews fairer. A Right To Reply gives the manufacturer or supplier of the product being reviewed a chance to make public comments on what we've said. They can explain perhaps why they've done the things we were unhappy with or blow their own trumpet over the things we loved. It's easy for us to pick a product apart but sometimes things are done a certain way for very specific reasons.
Should Creative decide to exercise their "Right To Reply", we'll publish their comments below