Speakers can make all the difference in computer games and movies. Although good speakers are essential to multimedia, not everyone needs 7.1 surround. Today, Dan Wellman reviews the Creative P380, a 2.1 speaker set. It comes with two satellites, a sub, and a remote. Read on for all the details.
The sound setup you choose for your system, like anything else, will depend largely upon your needs and can vary considerably from situation to situation; those of you that run a PC as a media centre (outputting video to a giant widescreen television) or an intense gamer that wants to get inside their games will benefit far more from, say, a 7.1 Digital surround setup than those of you that use your PC for desktop publishing and listening to the odd mp3.
Since their formation in 1981, Creative has gone on to become a household name in the world of PC sound and multimedia and have built a solid reputation for innovation and cost-effective quality. They have a proven track record in producing high quality soundcards and PC speakers, and have also made a sizable dent in the personal entertainment device market with award winning products such as the Zen range. They have won the Best of CES award for the last three years straight at the Consumer Electronics show, and were the first company to develop hard-drive based portable mp3 players (back in 2000).
The Creative Inspire P380 is a mid-level 2.1 speaker set and will probably cost you somewhere in the region of $40.
This may sound a little high for a basic speaker set consisting of just two satellites and a sub, but Creative are giving you more sound for your buck; other sets will generally provide a lower wattage output on the sub (and/or the satellites) or a more restricted frequency range. With the P380, you get 6 Watts per channel (left & right) with the satellites and 17 Watts from the subwoofer, giving you a grand total of 29 Watts RMS (Root Mean Square) of sound. There are plenty of 2.1 systems that provide a higher level of sound output, but you will find the cost increments sharply in line with the wattage.
The frequency range that the set can cope with is greater than most speakers, even those at the higher end of the price scale, and is able to handle frequencies from 40Hz to 20Hz, while many desktop speakers will only go up to 30Hz. These additional frequency reproduction capabilities will give you a crisp, clear sound in the higher notes (treble), which contributes to a greater clarity of sound.
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