As stated in my previous blogs I was in the market for a new 5.1 PC Speaker System since my old one fell down and broke. I had at that time dropped the idea of going for PC speakers and had instead chosen to go the Home Theater route and that was certainly a good decision especially with all the DVDs and Divx content I have amassed over the years. One issue though was that playing music on the Home Theater System was a cumbersome affair since most of my collection is stored on my HDD and in mp3 format and every time I wanted to listen to a particular track it meant I had to burn it and play it via the DVD player connected to the Home Theater System (yeah no dedicated CD player). This was really time consuming and not at all feasible especially when I wanted to switch tracks quickly. I did try cables from my PC to the AVR, but even this did not give the desired output and hence I was back to contemplating a 5.1 speaker system for my PC to play music and the odd DVD/Divx movie. The initial model I had chosen was the Creative Inspire T6060 (before I went for the Home Theater System) based on a friend’s recommendation and also after checking out the system at his home and though not great audiophile quality, it was certainly great VFM (Value For Money) for its price and music certainly sounded great on it especially mp3 tracks at 192 kbps to 320 kbps. My other choice was the Logitech Z-5500, but coming at Rs. 26,000 it did not make much sense since I already had a Home Theater System that outperformed the Logitech Z-5500 (and at a lesser price) and my primary requirement was to play mp3 music on my PC. The Logitech Z-5500 is rated highly, but the Audioengine A5 (costing the same) delivers true audiophile quality or at least near to it. Since the Logitech Z-5500 cost so much it basically ruled itself out, the Audioengine A5 costing the same as the Logitech A5 was in the running, but procuring them in India is not that easy especially with warranty (and one would want warranty if he is shelling out Rs. 20,000 or so for a couple of speakers). The Creative Inspire T6060 on the other hand had everything going for it in terms of VFM, price and also warranty. This swung the decision in its favor though it is ridiculous comparing Creative Inspire T6060 with the Logitech Z-5500 and even more so with the Audioengine A5, but hey this is only a stopgap arrangement till my Audioengine A5 comes in from the United States.
Now on to the Creative Inspire T6060 review. Being a 5.1 speaker system, it comes with the usual 2 front speakers, 2 rear/surround speakers, 1 center speaker and 1 subwoofer. The contents are packed very well and wrapped in plastic to prevent any scratches or damage with each speaker getting its own plastic wrapper. Another good feature with the Creative Inspire T6060 is the length of the wires provided along with the speakers. The front speakers go to about 4 feet and ditto for the center speaker. The rear speakers though go to about 9 feet and this perfectly complements the surround sound aspect of a decent home theater and the Creative Inspire T6060 is actually pretty good and nifty in terms of performance for a PC 5.1 speaker system/PC Home Theater System. The only cons I can come up in this short period of time is the wired remote since my previous 5.1 speaker system for the PC came with an all function wireless remote, but I guess since the Creative is primarily for listening to music which I do when I am sitting and working on the PC it is not much of an issue, but still in this day and age a wireless remote would have been so much better and the second con is no digital inputs whatsoever in the form of coaxial or optical and HDMI one cannot even dream of just yet. Analog is good, but digital is so much better so why leave digital out in such good speakers is a question that begs to be asked. One good thing about the wired remote is that it has outputs for connecting a pair of headsets and a mike so it comes in really handy for chatting. On the wired remote there are two volume knobs, one for controlling the overall volume and the other for controlling the bass/subwoofer output, which is a good thing when you want to cut the bass or pump it up depending on your preference. The package contents are as follows.
- One center two-way speaker with adjustable stand and attached 61/2ft / 2m cable
- Two front two-way speakers with attached 61/2ft / 2m cables
- Two rear speakers with attached 13ft / 4m cables
- One subwoofer
- One wired remote control
- Four desktop stands
- Triple stereo-to-stereo audio cable
- Power supply adapter
- Quick Start leaflet
In the looks department the Creative Inspire T6060 scores with the speakers’ footprint being small, elegantly shaped and cute stands that can be affixed or removed depending on your choice of speaker placement. I have had a few too many instances of my previous set of PC speakers falling down and breaking so I went with wall mounting them just so that they will be safe and out of harms way. Also, with them spread all over the room, the sound is fuller with increased bass and more booming. Special mention must be made of the subwoofer of the Creative Inspire T6060, it performs really well for a PC speaker system; it is loud, clear and really thumps out good bass even in the very low frequencies. The 18 watts center speaker performs well for movies in 5.1 with the dialogues loud and clear. Only the front two speakers and the center speaker come with tweeters, the rear/surround speakers do not have inbuilt tweeters, but this is not much of an issue since for watching movies the high frequencies are better coming in from the front and the sides and not really from behind you. For 2 channel music the 5.1 Home Theater setting really does not sound all that great so it’s better to output sound in stereo mode/all channels mode where audio is pumped out equally in all speakers at the same time. In this mode the music sounds very good on the Creative Inspire T6060, it is loud and clear, the vocals come through sharp and clear, and while not true audiophile quality it is still quite good compared to the myriad of PC speaker systems that I have come across and used over the years. In face one of my best speaker systems for the PC was an old Akai Tape/VCD player that served as an amplifier and 2 channel AV Receiver and it really put out great music for my mp3 collection for many years. Of course the Akai was more in the range of a Philips Powerhouse System and not really comparable with a PC Speaker System. The subwoofer of the Creative Inspire T6060 though as I mentioned certainly pumps out great bass and is equipped to handle even the most demanding of 5.1 rips in Divx. The speaker and other specifications are as follows.
- Speaker Power: 8 Watts RMS per channel (4 channel)
- 18 Watts RMS center channel
- 22 Watts RMS subwoofer
- Frequency Response: 40Hz ~ 20kHz
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): 80dB
- Front and Rear Satellite Speakers: 8.3cm x 9.3cm x 22cm
- Centre Satellite Speaker: 17.8cm x 8.9cm x 12.3cm
- Subwoofer: 18.2cm x 25.3cm x 28.6cm
- Wired Remote Control: 8.6cm x 3.8cm x 2.1cm
These are early days still and the speakers have not yet had the time to run in/break in (if that’s a concept you believe in/adhere to), but I am mighty impressed by what I see and more so by what I hear especially considering the VFM factor since the Creative Inspire T6060 comes in at under 4K in INR, it is truly great VFM. If you are in the market for a PC Speaker System in the 5.1 range and with limited budget on hand, then do check out the Creative Inspire T6060, you will be surprised at what you hear.