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Creative Gigaworks T40 Series II - Creative Gigaworks T40 Series II

By Edward Chester


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Creative Gigaworks T40 Series II


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Review Price £81.00

One area that, at first glance, appeared not to have changed is the the T40s audio capabilities. The same twin mid-range drivers with their distinctive yellow woven glass fibre cones and single top-end tweeter are in use and they remain in the same position. There's also a similar looking bass port in the top, though this has changed from a perfect circle to a rounded oblong. However, my first clue that something had changed was seeing the rated output of these speakers had risen from 14W to 16W. Not that this is a given for better audio but it's about the only thing that outwardly explains why these are so much better than my first generation set.

Immediately obvious is how the low-end has been filled out providing more punch and giving a real sense of life to kick and low-end tom drums as well as giving bass lines the true rumble they deserve. In contrast the first generation set, while plentiful in warmth, seem to lack that little bit of punch. We're not talking thumping low end like you'd get from a dedicated sub woofer but there's definitely a more satisfying thwack.

It's not all about bass, though, it's really at the top-end that things come together. There's a sparkle to these that the first generation just can't match, no matter how much you tweak the treble control. This also helps the Series IIs present a more open and involving sound stage that even when sitting three feet away gives you a perfect stereo effect (i.e. audio sounds like it's coming from straight in front of you rather than from the speakers).

Picking out a few particular tracks that seemed to highlight these differences best, I started with 10,000 Years from High On Fire's first album, The Art Of Self Defence, which is a track that's thick with down-tuned heavy guitars and pounding drums. With the first generation it sounds ever so slightly muddy and compressed. Upping the treble dial filled out some of the details but there was still a lack of bass presence. Switching to the Series II and the booming kick drums start to hit with a bit more force while the growling guitars have that extra sense of bite.

Stepping up a technical gear, I tried the opening track from Opeth's Ghost Reveries album. Opeth's multifaceted sound combines full-on heavy metal guitar riffs and thumping drums with gothic keyboards, acoustic guitars, growling vocals, 'proper' singing, and random eclectic instruments and wrap it all up in a Dream Theater-esque progressive package. It can be quite a challenge for any sound system to pick apart all the aspects of this music at once but these T40s coped with aplomb. Again, in contrast, the old T40s required a significant dose of extra treble to bring out all those hidden details and no amount of tweaking could fill out the low-end in the same satisfying way as the Series IIs.

Changing tack completely and Mozart's Eine Kliene Nachtmusik was given an airing. This classic masterpiece of string arrangement can sound shrill and uninviting if not handled properly but the T40 Series IIs delivered it with all the subtlety and warmth that such a piece deserves.

Ultimately, having tried the T40 Series IIs with all manner of music, films, and games I've come to absolutely love their sound. Sure, I'd prefer the true kick from a sub every once in a while but for desktop listening they're more than capable, and for the price I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them. As for how they compare to the original T40s, I suspect the improvements are merely in how they've tweaked the default tone rather than any fundamental component upgrades. Nevertheless, I couldn't match the sound of these Series IIs by manipulating the controls of its predecessors so maybe there is a dark secret involved. Whatever the answer, I certainly wouldn't say you need to upgrade from the originals but these are very worthy successors.


Creative impressed many people with its first generation Gigaworks T40 speakers so these new versions had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, the T40 Series IIs haven't just succeeded in maintaining that reputation; they've actually gone one step further and surpassed their predecessors. Sure, they're a bit big and you can certainly get better sounding speakers if you're willing to splash the cash but for their price these are without equal.

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March 12, 2009, 6:10 pm

Dammit - posted my comment on the T20 review by mistake! Can it be moved here?

Luan Bach

March 12, 2009, 6:36 pm

Is it better than the Edifier MP300 ?


March 12, 2009, 8:17 pm

Significantly, yes. And they're about three times the size as well, so it's unsurprising. Admittedly the Edifier's have more of that sub kick than these but they fall behind in most other regards.


March 13, 2009, 1:18 am

So is the piercing blue light absent from this model? That was the only flaw in the series I set.

More importantly to the speaker's themselves, the input also makes a huge difference to how these sound. Try plugging in an ipod, then a laptop and play the same track. Music sounds much better when used with the laptop. Music from an ipod sounds tinny with these speakers.

Martin Daler

March 13, 2009, 1:22 am

I had a pair of these for 㿫.60 at PC World website, before they put the price up. They seem to have a yo-yo policy on pricing - it goes up for a while, then comes back down to a fanfare of "special offer". Anyway, at 㿬 I am very happy with these speakers. My only complaint is very visible in your picture - the nasty looking plastic scaffold visible through the very fine mesh covers. With a bit of design work they could have got rid of it, probably saved on material costs too. I would take the covers off, but rats do occasionally climb up the speakers (don't ask!) so they have to stay on.

And the blue sparkly bits - I hadn't noticed until you pointed it out! Just goes to show, you learn something from a TR review even if you already have the product!


March 13, 2009, 1:23 am

Another question, does the power supply have a large brick between the speakers and plug socket like the previous T40's did?

Luan Bach

March 13, 2009, 2:14 am

Thanks Ed. I was thinking of getting the Edifier for the bedroom, but may get these instead.


March 13, 2009, 3:05 am


Yes the blue light is present, as is the power supply. I honestly can't say I found the light distracting though. During what situations do you find it so disturbing?

I also noticed the grill, Martin, but thought it was maybe our lighting that was particularly bringing it out. Evidently not. They look great without the grills but, as you evidence, for some people that may not be practical.


March 13, 2009, 3:57 am

Bought these Speakers about a month ago, love them to bits, not sure about an Ipod as I don't have one but if I play music on my Creative Zen through the speakers they sound great. When used for games the bass makes explosions sound so real its great.

This is a pair of speakers worth getting if in the market for better ones, Just remember these speakers are not small so be sure there's space on your desk for them before buying!


March 13, 2009, 4:40 am


Thanks for the info. I actually own the T20, whilst a friend has the T40's (series 1). Both have an annoying blue light that actually burns the retina in daytime and is very distracting in a dark room, to the point many owners have had to cover the led with blu-tack (myself included)

I notice the light in this model has been moved to the volume control. Is it distracting/too bright? (For instance when watching a movie in a dark room).


March 13, 2009, 12:16 pm

The light on the new model is just as bright when viewed from an angle but it doesn't have the same blinding effect when viewed straight on.


March 13, 2009, 12:34 pm

I've had a pair of these for a couple of weeks - adding to two pairs of series 1 T20's which I've had for some time.

Blue LED is much 'softer' on the series 2 - allowing for use under my main living room LCD panel without blinding the wife and I (we had to angle the T20's to avoid retinal damage !).

My only slight concern is that my T20's seem quite a bit better at low-end response than the T40's - not sure whether my T40's just need some time to settle down, or whether there's a problem with them... so I welcome any experiences anyone else has on this matter.


March 13, 2009, 2:12 pm

Ed, you are in a unique position when you can put the new T20s and T40s next to each other - what would you say is the key difference in sound?

And specifically, will this difference be noticeable in my scenario:

- low to medium volume

- classical music (piano, orchestral, opera), jazz/jazz-rock, occasional rock and pop; definitely no hip-hop or heavy metal type music

What I am after is the sort of sound that is warm, rich, natural - but at the same time clear and "pronounced", particularly on highs and on bass (such as acoustic double-bass and low registers on the piano). Will either T20 or T40 deliver on this front?

Last question if I may - have you ever come across Audioengine A5 or Samson StudioDock 3i? Both have 5 stars on whathifi.com, but are more expensive, and I was wondering how T20/T40 would compare to those.


March 13, 2009, 3:49 pm

Hi ED,

Interesting read - would these compare to the Acoustic Energy Aego M Speakers? Or are these two different leagues. The M's are getting old now and just wondered how these T40s compare.



March 13, 2009, 6:19 pm

I've currently got the Logitech Z3 system, which I've had for the last 5 years or so. Are these Creatives worth an upgrade, anyone?

The Z3 is a pretty decent setup, I must say.


March 17, 2009, 2:28 pm

Nice review as always.

I'm really interested in these but like some of the posters above, I'm wondering whether they are worth the premium over the T20s - whether a non audiophile listener like myself will be able to tell the difference, and in what regards.

Perhaps this can be discussed in the T20 Series II review that is coming. I'm bound to purchace one of the two sets, I just need help on chosing which!


March 17, 2009, 2:55 pm

Well, the T20s and T40s are not fundamentally different in terms of sound 'quality'. They use the same drivers and same basics for their amplifier circuitry (they may even use the same amplifier but I'd have to check that). All you really get from the T40s is more volume, making them a bit more versatile. If your computer room is just a little poky broom cupboard then you might as well stick with the T20s.

El Wesso

June 4, 2009, 11:42 pm

Hi Ed, what would be better the T20 or the T40. Heres the situation; I have enough room for either, can stretch budget if I have to but cheaper if possible. I listen to Drum and Bass music quite loud so would there be any distortion with that?


Aero 1

December 12, 2009, 10:54 pm

I like that you can switch it on or off via the volume dial & not the switch on the back... that's why I didn't get these speakers earlier on.

I don't like the wire that connects the two speakers together (it's short & directly connected to the left speaker).

Can't extend it yet! Not sure what since it's not a standard RCA audio cable in which case I could have added an adapter (fe/male) and a wire :(

If you have a large desk or two 24" LCD's side by side forget about getting this to the side of both monitors or the edge of the desk (stupid design).

I don't know why they made the volume dial so smooth, it's hard to get a good grip to feel how much you turning it (wanted function before design here).

Other than that I'm happy with the purchase (kinda), good speakers just two minor (silly) design faults.

Ivan 2

January 19, 2010, 10:36 pm

@ Edward: should I buy the Teufel concept b 200 usb or the Creative t40 series II??? I really don't know...

The creative is cheaper and has might have a slightly lower end (50Hz), but it hasn't an usb amplyfier like the teufel one :( Also it has got less power.

If you have some time, please give me some advice, it would be very highly appreciated :-)

Thanks in advance,



April 12, 2010, 7:30 pm

Thanks for such an informative read - the best I`ve seen on this product. Just a couple of queries. I`d like to use these speakers to augment a 32-inch LG TV in the living room. Can I assume there`s a way of connecting speakers to TV? Also, would you happen to know the length of connecting cable from speaker to speaker? Thanks and best wishes.


October 5, 2011, 12:56 am

Hi! If buy these and plug them into my Sony LCD tv set, will I need to unplug them from the TV every time I want to use the TV's built in speakers speakers instead? Or can the TV work out when the external speakers are switched off and direct the sound to its own built in speakers? the sony has a headphone jack and also audio out din plugs, and I think a digital out, too. The sound on the TV set is not good, and I would love to beef it up, but at night I don't really want too much bass which might annoy my neighbours, so it would be nice to use the TV speakers then. I really couldn't be bothered to keep unplugging them, though. Also, what are the dimensions of these speakers? Thanks for any advice.


June 14, 2013, 10:12 am

The tv, unless directly specified, will not play audio through the built in speakers if any 3.5mm jack in plugged into the tv's socket.


January 30, 2014, 9:39 pm

These speakers go in standby mode if no sound is detected in a few minutes, and they take about 3 to 4 seconds to come out of standby. This makes you miss any audio in that 3 to 4 seconds and any alerts if you have them connected to a computer. And no way to disable that feature.


March 19, 2014, 2:22 am

Plzz suggest me Gigaworks t40 or gigaworks t3..which one is best??

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