Any company as large as Creative knows that if you want to gain maximum market share you need a diverse range of products that cover the full gamut of potential customers. By providing something for everyone you have the best chance of making a sale regardless of whether the buyer is a professional, an enthusiastic amateur, or just a casual first time buyer. This is why Creative produces over 40 different types of speakers, from dual channel sets costing just over £10 to monstrous 7-channel sets that will set you back over £300. Unless you insist on true audiophile quality and are willing to plump up some serious cash, there’s sure to be a Creative speaker set that will suit your needs.
Now, obviously, the range is split up into the different speaker types, so you have portable, desktop stereo 2.0 & 2.1, and surround sound 5.1 & 7.1 sets. However, that still leaves a considerable number of speakers in each category. So, to make sense of this vast range, Creative splits up its models into various sub-brand names like i-trigue, SBS, and Inspire. At the top of the pile is the Gigaworks name, which you may recognise as being the brand used for the T20 and T40 speakers that Andy liked so much. This label is preserved for the elite models in each category of speaker and, considering how impressed we were with the T20 and T40s, we believe this name is not used idly. So, when we were offered the chance to review Creative’s new T10s we jumped at the chance, expecting more of the same.
However, this is where things get a little complicated. You see, as we did, you may think that the T10s are just the smaller versions of the T20s, just as the T40s are the large versions thereof, but in actual fact they are quite different, so much so they actually fall under the lower grade Inspire brand name. Confused? I certainly was.
What is clear, though, is that the T10s are what are known as a 2.0 speaker set – that is, the set consists of just two desktop speakers with no separate sub-woofer – and they cost around £30. If they can manage to sound remotely decent at that price then the confusing naming and most other minor grievances can be forgiven. So without further ado, let’s see how they stack up.
Given these speakers don’t fall under the same brand name as the T20s and T40s, it’s no surprise the styling of the T10s is different. Gone are the funky yellow speaker cones to be replaced by relatively dull grey ones. The metallic knobs are now plain black plastic and likewise the front surface has changed from a beautifully finished metallic grey to gloss black.