High-End PC Speakers: Which Are Worth Your Dollars?

Creative Labs Inspire T5400 Is A Good Start

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Creative Inspire T5400
Manufacturer's Specifications
Low-range amp power22W
Satellite amp power4 x 8W
Center channel amp power20W
Frequency response40Hz - 20kHz
Line inputcontrol
Front speaker size95mm X 197mm X 95mm
Rear speaker size95mm x 166mm x 95mm
Subwoofer size170mm X 285mm X 240mm

At first glance, the T5400 looks like a 5.1 version of its big brother T7700 (7.1). But while the overall design and many features are common to both, this is a different system. Take the subwoofer. Its appearance - the same as the 7700 with a speaker on one side and a port on the front - is deceptive but, though you still have the external transformer, the 5400 subwoofer is smaller and its loudspeaker measures no more than 13cm. So don't expect the same capacities.

The satellites do seem to be exactly the same as the 7700, with 2-way models for the front ones (right, center, left) and wideband loudspeakers for the rear ones. See the description of the T7700 for more details. The kit looks the same as the 7700, with a muted design unlikely to excite but acceptable for the mainstream.

The controls work the same way as the 7700 with a little handset that feels nice on the end of a wire. It has the volume control, bass-range adjustment and a 3.5mm jack headphone output, but the line input and the M-Port of the 7700 have gone. There is a line input though, at the back of the subwoofer with the other inputs. No problem here: three 3.5mm jack sockets give you the usual six channels. There is a cable with three 3.5mm jacks on either end for connecting to the sound card.