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Creative T4 Bluetooth Wireless 2.1 Speaker System (Black)
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Average Customer Review:
( 34 customer reviews )
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5 of 5 found the following review helpful:
Excellent sound with only a few minor flawsDec 12, 2013
By Steward Willons
The Creative T4 is a very nice sub/satellite combo with many strengths and a few weaknesses. It is well designed and comes with a number of handy features. This review will be from the perspective of someone who is mostly interested in listening to music. I'll occasionally watch a TV show or something on my computer, but really, 95% of the time, I'm using my computer speakers for music listening. If you're in the same boat, read on!
First of all, the T4 looks great. It's well built and fairly heavy. A lot of computer speakers are made from cheap, lightweight plastic, but the T4 feels much more substantial. Even the standalone volume knob is nicely weighted so that it doesn't slide around or get pulled by the weight of its own cable. The tops of the satellites are mirrored. This looks cool, but it's also a magnate for dust and fingerprints. Not a huge deal, but it does mean that you'll have to wipe them down regularly.
The volume and source selection is controlled with a separate controller. There are buttons and a headphone jack around the base, and the top is just a big volume knob. It seems to work pretty well. It's a little awkward to press the buttons because you need to apply pressure from both sides or you'll just end up pushing the entire thing away from you. Essentially, you have to squeeze both sides instead of just pressing from a single direction.
The T4 comes with a range of input options. You can use a standard RCA cable from a source like a BluRay player or a turntable or whatever. You can use an RCA-to-Stereo Mini plug to connect it to a computer or iPod (this cable is included). If you have an optical cable, you can connect that way. And, finally, you can connect via Bluetooth. Naturally, the Bluetooth option is the least preferable. The range is typical and the connection strength is average for this sort of thing. The closer you get, the smoother the streaming (usually), but if you're essentially sitting right next to the unit, you might as well just plug your device in and get uninterrupted sound. Whatever. The option is there for people who like Bluetooth.
All of the cables plug into the back of the subwoofer, which is pretty standard for this sort of speaker system. In general, the cables are all pretty decent. They seem heavy enough to withstand normal usage. They're definitely better than the tiny, brittle cables that come with cheap computer speakers. I wish that the cables from the satellites were a bit longer. Many of us want to tuck the subwoofer away under the desk and while there is enough cable to do this, you may need to position the sub a little closer than you would like. It depends on your setup. For me, the cables were sufficiently long.
The other features are nice, but really, a speaker system is worthless if it doesn't have good sound. The T4 is largely excellent, but there are a couple flaws that I will note shortly. The highs are very detailed and precise without sounding shrill. They almost sparkle, but they're never overly bright the way Bose speakers tend to sound.
The midrange seems fairly natural until you get to the frequency range where the midrange crosses over into the bass. This seems like a small blind spot where there is a bit of attenuation. Basically, the midrange doesn't ease into the bass as gracefully as I would have liked. It's not a fatal flaw, but it does remind you (on occasion) that you're listening to a speaker system consisting of two tiny speakers and one large speaker. That's just what you get with a sub/satellite combo unless it's flawlessly engineered.
The bass is plentiful and can be precise, depending on a number of factors. The subwoofer consists of one powered driver and two passive radiators. Basically, this means that there is one speaker that makes sound and two speakers (on the sides, in this case) that simply move due to changes into the air pressure of the sub enclosure. This doesn't mean that subwoofer plays three times as loud; it has more to do with tuning the enclosure and creating the correct resonance. It can also make the subwoofer more efficient, which allows it to play somewhat louder with less power.
My problem with the dual passive radiator design is that you can't really place the sub unit against more than one wall. If you have sound radiating from three directions, it needs at least a bit of space on all sides to sound correct. This means that you can't wedge the subwoofer into a corner. It's not a huge deal, but it's a little frustrating.
The subwoofer has the potentially to be very loud, boomy, and overpowering. There are a number of factors that go into properly calibrating the sub and a lot of it will depend on where you place it and what sort of sound balance you like. I prefer a natural sound with bass that is present, but not overly accentuated. The first part of the equation concerns placement. If you put the sub under a desk, near a wall, or especially in a corner, this is going to amplify the resonance of the woofer. This can be a good tactic if you want heavier bass, but it can also lead of bass that is too heavy and difficult to control.
The second part of the equation concerns the bass volume knob. It took me a few days of tweaking to find a balance between placement and subwoofer volume before I was happy with the sound. The sub has a natural tendency to be very loud and boomy, and you'll have to take time to temper this, unless you love heavy, overpowering bass.
In terms of volume, this system will play very loud. It may not fill a huge room with sound, but it will serve a medium sized room well with power to spare. When you consider the fact that this is probably going to be a computer speaker system for you and that you'll usually be sitting right in front of it, it's very well powered.
Overall, the sound is very good, and provided you can get the bass level where you want it, the balance and neutrality is quite reasonable.
The one major weakness here is the price. At around $300, the T4 costs almost double what the Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 system costs. I'm not convinced that the sound of the T4 is twice as good as the Klipsch system. The T4 has some extra features (e.g., Bluetooth, a remote, optical input) and it is heftier than the Klipsch, but these factors are not as important to me as sound quality. If I was saving close to $150, I think I would be fine with the Klipsch sound, especially insofar as it's just as loud, just as powerful, and almost as detailed in terms of midrange and treble.
The T4 is an expensive, but excellent speaker system. The aforementioned flaws notwithstanding, I can easily recommend this to anyone who enjoys listening to music from his or her computer. Once you get the bass calibrated correctly, the sound is very nice with plenty of detail and subtly. The unit is very well constructed and I would expect it to last for a long time.
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Good sound, Bluetooth ConnectivityJan 08, 2014
There really isn't a huge choice available if you want this particular configuration in a Bluetooth 2.1 speaker system. There are several off brands which offer Bluetooth for the subwoofer and two tiny separate speakers setup. These are around generally the hundred dollar price point and it's a gamble to get one of these if you are somewhat choosey about the sound quality you listen to.
If you want better sound quality, Bluetooth connectivity and a 2.1 speaker system for your tunes on iPhone, iPad or other devices or laptops, this is the one to get. Take your portable device anywhere within about twenty feet and connect to your Creative 2.1 speaker system. This really has no competition in its category.
I particularly like the subwoofer in this set. It delivers a mellow rich bass which belies the small size and small price. The side speakers are tiny, as they are in most similar 2.1 sets, but that doesn't correlate with weak sound delivery. They sound very good.
I have had for several years a Bose 2.1 system like this which is not Bluetooth.
I love the sound from it. And I can't say that this compares favorably to that one. The speakers are the same size but the Bose has a audiophile quality sound, but that cost more and is wired to my desktop computer. It's not suitable for my tablets, iPod or other mobile devices the way this one is.
This isn't in that league sound-wise and yet it's not bad. For the price and the fact that it's Bluetooth it is very good. And it's a definite improvement if you have been used to listening to your tunes over a tiny speaker. It sounds good. For the price, and the fact that it really doesn't have much competition in the price range for a Bluetooth system of this configuration, it's great.
Obviously this isn't meant to be portable. If you want a portable Bluetooth speaker there are hundreds available.
I can't find anything at all to complain about in this set either in Bluetooth reliability or sound quality in Bluetooth mode. I have several portable Bluetooth speakers and this compares favorably to all of them as far as ease of connection and sound transmission.
I like the remote control. This means you can hide this away out of sight, something that can be very important. Turn it on and control the volume, without even having to see the speakers, if you've tucked them behind chairs or desks. Yes you have wires to the speakers, but there is no wire needed to connect to your device. And for this, I give this five stars.
Good sound with rich bass, remote controlled Bluetooth, reasonable price, make this one that has no competition. It's not high end sound but it's very good, and the price is right.
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Suffer having to turn it on every 10 minsDec 31, 2013
This is a system more for convenience than sound. I still prefer Logitech or Klipsch 2.1 THX for sound. But they both lack bluetooth. Enter Creative.
It's simple to pair a BT device with this system and basically have instant 2.1. The sound is ok. I could tell a difference (from my older logitech 2300 ) but my wife could not. It's subjective. If you haven't had better, you won't know it. And that applies for many. Just as many have no problems with low res screens.
Again, you're getting convenience and ability for people with multiple devices (like a mix of android and iOS) to easily pair up. In such an environment, this could be worthwhile.
Update: This auto shutoff after 10 mins just gets old. I'm constantly having to turn it on. The volume knob is just stupid. You can't power it on without messing with volume either. For the price, I can't recommend this.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
Great quality, no speaker buzz when countless others did!Dec 31, 2013
By Patricia Gray
I cannot say enough good things about this sound system. It does seem as if the market has been recently flooded with wireless bluetooth speaker systems and the quality tends to be hit and miss. We use this system for both music and movies and the range and quality of these are supreme in that environment.
The sound quality is very good and clear, with high notes clear with no 'noise' or 'static' in them while the bass is deep and clear, even when it is turned down. I like the fact that I can independently turn the bass down (I live in an apartment, and this is essential for us!) of the main volume, but still adjust it from my systems settings as well.
The volume knob is a bit touchy, and I feel that I can do a better fine-adjustment with the remote that is included or using system adjsutments.
I was worried that the auto-off setting would be bothersome, but it has proved handy for power comsumption and general speaker maintenance. With other speakers in the past, we have had a severe issue with buzzing - mostly people say it's from bad wiring or a lack of a grounded outlet available. However, using the same set up, same outlet and same computer, we do not get any buzz from these and we are beyond elated.
These tiny speakers are compact, powerful, and sound great. They adapt well for most computer desks and living rooms and would be a great addition to your setup! Highly recommend.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
Great ChoiceMay 22, 2014
I spent a lot of time looking for a speaker system that was affordable, that sounded good, and most importantly, had a remote. I worked as a sound engineer for a number of years, and although I have heard better speakers in the industry, I have not heard better sound for the price. And of course, it has a remote that allows me to turn up and down the volume, change the audio source, and it even lets me skip to the next song on my Pandora which is connected through Bluetooth to my phone. And even with the Bluetooth connection, it sounds incredible. I thought I was going to sacrifice quality in order to have a system that had a remote, which was most important to me, but I was wrong. This is an incredible sound system for its price.
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