Immersing yourself in music or games on your PC seems to be a key feature to making your system the multimedia extravaganza that it wants to be. For those there fore that are still supposedly in the dark ages and have only two tinny speakers next to your monitor, Creative want to bamboozle you with 6 speakers and a subwoofer.
Building on the Creative Inspire 5.1 5300’s, Creative has added the sixth speaker as a rear centre and upped the wattage on the front centre speaker to 20 Watts. What this now gives you is a 22 Watt sub-woofer with 6 satellites pumping out 8 watts each.
All six satellite speakers have plenty of cable to get you around most rooms and all speakers are supplied with small stands to raise them off your desk, however Creative has stopped supplying tall stands realising they can make more money by selling them as accessories rather than simply throwing them in the box.
Couple the speakers with Creative’s Audigy 2 card and you’ll be able to benefit from the 6.1 support the card offers. If you haven’t got one of those, then the speaker offers 5.1 to 6.1 upgrade and simulates the final channel.
On testing the speaker did its work providing clear noise at lower levels. Turn the volume and base levels up however and it’s a different story - sounds are distorted and crackled as the centre speaker and woofer fail to meet the demands of the high end soundcards.
Apart from adding another speaker to the system there doesn't seem to be much improvement on the 5.1 5300's. If you've already got a Creative Inspire set of speakers, especially the Digital version then upgrading won't gain you anything apart from the extra speaker. These speakers maybe under £100 but when you are dealing with people who have already spent £100 on a sound card the last thing they are going to want to skimp on is the output.