11 PC-speakersets review: cacophonous or melodious?

Cheap and good do not go together anymore

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{c:gb}85 pounds / 100 euros{/c:gb}{c:us}111 dollars{/c:us} and up

The last three sets all cost 85 pounds / 100 euros or more. The Creative T30 Wireless can be found for a bit less than 85 pounds / 100 euros, but on average it costs more than 110 pounds / 130 euros. The T50 Wireless is even more expensive, the MSRP is about 168 pounds / 200 euros. The Edifier C3X is completely different when compared to these two 2.0 sets, but costs nearly 142 pounds / 170 euros.

Creative T30 Wireless
Creative T30 Wireless

The two Creative sets are a lot alike, the main difference is that the T50 Wireless has an extra mid-range drive annex woofer. On the top is a bass port. Both have Bluetooth with support for the Apt-X codec and knobs for volume, lows and highs on the right speaker. There is also a headphone jack. An annoying side issue of these sets is that they put themselves in standby if there has not been any input for a short period. The power supply is external via a big adapter. The construction is of solid plastic, making them appear less rigid than the Edifier R1280T.

Creative T50 Wireless
Creative T50 Wireless

The Edifier C3X is a remarkable device, if only because of the separate operating console, where all the speakers connect. With this console you can adjust volume, bass and treble as well as select the input. There is also a decoder present to play files from a connected SD-card or USB-stick, without the need for a computer. The console has buttons for this as well. Furthermore the set has two aux-inputs and one headphone jack. A segmented LCD shows the volume-setting, among other things. A remote control is also supplied. The speakers have been built using MDF, the satellites have separate tweeters and mid-range drivers. The entire set weighs over 10 kilograms, clearly putting it in a different class than the rest of the models in this test.

Edifier C3X
Edifier C3X

In practice the C3X is not clearly better than the others in terms of listening to music. The subwoofer tends to be dominant, you really need to place it further away and in a lot of songs we still had to turn the bass down to the lowest setting. Of all the Edifier 2.1 sets the C3X definitely sounds the best, but the satellites are a bit dull, something we have noticed before with the 2.1 and 5.1 sets of this brand. The subwoofer is clearly the main selling point, it is the only one in this test that performs well during the rap and trance selection. With classical music we miss definition, the complex parts are a bit too chaotic. For gaming the C3X is definitely a solid choice.

It is a different story entirely with the two Creative models. These stand out in a positive way when listening to music, even though the higher price of the T50 is not worth it when compared to the T30 it still is slightly better, especially the vocals and at higher volumes. Considering the absence of a subwoofer, both sets have an unexpectedly powerful low, even dominating from time to time. Fortunately this is adjustable. Out of all the genres rock sounds the least satisfying, Guns ‘n’ Roses sound almost sleepy. Aside from that we are quite happy with these sets, but the price is too high for what they offer.

 


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