Creative Gigaworks T3 PC speakers
Compact and tidily finished, the Creative GigaWorks T3 is a 2.1-channel sub/sat system offering notably good sound quality
- Good sound quality, compact
- Too bass heavy, missing top-end frequencies
Compared to a conventional two-box stereo speaker system, a 2.1 sub/sat setup means you can reap the benefits of smaller-looking speakers – although there will still be a nest of wiring to contend with. The Creative GigaWorks T3 is a well-designed example of what you can do with the principle, and undoubtedly one of the finest sounding compact PC systems available today. Available now for less than $400, it fully deserves a hearty recommendation.
Price$ 363.59 (AUD)
As sub/sat systems go, the Creative GigaWorks T3 system is certainly quite compact. But it also offers one of the best overall sound qualities from the breed of PC stereo speaker systems you can find.
It all starts with a small and boxy sub-woofer, around 10in cubed, adding a remotely placed pair of single-driver satellites, these perched on fixed stands with spindly pillars. The Creative GigaWorks T3 sub features no less than three separate bass woofers, one firing forward and one on each side panel — the trio of which might explain the system name.
But only the forward-most unit is actually connected to any amp. The side drivers are actually passive drivers — otherwise known as auxiliary bass radiators (ABR) in serious audio circles — and contribute to an extended and powerful bass response.
Inside the Creative GigaWorks T3 bass box are the electronics, including a 50W amplifier for the woofer and a stereo amp rated at 15W per channel to drive the satellites. To keep efficiency high and waste heat low, these are all Class D amplifiers, often erroneously dubbed ‘digital amplifiers'.
You won't find these used in audiophile systems, but for mainstream audio and home entertainment applications, they are becoming increasingly popular.
But the Creative GigaWorks T3's black box and its contents will ordinarily be hidden from view, leaving the mid- and high-frequency baby speakers on the desk, along with a wired remote control unit.
This rounded knob allows an easy and weighted mastery of volume. In its base you'll find two mini jacks, one for headphones, the other an additional line input. This makes plugging in a portable MP3 player much easier than rummaging on the floor for a socket.
Where many sub/sat systems fail is in the believable integration of the bass speaker to the midrange reproduction of the satellites. The Creative GigaWorks T3, while not exactly winning this war, fought a good battle by fooling the ear that there was a good knit going on. Perhaps it was the ‘correctness' of the mid and top frequencies that made the usual omission that much more forgivable.
We found we had to turn the bass control knob to its absolute minimum setting to get a natural balance, and even then it could be a bit too bass heavy in some modern music productions. But we were then rewarded with quite tight and tuneful bass, all securely underpinning the sound from the satellites.
The inviting quality of the Creative GigaWorks T3 system's sound presentation was helped by the use of a single driver, rather than a two-way speaker, which inevitably suffer a little from phase errors.
This is due to the crossover filter network, which splits the sound into mid and treble frequencies for the respective drive units. Get the finished speaker more phase linear — much easier with but a single driver — and the sense of space in a soundfield will be that much more realistic.
The downside is often that the highest of frequencies will be a little subdued, as you might expect when asking one tiny speaker to reproduce over six octaves of sound; but overall the Creative GigaWorks T3 could conjure up a smooth and mellow sound, dimensionally deep with some quite convincing stereo imaging.
While top-end treble sparkle was not as well defined as with a speaker using a separate tweeter, this had the effect of softening the grain of less than stellar-sounding music sources, while hiding the inherent grain of Class D amplification.
Meanwhile, the Creative GigaWorks T3 bass speaker proved aptly profound in extension, yet suitably taught and well-timed, able to stop and start sufficiently precisely — and with ample kick when called upon from acoustic drums. It could also play a well-pitched thrum from the steady pedal notes of keyboard synths.
Compared to a true hi-fi setup, the Creative GigaWorks T3 may have shown a lack of real transparency to the original music, for sure, but overall tonality was rated good, with no serious vices in the ‘voicing' of this sytem.
Compared to a conventional two-box stereo speaker system, a 2.1 sub/sat setup means you can reap the benefits of smaller-looking speakers — although there will still be a nest of wiring to contend with. The Creative GigaWorks T3 is a well-designed example of what you can do with the principle, and undoubtedly one of the finest sounding compact PC systems available today. Available now for less than $400, it fully deserves a hearty recommendation.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- Google eyes remote content controls for parents in YouTube Kids app
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCProject Scheduler/CoordinatorVIC
- FTWindows Server Engineer MCSE, SCCM, SCOM, PowershellNSW
- FTICT Sales Account ManagerQLD
- CCVirtualisation / Infrastructure ArchitectACT
- CCTelecommunication Business SpecialistVIC
- FTBusiness Process AnalystNSW
- CCDigital Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTLevel 2/ 3 Systems AdministratorVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectVIC
- FTHelpdesk AnalystNSW
- CCSecurity ConsultantVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- TPEOI - Developer/Tester/Software EngineerACT
- CCJava Developer IntegrationQLD
- FTGraduate Technical ConsultantACT
- CCProject Communications and Engagement SpecialistQLD
- TPSenior Full-Stack DeveloperSA
- CCSolution Architect - Network Operations/Design - TelcoVIC
- FT.NET DeveloperWA
- FTProduct Manager - Machine To MachineVIC
- FTDeveloper - Python, Ruby, or PerlQLD
- FTSenior MS Dynamics CRM Technical ConsultantVIC
- FTPMO CoordinatorVIC
- FTAsst. Director - Claim Analysis. Work Location - CanberraACT
- FTIntegration DeveloperWA