Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Creative Inspire M2600
- Good bass, energetic mid range, volume control included on cable
- Bass overpowers other elements, treble quite recessed, no treble or bass controls
If you're after a basic set of PC speakers that will perform well with a variety of source materials, Creative's Inspire M2600 package may be for you. The strong bass works well for gaming and film watching, and will suit some musical tastes as well.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
Creative's Inspire M2600 is a fairly standard entry-level PC speaker system. The design is nice and the sound quality is impressive considering the cost. Combined with the external controls and relatively slim footprint, this package makes a solid choice if you're after a new audio system on a budget.
Packing in a subwoofer alongside two freestanding tweeters, the M2600 is well catered for in the bass department. Many PC speakers tend to lack power and punch, which is a critical factor in enjoying many games and films, but fortunately that isn't the case here.
We found the bass to be strong, with good power and rumble considering the size of the unit. It was quite slow at times, meaning individual notes take a long time to decay, but the quality of the bass was generally pretty good.
However it did have a habit of drowning out the treble and mid range a little. During our music tests we found ourselves having to turn the volume up to adequately hear the more mellow passages of our songs before dropping it back down when the bass kicked in.
That said, the mid range was quite impressive too, with a lot of energy and nice levels of detail. All of the individual musical elements were nicely separated and this complemented the powerful bass nicely.
The M2600's weakest performance was with treble notes. They were strongly recessed and lacked any real richness or sparkle. Users listening to music styles such as classical or jazz will probably be disappointed by this system.
Fortunately during our games tests they were up to the task. Their positional audio wasn't anything to write home about, but you should be able to adequately home in on specific sounds. Gunfire on the other hand was impressive, ringing out crisp and clear with a great visceral feel.
Aesthetically this system is fairly traditional by PC speaker standards, sporting a boxy, matte black styling that gels nicely with most modern PCs. The speakers also have a fairly small footprint, meaning they'll be useful in cramped spaces and even the subwoofer is on the small side.
The speakers connect to the sub via a standard RCA connection, and then a stereo cable runs from there to your source. Creative includes a cable in the box that comes complete with a remote, allowing you to adjust volume on the fly. Unfortunately no treble or bass switches are included, so you'll be stuck using on-board equalisation if the sound isn't to your liking.
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