I was in the market for a new set of speakers for my PC. But most of my music is now on my phone or tablet. The Creative T3150w solves this issue by giving the best of both worlds: a common set of speakers to use either with a PC using a cord or with a phone via Bluetooth.
Specs: 2 satellites (75x150x90 mm) with 2W RMS | 1 subwoofer (184x225x190 mm) with 5W RMS | Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and A2DP.
Price: Rs. 5,999 (Available for Rs. 5,000 in several leading retail stores)
Easy And Convenient
The T3150w is a 2.1 speaker set. The twin satellite speakers, connected together with a cord, actually look quite stylish sitting on either side of your monitor. The subwoofer should ideally be on the floor because that’s how it is designed. It’s a down-firing woofer, which means the main driver faces downwards, but there are little legs on the subwoofer that keep it just narrowly above the floor. On the front, you will find a reflex port instead of the driver. The design makes it look cleaner and also protects the driver, but that’s really the only real-world advantage of a down-firing subwoofer for most people, unless you’re an audiophile.
The back of the subwoofer is where the satellite speakers are connected by a cable, and you also have the 3.5mm audio out to connect it to a PC or to headphones. A separate wire goes out to the remote dongle, which has the volume control as well as a Power LED to tell you if it is connected to the PC or via Bluetooth. This dongle can also be used to switch the speakers on and off easily.
Bluetooth connectivity is actually quite simple. The first time you want to connect your phone or tablet, reach behind the subwoofer and hold the Bluetooth button for a few seconds to broadcast its signal. On your phone, scan for nearby Bluetooth devices and the Creative T3150w should soon pop up. Connect once, save the profile, and you’re done. The next time you want to start playing any song via Bluetooth, just tap the profile on your phone to connect and you’re good to go. This convenience makes the T3150w stand apart from many of the 2.1 speakers out there, but does it beat them in audio quality?
Sounds Good, Not Great
The good news is that Bluetooth playback is on par with direct wired playback in the T3150w on most audio output, with the exception of FLAC files played through either.
The twin satellite speakers were surprisingly the strong point of Creative’s unit. Usually, satellite speakers distort at high volumes, but not the T3150w. They remained as sharp with the volume turned to full as they did on low. That said, it should be noted that high volume isn’t the T3150w’s strong point. The volume is enough to fill a room of about 200 sq. feet, but anything more and it struggles.
The subwoofer itself will give the low rumbles that you want when watching a movie, but it can get a bit too intense at times—especially when you are watching a sci-fi film or anything that is going to make your floor shake.
The problem, though, is that there is no setting to adjust the subwoofer’s bass or treble. This means you are going to have to use the equalizer on your music app and hope it gets the job done. While it’s fine when you are watching a movie or a TV show, or even listening to one album by an artist, it becomes difficult to get the setting right if you are listening to a mixed music playlist. Invariably, the equalizer settings that work for one song don’t sound great for another, giving you an inconsistent listening experience. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s not as good as things could be.
Overall, the sound quality is good enough for casual listening in both wired and wireless usage. But no matter what, in the end, the wired connection to your PC is going to give you better audio for high-quality music files than anything you play on your phone. The same FLAC file when played through MediaMonkey on a PC sounded great, but when played through an Android phone, it sounded strictly average. The main reason for this is that your uncompressed FLAC file still needs to be compressed when it’s transferred via Bluetooth 2.1 to the speaker, so the audio quality is obviously not going to be at the same level.
Who Should Buy It?
However, these are things that will be noticed only by people who are particular about how their music sounds. If the words “lossless audio” are something that matter to you when you listen to music, you don’t want to go near the T3150w—whether wired or wireless, these aren’t going to satisfy you.
But if you are a casual music listener and movie viewer, and just want a good set of speakers with which you can also play songs off your phone or tablet wirelessly, then the Creative T3150w is a great option. Just make sure you get your equalizer settings right!