Creative Inspire S2

Laldinfela Pachuau 2010-02-23
72 Good
Price: Rs 5,999

Full Review

The Creative Inspire S2 is a miniature 2.1 speaker system that is designed for notebooks, MP3 players and a PC. It is a small adorable sound system that also sounds as sweet as it looks.

Features & Design

In terms of specs, the Inspire S2 does not bring anything new. The satellites have 2-inch drivers hidden behind the grille while the compact subwoofer is powered by a 5-inch driver which again is protected by a grille. The satellite is rated at 6-watts RMS per channel, the Direct- Throw subwoofer is rated at 17 watts that makes the total output 29 watts RMS. Its total power is good enough to fill a mid-size bedroom. The system has a claimed frequency range from 40Hz to 20kHz and a >75dB  Signal to Noise Ratio.

Listening to Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Season series revealed that the speakers definitely required more depth and richer mids while the trebles/highs were sparkling without any harshness.

These palm sized satellites have a neat and clean design. The right channel satellite has an LED Power indicator, volume control, auxiliary in and headphones out. The subwoofer is also quite compact and it a bass level control and AC Adapter line-in at the back. The supplied wires are long enough to give more freedom for placement and positioning. The right satellite cable is fixed to the subwoofer though and this restricts the speaker placement to a large extent.  The Inspire S2 does not come with a remote.


Sound Quality

Setting up the speaker was hassle-free and I started our tests by plugging the Creatives to our desktop PC which uses Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic and Foobar2k. While trying out our audio frequency test track, the Inspire S2 stayed true to what it claimed. The audio at higher frequencies till 20 kHz were reproduced faithfully while the lower range from 50Hz to 40Hz were audible with a warm mid-bass. But as Creative claimed, the mid-bass subwoofer is not supposed to produce an earth-shattering bass anyway, so don’t expect the Inspire S2 to bring the house down.

After playing our test tracks and playlist filled with various genres, the Inspire S2 left us with only one impression. They are a sweet-sounding 2.1 speaker system and very easy and pleasant to listen to. Listening to Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Season series revealed that the speakers definitely required more depth and richer mids while the trebles/highs were sparkling without any harshness. The bass presence was heard rather than felt as it could not really reach those deep low ends. However, for soft music at moderate volumes, this speaker system is enough. The sub-bass level should also be checked as it can easily get boomy. When I compared it to the Altec Lansing expressionist PLUS, the highs on the Inspire S2 were brighter and more open while mids were thicker and crispier on the expressionist PLUS. The bass was well controlled on the Inspire S2 but the expressionist PLUS pumped out punchier bass. However, the overall sound signature is much more impressive on the Creative Inspire S2.  After trying out various genres like Ballads, Hip Hop and Metal, the Inspire S2 sounded best for casually listening to soft sounding music. They won’t disappoint if you like listening to a soft-music or some contemporary pop at moderate volumes.

Soundstage is good too and the speaker placement on your desktop plays a vital role here.  For movies and games, sound positioning is good but the rather muffled mids reproduction left us wanting more details. At moderate volume, the Inspire S2 still sounded good but distortion started to kick in beyond 70 percent of the maximum volume. I just wished it could handle the higher volume better.

The Creative Inspire S2 is priced at Rs.5, 999 which is a bit expensive for what it offers. However, if you are looking for sweet sounding 2.1 speakers that won’t eat up much space on your desktop, they are worth considering.

Bottom Line

Smooth sounding set of compact 2.1 speaker but a bit pricey.

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