You’re not looking at any ordinary set of 2.0 multimedia speakers, the recently launched Creative Inspire T12 is affordable yet bluetooth equipped and aspires to be a unique set of 2.0, one which has been designed like no other.
Just looking at the Inspire T12, you may wonder what’s so special about them. Some of you may well know that Creative have been long trying to create and mimic the all important ‘bass effect’ for 2.0 speakers, the advantage of which is a much less chunkier set of speakers, more portable without a separate subwoofer and less hassle.
Simply looking at the front, you’d notice that there have been some minor tweaks to its appearance compared to the T12′s predecessors, the T10 and perhaps some resemblance of the T20.
The T12 though looks much more glossy and rounded at the corners. There’s now also abit of bling along the knobs, suggesting Creative has worked hard to improve its cosmetics. The T12 feels firm and robust, it is by no means made of ‘cheap’ plastic material.
Round the rear end of both speakers, you’ll see that Creative have now moved on from its original BasXPort bass-without-subwoofer technology towards a new form of built-in bass enhancing tech known as BassFlex.
In many respects, you can consider these to be the subwoofer unit which have been designed for the T12.
Overall, design wise, the Inspire T12 do appear as much as it costs, is relatively lightweight at just over one kg, and is approximately 18 cms tall. If you’re looking for a set of portable speakers for the beach, these are probably not your best choice, as they do need to remain plugged into the mains in order to function. However, if you’re looking for a pair of 2.0s for a small lounge or the bedroom, these will happily fit in, as they are relatively compact.
There are two possible features which would attract one to buy the Inspire T12. One of which being bluetooth connectivity.
When we reviewed the Inspire S2 back in may, though we were impressed by its subwoofer, we weren’t impressed by its limitations in bluetooth functionality. The S2 required a dedicated USB bluetooth dongle in order to connect. Consequently, when we tested the ZiiSound D5, it allowed direct bluetooth music streaming with compatible devices, yet we found its pace laggy and sluggish when switching between songs and adjusting volume.
We reckon Creative have done the job appropriately this time with the T12. While you will still receive Creative’s USB bluetooth audio dongle free with your purchase, you can freely connect to the T12 using an A2DP supported mobile phone, tablet, netbook or laptop. When we tested its performance by pairing with our HTC Desire, there was no lag, the connection was stable and it remained so for up to approximately 10m away.
The second selling point to the Inspire T12 will of course no doubt be its new BassFlex technology. Subwoofer-less bass effect has been the magic spell which Creative have been trying to cast for the past few years, but in no attempt have they been fully successful. Have they managed it this time? Our verdict is mixed. We think Creative have managed something spectacular here but not groundbreaking. With the T12, you do indeed get the bass effect you want. Those BassFlex subwoofer units round the back do vibrate like mad when you play your tunes or when you watch your 007 collection. It even vibrates the floor of your bedroom mildly, just like a real subwoofer would do – at times.
This is great when you want bass, but as we’ve discovered, there is no way of turning down the bass when you just want some peace and quiet – unlike a real subwoofer unit. We have no doubt that sound quality wise, the T12 delivers. Nonetheless, if you’re trying to watch the Quantum of Solace, its great have strong bass consistent with the scene’s explosions but the last thing you want is to hear Daniel Craig’s voice also exaggerated via the BassFlex subwoofers.
We think the Creative Inspire T12 2.0 speakers offer great value for your money, not only does it do the ‘lot’ with aux-in and bluetooth connectivity, it also offers plenty of bass with Creative’s new BassFlex technology. Despite this, it does try to do too much at the same time, the T12 speakers are not capable of delivering high quality dynamic bass but rather just a blunt, constant bass effect. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Having considered this, the Inspire T12 speakers do fit into the much aspired to equation of having a set of 2.0 subwoofer-less speakers which can deliver bass superior to others in its class.
- Compact and lightweight design
- Glossy and pricey appearance
- Aux-in and bluetooth work perfectly as you would expect
- Has superior bass compared to other 2.0 speakers in its class thanks to new BassFlex technology
- Non-adjustable, constant, blunt bass effect can at times become unnecessary