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 PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- 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
- AirTV's slick marriage of Sling TV and OTA channels isn't in the product yet
- Here's what's coming next from Sling TV
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTInfrastructure Security Compliance OfficerNSW
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 required!!SA
- FTSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCProject Support OfficerNSW
- TPService Desk Analyst - Level 1VIC
- FTERP ConsultantQLD
- FTAnalyst Programmer (Natural/Adabas)SA
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- TPIT Project Officer - TMRQLD
- TPBI Commercial AnalystVIC
- FTNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- CCProject / Portfolio SchedulerNSW
- CCMidrange ProvisioningNSW
- FTEnterprise Account ManagerNSW
- FTSecurity Engineer - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCTechnical Consultant - ITSM/HP Service ManagerQLD
- TPProject Support OfficerQLD
- FTSecurity Solutions Architect - Consultancy - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- FTLevel 3 Support AnalystVIC
- TPICT Project CoordinatorQLD
- FTSAP BOBJ ConsultantACT
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTSalesforce Technical Consultant/Architect Global IT Company - SydneyNSW
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW