Creative I-Trigue L3800
Creative's I-Trigue PC speaker line has never been short on good looks--Creative's design department long ago figured out that black, white, and brushed aluminum look really cool in sparse arrangements. That's where a lot of companies stop, but the I-Trigue line has always boasted powerful, if not always accurate, sound. The $150 Creative I-Trigue L3800s are no exception in the beauty or power departments, and these 2.1 speakers sound crisper than past models, which earns them a higher rating. We still prefer the Editors' Choice-winning, but the Creative I-Trigue L3800s score points with a wireless remote, complicating what was once an easy issue. Where before we would simply recommend the Z-2300s to anyone asking about 2.1 PC speakers, now we must qualify that statement. It you want the best audio quality and the ability to connect to a game console, the Z-2300s still win. But if you really want that wireless remote, you don't lose much with the I-Trigue L3800s.
Like past I-Trigue speakers we've reviewed, such as the, the L3800s feature a frequency response of 30Hz to 20KHz and an output of 9 watts per satellite. Nevertheless, Creative has found a way to make the sound of the satellites mesh more seamlessly with that of the 30-watt subwoofer. Once again, the speakers feature so-called lateral-firing transducers, in which each satellite has two smaller drivers facing forward and a midtone driver facing out, supposedly creating a wider stereo field. This design has always seemed a bit gimmicky; the physical placement of the speakers ultimately determines the width of your stereo image, regardless of the two drivers pointed away from your ears.
Like the I-Trigue L3450s, the L3800s include an easy-to-use, wired Audio Control Pod. The pod, which connects directly to the subwoofer, features controls for volume, bass level, mute, and power. It also has a headphone jack and a 1/8-inch input for MP3 players. It doesn't have a game console adapter, however--a feature we appreciated on the Logitech Z-2300s.