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Creative GigaWorks T40 PC Multimedia Speakers review: Creative GigaWorks T40 PC Multimedia Speakers

Creative GigaWorks T40 PC Multimedia Speakers

Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
4 min read

Creative offers an impressively wide range of PC, iPod, and multimedia speakers--at least 20, by our count. But we were drawn to the company's GigaWorks T40, a set of unusually tall (12.5 inches) stereo PC speakers that retail for less than $150. The slender but deep desktop speakers boast a pair of woven glass-fiber cones and a soft dome tweeter, decked out in the classic midrange/tweeter/midrange array. The drivers are impressive--higher quality than we normally expect in this price class. The GigaWorks T40 is big enough to sound good with music, movies, and games, and its compact 4.5-by-6-inch footprint won't hog too much desktop space. Just be sure you're OK with speakers that will almost be as tall as your PC monitor.


Creative GigaWorks T40 PC Multimedia Speakers

The Good

Stylish mini-tallboy PC speaker with high-quality dual midrange drivers; easy access to volume, treble, and bass controls; headphone jack; provisions for optional iPod dock.

The Bad

May be too tall for some tastes; rear power switch and overly bright power light mar an otherwise slick design; no option to add subwoofer.

The Bottom Line

The Creative GigaWorks T40 is a good choice for those looking for larger than average size and sound in their PC speakers.

The GigaWorks T40 system consists of a pair of 12.5-inch tall desktop speakers. The rounded black plastic cabinets with glossy metallic gray baffles are hardly beauty-contest winners, but the design is tastefully done. The right speaker is easily distinguished from the left because it's the one with volume, bass, and treble controls. Better yet, instead of up/down buttons, the GigaWorks T40 has knobs, so it's easy to set the exact volume and tonal balance. And since the tone controls are conveniently placed, we frequently used them to fine-tune the sound when we changed between CDs and DVDs. The fronts of both speakers are canted back to project sound up toward the listener. On the top of each speaker you'll find a bass-enhancing "BasXPort."

The system comes with a 2-meter stereo audio cable with 3.5mm jacks and a stereo 3.5mm-to-RCA adapter that you could use to hook up a TV or DVD player to the GigaWorks T40. Plug the cable (or the adapter) into the jack on the rear of the right speaker, and run the cable to your PC--or anything else with a headphone or line-out jack.

Alternatively, you could plug that wire into an iPod, portable DVD player, or anything else with a headphone jack. The jack for the optional Creative Docking Station X-30 for iPods is on the rear of the right speaker. There's also a connector for the wire that goes to the left speaker and a connector for the separate DC power supply. The headphone jack is upfront, under the volume control. Unfortunately, the power switch is on the back. It's easy enough to toggle it by feel while reaching behind, but mounting it on the front would've been preferred. Another gripe: We found the right speaker's bright blue LED to be quite distracting, plus there's no way to dim it or turn it off. You may want to stick a small piece of electrical tape over it if it becomes more of a headache.

Creative says the GigaWorks T40's built-in amplifier delivers 14 watts per channel. The midrange drivers are 2.5 inches in diameter, while the tweeters are an inch wide. The speaker grilles are removable.

The GigaWorks T40 has no provision for attaching a subwoofer, but if you want the extra bass (and the resulting extra cables), there are plenty of 2.1 solutions on the market. On the other hand, if you like the look and feel of the T40s but find them too tall for your tastes, opt for Creative's smaller GigaWorks T20. That stereo speaker set is almost identical to the T40, but has one midrange driver instead of two and is quite a bit less expensive than the T40.

We put the GigaWorks T40 through its paces with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand CD and liked what we heard, especially the singers' voices. More than anything, it was the system's clarity that came through. Bass was good, but not that much weightier than what we heard from the tiny Bose Computer MusicMonitor speakers (which cost more than twice as much). Ah, but when we turned up the heat with The Rolling Stones, the GigaWorks T40 system pulled ahead of the smaller Bose speakers.

The differences in clarity were even more telling with DVDs. The Creative bettered the Bose when we played the Seabiscuit DVD. Dialogue sounded pretty good and the horse-racing scenes were more exciting over the GigaWorks T40. Listening from about 3 feet away, the stereo imaging was quite good, but the sound was dynamically constrained compared with what we would get from a budget home theater in a box. Whenever the onscreen action heated up, the GigaWorks T40 speakers struggled to get the sound out.

High-impact sounds from games such as Unreal Tournament 3 faired a bit better than DVDs, as long as we kept the volume under control--upping the volume made the speakers work too hard. You'll find the GigaWorks T40 system works best with music--we'd recommend it ideally for a small room or dorm.


Creative GigaWorks T40 PC Multimedia Speakers

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8Performance 7