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Creative I-Trigue L3450 review: Creative I-Trigue L3450

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MSRP: $149.99

The Good Stylish, modern design; decent gaming output.

The Bad Lack of clarity with music and DVDs; expensive for speakers that aren't extraspecial.

The Bottom Line The Creative I-Trigue L3450's stylish looks and gaming prowess don't justify these speakers' mediocre performance with music and movies.

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6.5 Overall

Although you can find them gracing a CIA operative's desk in The Bourne Supremacy, the $130 Creative I-Trigue L3450 2.1 speakers would look more at home on the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The sleek and stylish chrome-on-white, 9-watt speakers come equipped with two 1-inch drivers that face the listener and one 3-inch driver on the outer side of each speaker, which is supposed to increase the sound stage. The 30-watt subwoofer sports a 6.5-inch long-throw driver and a vertically oriented casing that will fit comfortably under any desk.

Perhaps the handiest aspect of the I-Trigue L3450's design is the wired Audio Control Pod--a master control for the volume, the bass level, and the power that connects to the subwoofer and is small enough to sit next to your mousepad. The Pod also has a headphone jack, a 3.5mm (1/8-inch) stereo miniplug input, and a special USB-style M-Port that allows for easy connection to supporting Creative MP3 players, such as the Nomad MuVo NX.

Despite the I-Trigue L3450's respectable 30Hz-to-20KHz frequency response, the speakers suffer from clarity issues. On the Yeah Yeah Yeah's song "Maps," we heard no low-mid definition on the drums and bass, and the subwoofer was overly resonant. Adjusting the bass level on the subwoofer alleviated the boom in the sound but took away most of the desirable low end with it. The speakers never seemed crisp enough on the vocals or the lower-mid guitar solos, either, leaving us to wonder if the outward-facing low-mid drivers would be better off facing the listener, thereby delivering more-focused sound.

The I-Trigue L3450's fared better on scene 27 of the Spider-Man DVD, but while the punches and the thuds sounded nice and heavy, the dialogue never seemed crisp enough, and at their maximum level, the speakers had some minor distortion issues. The gaming department delivered the best output. With Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, the subwoofer sounded great, lending formidable rumble to explosions and a sweet resonance to the light saber whips.

Overall, the Creative I-Trigue L3450's performance was a slight disappointment. For both music and DVDs, the clarity was simply not up to snuff. If, however, sound fidelity is not your main concern, and you're looking for a user-friendly, attractive set of speakers, the L3450s are worth checking out.

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