Creative Inspire S2 Wireless review: Creative Inspire S2 Wireless

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The Good Integrated Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming; tiny satellite speakers sound bigger than they look; subwoofer is compact but delivers decent amount of bass; good connectivity options; Bluetooth dongle included for laptop and desktop PCs and Macs.

The Bad Some distortion at higher volumes; Bluetooth connection isn't very reliable; setup isn't totally wireless.

The Bottom Line Creative's diminutive Bluetooth PC speaker system delivers impressive sound for such a compact package.

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7.6 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 7

Over the years, we've seen a handful of Bluetooth speakers make their way into our office for testing, but the category has never taken off despite the appealing nature of wireless audio streaming.

Part of the problem is that Bluetooth speakers tend to cost more than your typical powered PC speakers do. Costing about $150, Creative's Inspire S2 Bluetooth speaker system isn't cheap but it is fairly affordable. It's also very small, especially for a 2.1 speaker package that includes a separate subwoofer.

As far as exact measurements go, the Inspire S2's cube-shaped sub is 9 inches tall by 8 inches wide by 7 inches deep and can be easily hidden under a desk. The sub is black; the tiny satellites are white with black cloth grille covers. They're so small you'll barely notice them sitting on a desk.

Despite the "wireless" name, the Inspire's small satellite speakers need to be wired to the subwoofer. (The headphone and input jack on the right speaker isn't visible in this photo.)

On the right speaker, you get a headphone and an auxiliary input for connecting other audio devices such as music phones or portable video players. There's also a power button and volume controls that double as the Bluetooth pairing buttons: you hold down the volume up button for a few seconds to put the speakers in pairing mode.

The Bluetooth moniker conjures up images of a totally wireless experience, but--like nearly all "cordless" experiences--there are plenty of wires here. The speaker cables--about 6 feet long each--are hard-wired into the two satellites and connect to dedicated ports on the sub, where you'll find a knob for controlling the bass levels. And, of course, you have the power cord running to the subwoofer.

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