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Creative MegaWorks 250D-THX review: Creative MegaWorks 250D-THX

MSRP: $149.99

The Good Top-flight audio quality; digital-audio capability.

The Bad Imprecise wired remote-control button; extralarge subwoofer may hog too much floor space.

The Bottom Line If you're looking for a set of high-end speakers and want to keep wire clutter to a minimum, the Creative MegaWorks 250D-THX 2.1 set will neither disappoint nor break the bank.

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8.5 Overall

Creative MegaWorks 250D

With 150 watts in the subwoofer and 75 watts per speaker, the $135 Creative MegaWorks 250D-THX 2.1 speakers offer plenty of power, dwarfing competing 2.1 systems, such as Harman Kardon's SoundSticks II and Creative's own I-Trigue L3450 speakers. Better, since they've been around for a while, the price of the superior MegaWorks 250D-THX speakers has dropped beneath that of some of the more recent sets, making them a terrific bargain for anyone seeking top-quality, THX-certified, PC-audio output with minimum setup fuss.

The black, square-shaped MegaWorks 250D-THX speakers each feature a single 3.5-inch driver, while the massive subwoofer uses an 8-inch, down-firing throw driver and a laudable frequency response (25Hz to 20kHz) sure to rattle your floorboards. A wired remote and a set of standard minijack cables are included in the box, but the subwoofer also has a port for an S/PDIF digital-audio cable, should your sound source offer that kind of output.

We watched Chapter 27 of Matrix Revolutions with the subwoofer, the treble, and the master volumes at their highest levels, using the standard analog connection on our Apple Power Mac G4, and we were surprised to hear absolutely zero distortion. At a more reasonable listening level, the MegaWorks 250D-THX subwoofer still offered tons of throttle without jeopardizing the clarity of the dialogue or the score.

Gaming offered similar results: throw a grenade or fire a rifle in Call of Duty, and be prepared to field noise complaints from angry neighbors--the low-end experience is intense. Our musical test for the speakers, Wilco's "Hummingbird" (from a CD), also ended with a positive outcome. Less bright than the SoundSticks II, the MegaWorks 250D-THX maintain a very respectable high-end clarity, while the low end on the kick and the bass offers a thick and warm complement that is never muddy, though we did have to turn the subwoofer volume down to 50 percent to achieve a musical balance.

Despite their audio quality, the MegaWorks 250D-THX speakers are not without their flaws. The subwoofer-connected remote (which features a headphone jack, mute and power-standby options, and controls for the treble, the subwoofer, and the master volume) is armed with a jumpy, unreliable select button. Another facet of the MegaWorks 250Ds that may give you pause: the huge subwoofer. You won't get enormous low-end bump with a tiny box, but at 11.5 by 11.5 by 13.0 inches (HWD), there had better be plenty of room under your desk.

Minor complaints aside, the Creative MegaWorks 250D-THX speakers offer considerable power and clarity, outshining much of the similarly priced competition.

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