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Customer Review

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely made and good-sounding wireless speakers, but some compromises, 30 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Creative T30 Wireless (2.0) Bluetooth NFC Speakers with High Quality AptX Audio, BasXPort Technology and Aux-in (Personal Computers)
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This is a smart pair of small powered speakers suitable for sitting both sides of a computer screen or in any small room. Construction quality feels great and I think they look good with a lovely black gloss finish on the front panels, though with no front cover they do shout "look at me, I'm a speaker" and lack any protection against dust or prying toddler fingers.

The right-hand speaker includes the amplifier and controls: you get bass, treble and volume controls, headphone out, and buttons for on/off and Bluetooth pairing. On the back is the connection to the left speaker and a 3.5mm stereo input. The unit comes with an adapter for twin RCA (also known as phono) inputs.

I am not a fan of metal tweeters on the whole so was pleased to see silk dome tweeters. The mid/bass units are described as "woven glass fibre" and look smart though small.

The special feature here is Bluetooth connectivity with NFC support. Bluetooth means you can play wirelessly from a smartphone, tablet or other device with Bluetooth audio support. There is support for A2DP and aptX, which means high quality audio is possible with the right device.

NFC (full name Bluetooth Secure Simple Pairing with NFC) means you can pair a compatible device simply by touching it to the NFC symbol on the top of the right-hand speaker.

I connected the speakers, powered up, and touched my Windows 8 phone against the symbol. It paired instantly, and I was able to tap a dialog and then play music; impressive. I also tried a Sony Xperia T Android smartphone with equally smooth and instant results. Note that recent Android devices tend to support NFC, but not Apple devices. To be clear, Apple devices work fine with these speakers over Bluetooth; it is just the "touch to pair" that does not work.

However, I did feel that in both cases the sound was noticeably better using a cable to connect. The Bluetooth option is decent, but if you want the best sound, use a wire. That said, if you can find a device with AptX support you might find wireless is much closer in quality.

Still, wireless with a range of up to 10 metres or so is a major convenience, and this is a great option for playing music or video on a mobile device without the fiddle of wires.

I would have liked a bit more gain on the volume control. Using the Xperia, for example, even at maximum volume over Bluetooth it was not as loud as it could be.

What happens if you play simultaneously wired and wireless? You get both mixed together. Not recommended!

I am a bit obsessive about sound quality so was interested to hear what the T30s can do. The answer is that they are pretty good. The sound is well balanced, the treble is sweet, and while lacking in bass extension, the top port does add a reasonable level of bass, though I cannot recommend them if great bass quality is important to you. Note that how you site the speakers also affects the bass extension; get them close to a wall to bump it up a bit.

I cannot find a power output specification for these speakers but they go quite loud, plenty enough for a desk or small room, though I found a bit of harshness when driven near the maximum volume and I would not want to listen to them for long at this level.

I compared these to my favourite computer speakers, the Audyssey Lower East Side Media Speakers. To be fair, the Audysseys are a bit more expensive and not wireless (though they do have a DAC). I have to say though, the Audysseys are a bit better; with a high quality source the Audysseys disappear for me and I only hear the music, with a bass depth and delicacy of sound that the T30s cannot match.

If you don't need wireless you might also be better off with the Creative Gigaworks T20 Series II Multimedia Speakers which look similar but lack Bluetooth, though I have not heard them.

I do rate the T30s as very good, and like having the tone controls and wireless capability.
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