All About the Creative GigaWorks T20W Wireless Speakers
Okay, I think the Chief Gopher was trying to pull a fast one on me with these speakers. He told me they were Bluetooth speakers; so, being the trusting gopher I am, I tried to get them to link up with my laptop. You know what? They wouldn’t work. Can you believe that? Now, I realize that not everything that’s Bluetooth links up easily, but these; geez.
Oh, oops… guess what? They’re not Bluetooth. Creative has got its own proprietary wireless system that way outperforms Bluetooth, called X-Fi. These Creative GigaWorks speakers are designed to work with that.
Once I got through the little confusion about these not being Bluetooth speakers, things went okay with these wireless speakers. Yeah, they’re designed to work with a Sound Blaster Wireless Transmitter or Sound Blaster X-Fi Notebook ExpressCard 34. Plugging either one of those into my computer made these speakers come to life, like, right away.
That problem didn’t exist when I tried to mate these things up with my iPhone. Seems the folks at Mac have a little deal going on with the folks at Creative. So, the iPhone works with these babies.
The wireless link that Creative has come up with is said to work up to 100 feet away. I thought I’d check that out, so I sent Zack and Greg running off with the speakers and their cell phones. They played the “Can you hear me now” like the guy on the cell phone commercial, only it was “Can you hear them now.” Sure enough, we got 100 feet of range, as long as there weren’t any walls in the way. Each wall that the signal has to go through seems to rob about 10-15 feet of range, depending upon the construction of the wall.
Creative actually put both bass and treble control on the front of the speakers, along with the typical volume control. That’s not too common; in fact, for a 2.0 desktop speaker system, it’s almost unheard of. I’ve seen a lot of 2.1 systems, with bass control, but not too many with both bass and treble. Of course, Creative has been all about sound, ever since they came out with the first “Sound Blaster” audio card, oh these many years ago.
These aren’t the speakers you buy if you’re trying to wow your friends with style. They’re not bad looking, but they’re not all that fancy either. Nice, simple, black case, with the typical translucent cloth speaker grill.
Once I figured out what I was supposed to do, they were a snap. However, if you’ve got bad eyes as this old gopher does, don’t count on reading that little tiny print in the instructions. Since the Creative proprietary wireless system is specifically designed for audio, it really links up quickly. There’s none of that connectivity problem you normally have with Bluetooth products.
Hey, what do you expect? It’s Creative, you know. These people are all about sound, so yeah, their speakers sound great. Granted, it’s not going to compete with a 5.1 system, but for a desktop speaker system, you get some pretty good sound. The controls allow you to customize the sound for your ears, and the bass port helps it along the way.
Should you buy it?
I’ve got to say, I’m of two minds on this one. I like the sound of the speakers, but I don’t like having to buy the special adapter to use it wirelessly. That makes the whole package over $200. I guess I’m thinking that there are probably better deals out there for that much dough.
- The X-Fi connectivity gives you very clear sound
- On speaker controls for bass and treble
- Cost of buying the special transmitter