The Rhythm Divine

By Team Digit Published Date
01 - May - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - May - 2005
The Rhythm Divine
Hot: "5.1". Not: "300 W PMPO"! Gone are the days when the typical home or personal sound setup consisted of a home-made Videocon or Philips mini stereo system. Also gone are the days when we were satisfied with the sound that those systems delivered. We want-in fact, demand-good speakers these days.

For a wholesome aural experience when listening to music, playing a DVD or screeching off the start line when playing NFS Underground2, you need a sound system that does not just drum out the beats, but enhances     the listening experience by putting you smack in the middle of the action!

The problem, of course, is that there's such a range out there-and they are all good-that apart from word of mouth, we have very little to go by when we decide to get a good speaker set. Hence this comparison.

Read on and find out which one of these aural delights will satisfy your craving for the ultimate audio experience!

A Nomenclature Primer
First off, what does '2.1' or '4.1' mean? This nomenclature denotes the number of satellites and subwoofers. So in a 4.1, you would have four satellite speakers and one subwoofer. Similarly, in a 5.1, you would have five satellites-three in front of you and two behind you-along with a subwoofer.

Two's Company (2.1)
Because the prices of 5.1 and 4.1 speaker sets are tumbling, irrespective of VAT, we decided to compare only the absolute top of the line 2.1 sets available. So we had the Creative Mega Works THX 250D, Harman/Kardon Soundsticks II, JBL Creature II, and of course, the Bose Companion 3.

The feature list here wasn't exactly exhaustive, with JBL and Harman/Kardon not even bothering to put in remotes. The Bose Companion 3 comes with a wired circular remote that lets you adjust the volume and also mute the output. The Creative remote had the most features, it let us control volume and bass, and also had a power button.

Compared to the Bose set, the build quality of the Creative speakers was just OK-nothing you would hang in an art gallery, but sturdy. The JBL Creature II speakers looked like something straight out of Independence Day, and were built with material that looked rather cheap, especially the chrome plating.

The Harman/Kardons were made of glass. The construction quality was really good, and we thought the speakers were neat!

Looks and build quality apart, what really matters, of course, is how these babies perform-so we put them through their paces one by one.

How We Tested 
Our test PC was an AMD Athlon 64 FX 53 with 1 GB of Corsair dual-channel DDR RAM. The sound card was a Creative Audigy 2 Platinum, and the hard disk, a 120 GB SATA.
We put the speakers through an exhaustive test process, including multiple music-specific tests, a Game Test, and of course, a Movie Test.
The Game Test consisted of running the d3_c17_12 demo-a benchmark-with all the audio settings set to maximum quality. For the DVD Movie Test, we used the Fast and Furious clip from our DTS sampler.
The DTS sampler disk is a widely-used disk for demonstrating home theatre system capabilities. It contains very high-quality songs and movie clips in 5.1 surround sound format.
On the music front, the process was divided into CD Audio, MP3 and DVD Audio. The CD and MP3 tests were further divided into English and Hindi, which were then divided into instrumental tracks and vocal-specific tracks.
The DVD audio was rated on bass, treble, and vocal reproduction based on a DTS sampler disk. The songs we used were Eric Clapton's Broken Hearted and Sheila Nicholas's Faith.

For the English Audio CD Test, the vocal-specific track we used was I'm Ready by Bryan Adams; this was chosen because there is very little electronic equipment used in the song, and was performed live. The instrumental track we used was Sadness I by Enigma, because of the variety of instruments the song uses.
In the Hindi Audio CD test, we used a rendition by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi for the vocals, and Pandit Ravi Shankar's Sitar recital for the instrumental test.
In the MP3 test, the tests were performed just as above, with Dido's Don't Leave Home being used for the English vocals and Sadness I by Enigma for the instrumental music test.
In the Hindi Music test, we used the song Mitwa from Lagaan, and Strings' Anjaane Kyon for the vocals and instrumental tests respectively. All MP3 files were encoded at 192 Kbps.
Apart from these, we also tested the speakers by playing specific frequency files, from as low a range as 30 Hz all the  way to 15 KHz.
We then specifically tested the bass and treble strengths of the audio systems at various volume levels using THX-certified bass and treble files.

Let The Tests Begin!

We started with our bass and treble tests, where the king and emperor was the Bose set-you really need to hear them to believe it. The speakers are downright tiny, but the depth and punch of the bass simply blew us away! No matter what file or what frequency we threw at it, the speakers just stood there smugly and played it with absolute perfection! There wasn't even a hint of distortion at even the highest volumes, a feat that even our high-end 5.1 systems could not manage.

The Harman/Kardon (H/K) set did the worst in these tests, and due to their peculiar design, the bass started sounding a bit raspy if we increased the volume beyond 50 per cent. The only other speaker that did commendably well here was the Creative Megaworks THX. It could produce clean distortion-free bass at nearly 80 per cent of the volume level.

We then ran our Half-Life 2 game test and yet again, the Bose came out tops with absolutely unbelievable clarity. We could hear every bombshell exploding, and each bullet being fired-but what really set this speaker system apart was another unmatched feat: despite all the chaos that was happening, we could distinctly hear everything that was being spoken in the game. Each and every syllable!

The JBL and H/K tied for second spot, and the Creative did rather badly-we heard a lot of in-game distortion, and most dialogues were lost. As expected, the Bose beat the rest comfortably in the movie test, and The Fast and the Furious came alive with the car chases, gun       shots and what not!

This time, the JBL marginally edged out the others for second spot, with the Creative third and the H/K a distant fourth.

We couldn't wait to get to our music tests. We were in for a shock, though-the Bose refused to live up to our expectations, especially in the Audio CD instrumental track. Sure, it was still one of the best speakers, but at high volumes, the sound was getting a bit too tinny for our tastes, and for the first time, we felt the satellites weren't complementing the wonderful subwoofer (Acoustimass, as Bose calls it).

The Creative and the Bose tied for top spot here, with JBL second and the H/K a distant third.

In the vocals test, however, both Hindi and English, using the audio CD, MP3s or the DVD, the clarity of the Bose was unmatched, and it decimated the opposition with ease. JBL came in second and Creative third, while the H/K brought up the rear.

And The Winner Is…
This was quite simply a fight for second place. The Bose was the outright winner, with the JBL Creature II coming in second.

If you are a performance junkie or an audiophile, and if money is no object, you can't do any better than the Bose.

But, for those on budgets who want excellent value for money, and don't really care if their speakers look like they're manufactured on Venus, buy the JBL Creature II. The set costs Rs 6500-just about a third of the price       of the Bose.

Jargon Buster 
Root Mean Square (RMS): The sustained power in watts that an amplifier can output at any given time.
Peak Music Power Output (PMPO): The maximum power that an amplifier can output over a short period of time.
Frequency Response: The range of frequencies that the device is set to operate within.
Dolby Digital 5.1 (Dolby AC-3): Developed by Dolby, this system has five discrete sound channels in addition to Low Frequency Effects (LFE) that are directed to the subwoofer.
Dolby Pro Logic: An older standard, this packs in information for a centre and surround channel in the regular stereo channel. Essentially, there are no discrete left and right channels for the rear or surround speakers.
Dolby Pro Logic II: Audio encoded with Pro Logic II carries five channels of sound in a traditional two-channel stereo audio signal, which is then decoded back to five speakers using a Dolby Surround Pro Logic II decoder. This technology can be used on any console that does not support Dolby Digital 5.1. The advantages of using it in game applications include minimal latency, full frequency range, compatibility with existing cables, and backwards compatibility with mono, stereo and legacy Dolby Surround Pro Logic equipment.
DTS: Short for Digital Theatre Systems, this is a standard invented by Steven Speilberg, and made its debut in Jurassic Park. It uses a sampling frequency of 96 KHz with 24 bits allocated to each of the six channels. Collector's edition DVD movies normally feature two soundtracks featuring both Dolby 5.1, and DTS.
Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES: These are comparatively new standards that add an additional channel-the rear centre channel-and is implemented in 6.1 speakers. Both standards implement the rear channel in a similar way. For Dolby Digital EX, a special Dolby Pro Logic decoder is added to the surround channels, creating a rear centre channel. This decoding method first came to light with the theatrical release of Star Wars Episode 1. For DTS ES, an additional rear centre channel is supplemented to the two surround channels.
Dolby Pro Logic IIx: This is a spanking- new technology developed by Dolby Laboratories and is the first and only technology to process native stereo or 5.1 signals into 6.1 or 7.1 channel output. Different modes such as Movie, Music and Game are available with this technology, with the Music mode featuring additional user controls such as Dolby centre width, Dolby panorama, and Dolby dimension.
THX: This is an abbreviation for 'Tomlinson Holman's eXperiment'. It's not a surround sound standard, but a seal of approval that is granted to audio equipment and theatres that meet its standards. This standard is further divided into THX Select (for installations up to 2000 cubic feet) and THX Ultra (for between 2000 ands 3000 cubic feet).
S/PDIF: Sony/Philips Digital Interface;   a standard audio file transfer format. Developed jointly by Sony and Philips corporations, S/PDIF allows the transfer of digital audio signals from one device to another without having to be converted first to an analogue      format. Maintaining the viability of a digital signal prevents the quality of the signal from degrading when it is converted to analogue.

Quadraphonic Sound (4.1)

This category is for people who want surround sound, which is, of course, not possible with a 2.1 system. The products we tested here were again the premium sets from Altec Lansing-the 641 and the AVS 500B-and the Creative Inspire 4400, as well as the Cyber Acoustic CA4100.

Straight out of the box, the speakers were beginning to look impressive, until we took out the Altec Lansing AVS 500B. This set was so unbearably bad-looking that we wanted to drop it-from the test, that is! The build quality was just abysmal-the rear     of the woofer looks like it is made of plywood!

How Speakers Work 
To understand how speakers work, you need to first understand how sound works. At the very basic level, an object produces sound by vibrating the air particles around it. These in turn vibrate those next to them, and so on, until the sound reaches you.
The speaker translates electrical signals into sound by creating the requisite vibrations. Depending on the accuracy of the vibrations that are produced, we classify the speakers as good or bad!
The sound from a speaker is produced using one or more drivers. The driver produces sound by vibrating a diaphragm.
The diaphragm, which is conical in shape, can be made up of plastic, metal, and even paper! In fact, you can make basic (but bad-sounding) speakers from everyday chart paper!
The narrow end of the diaphragm is then connected to something called the voice coil. This coil is then placed in the magnetic field of a permanent magnet.
When you pass a current through this coil, it turns into an electric magnet, and will have the properties of a regular magnet-but unlike a regular magnet, on reversing the flow of current, the polarity of the magnet changes.
Now when we alternate the current flow in the coil, it keeps changing the magnetic forces between the coil and the permanent magnet. This moves the coil back and forth-due to attraction and repulsion-and moves the diaphragm along with it.
This movement of the speaker cone vibrates the air around it leading to sound production. 

The speaker didn't perform any better than it looked either, and this was a shocker, as Altec Lansing is generally known for high-quality products. The other Altec Lansing, the 641, however, looked as sturdy as a tank.

The Creative speakers also had decent build quality, and the Cyber Acoustic set was just plain ordinary. But the Altec Lansing 641 was simply in a league of its own!

In terms of features, none of these had Digital Input, SPDIF or coaxial inputs. Only the Creative and the Altec Lansing 641 came with remotes-both wired. The Altec Lansing 641 remote was the most comprehensive, with controls for surround, treble, bass and volume. The Creative only offered bass and volume.

Sounding Them Out!
As always, we started out with our bass and treble power tests. The Altec Lansing 641 aced them. Housing dual drivers in its massive woofer case, this speaker set decimated the opposition. It has a massive 109-watt subwoofer, as compared to the meagre 14-watt and 17-watt ones of the Altec Lansing AVS 500B, the Creative Inspire 4400, and the Cyber Acoustic CA4100.

The Altec Lansing 641 topped all our bass and treble tests, followed by the Creative Inspire, with the Altec Lansing AVS 500B coming in third and the Cyber Acoustics last.

In our DVD audio tests, the Altec Lansing 641 was again in a league of its own, scoring nearly twice as much as the nearest competitor, the Creative Inspire 4400.

The Cyber Acoustic comfortably beat the AVS500B in all DVD audio tests except for the vocals, where Eric Clapton sounded flat and hollow. This trend was replicated in all our music tests. The 641 was miles ahead, and left the Creative Inspire 4400 with the title 'best of the rest'.

The speaker that shone somewhat here was the Cyber Acoustic CA4100. It managed to equal or beat the Altec Lansing AVS 500B in every music test. The voice clarity of the Altec Lansing 641 was simply outstanding, with every tremor in Dido's voice being reproduced with aplomb.

What we really liked about the Altec Lansing 641 was that even at high volumes, the speaker never sounded like it was going beyond its capabilities. To be fair, though, it did succumb at the maximum volume level.

We then popped in our DTS sampler disk and ran our movie test. With the 641, we could hear every groan and creak of the cars, every tyre squeal and every rev of the engine as they raced along the massive truck. The Creative, with its good bass reproduction and clarity sounded good too, but was no match for the Altec Lansing 641.

The Winner Is…
Despite significant weightage being given to price, we still had to concede that the Altec Lansing 641 was the clear winner. It has excellent bass reproduction and extremely good treble. The clarity is unmatched in this class, and if you have the dough, this is the way to go! The dark horse here was the Cyber Acoustic CA4100.

Compared to the 641, it was quite simply outclassed, but you must also remember that for the price of the 641, you can get a really good 5.1! So to be fair to the Cyber Acoustic, it did a very commendable job for the right price, to come in second.

The Creative, on the other hand, paled in comparison to the Altec Lansing, and was also quite clearly beaten by the Cyber Acoustic in terms of price versus performance. But it is still a fairly good buy at Rs 3,290-especially when compared to the 641's price tag of Rs 20,000!
The Real Thing: 5.1
If you are positively appalled at the notion of pseudo-surround at 4.1, and will settle for nothing but the real thing, then 5.1 systems are for you! We sounded out a whopping 20 systems in this category.

Out Of The Box
This was the category where we expected to see speakers crammed with features and to be of top- notch quality, both in terms of build quality as well as sound reproduction, and most manufacturers did come through.

Almost all the speakers lacked multiple input types, and mostly came with the regular 5.1 input along with auxiliary and stereo inputs. Very few had digital inputs, whether optical or coaxial, except for the Altec Lansing BS 3151R, which had a digital DIN. None of the speakers had S/PDIF input.

Almost all these speakers came with a remote control, either wired or wireless; the exceptions were the Altec Lansing 251, Jazz and Mercury. None of the speakers came with an inbuilt FM tuner, either; again, this could have been a useful addition.

Creative 6.1 6600 
The lone ranger in the 6.1 category, the speaker has a very decent set of features, though we do wish it had a few more controls on the remote, akin to the Logitech Z5300, which lets you control everything you can think of!
The setup was fairly straight-forward (you start feeling that way after installing and un-installing 25 odd speaker systems!). The bass was trademark creative-the thumping of bomb explosions will have you running for cover. In fact, the bass is so powerful that it made CDs and other assorted items lying on our desks vibrate! The overall audio experience of these speakers was extremely impressive, though not quite exceptional.
The movie surround experience and sound clarity was really good, and when watching a clip where glass shatters, we could make out where every little piece of shattered glass fell.
In the music department, these speakers gave us really good results so long as there were only a few instruments and a little electronic mixing, but once we started running the Enigma songs, we found these speakers to be slightly low in clarity and individual sound reproduction. Also, the speakers had trouble reproducing the lower frequencies. The low frequency reproduction was better at lower volumes, but then you want your music loud, don't you?
We don't mean to imply that these speakers are bad, but we are saying that they could have been better. Then again, for just Rs 7,500, they are a steal for those who want a budgeted 6.1 audio experience.

The process of setting up the speakers was more or less identical with all the brands, except for the Logitech and Philips speakers, which used coulour-coded wires making installation even easier.

The other type of speakers, in terms of setup, came with raw wires and clamps-no plugs, nothing. You need to open the clamp, and put in the wires with care so that the clamp and connector is actually touching the metal inside and not the wire insulation.

But actually, wires of this type are better than the ones provided by Philips or Logitech, since the sound quality of speakers is very much dependent on the wires (they carry the sound, remember?). It can sometimes make sense to go for a higher quality wire than the one provided, and thus enhance the listening experience.

An additional benefit is that if you need to extend the wire or replace a broken one, it is far easier to do it with this kind of wire.

The weirdest systems to set up were the Mercury systems. On connecting and calibrating the systems, we realised that the colour coding at the back of the subwoofer was mixed up, so we spent some agonising minutes trying to figure out which wire went where-a wholly unnecessary excercise, since colour coding is supposed to make the task easier!

We got very varied designs in terms of speakers. The snazziest looking were the Artis S7100. These tall, slim speakers with glass bases are what you put in your house if you are looking for elegance and class.

The Creatives looked rather plain in comparison to most of the others, and continued to carry their usual design. The Logitech Z5300 looked to be on track with Logitech's design ideology: make it look sleek, futuristic and sexy as hell!

On opening the Artis X10 box, we were greeted with some really sturdy and top-quality speakers. We were really impressed with the quality metal stands and the woofer. The design, however, seemed to be inspired by Bose.

An interesting entry was the Jazz mini home theatre. This is a tiny system. It isn't fair to compare this system with the biggies we had, but even by itself, the sound quality was pretty poor, and got extremely tinny even at mid-volume levels. We didn't have any great expectations from the extremely small bass unit, and as it turned out, it produced less bass than the satellites did!

Another really jazzy looking system was the Soomoku 5.1. The satellites and the woofer were made of shining brown wood, but the woofer had a rather cheap- looking pseudo-metallic finish. The woofer had a nice LCD for various operations, but made the entire system look a little too loud.

We also had a set of Hyundai speakers. One look at these and we knew that Hyundai kept compactness only to the Santro (Xing or otherwise). Put together, these huge speakers could probably measure up to a Hyundai Santro!

Put Your Money Where The Sound Is!
The test process used for the 5.1 systems was exactly the same as for the previous systems. As usual, we started with our bass tests, and plugged in the Creative 5.1 system first.

This was the single most devastating thing we could have done for the other speakers, because there was simply no match for the depth and punch of the Creative 5.1 MegaWorks.

The second in this category was the Philips A 3.610, followed closely by the Artis X10. The main reason that the Artis X10 lost out was that at high volumes-beyond 90 per cent-there was extreme distortion    in the bass.

The Creative Inspire 5200 came in a commendable fourth, considering it costs just a third of the abovementioned speakers.

These results were, however, not entirely replicated in our individual frequency tests. The Artis X10 edged out everybody else in the 30 Hz test, with the Philips A3.610 a close second, followed by the Creative MegaWorks.

In the 50 Hz test, Philips was head and shoulders above the rest, with the MegaWorks coming in second, followed by the X10. It kept rotating back and forth between these speakers for the remaining frequencies, but the fight was mostly between the Artis X10 and the Creative Megaworks 5.1 THX.

We then popped in our DTS sampler disk and heard Eric Clapton and Sheila Nicholas crooning their hearts out.

The Altec Lansing BS3151R thrashed almost all the other speakers comfortably, and beat everyone to the top slot. The sound from this speaker set was extremely impressive considering the size and price.

The Philips 3.610 tied for the second slot with the Creative MegaWorks 5.1.

Both provided excellent blend of bass depth and vocals. At no time did we feel that the bass was overpowering the satellite sound or that the bass was too timid.

In the case of the MegaWorks, it seemed that the bass had just no limits! It went on without too much trouble at higher and higher volumes, and the Philips 3.610 pretty much kept up all the way, until both the speakers' satellites began to crackle slightly.

The third place was jointly held by the Creative PC works LX520 and the Soomoku 5.1.

We found that at higher volumes, the Soomoku's bass tended to be slightly weak, whereas in the Creative PC Works, the bass gave up when the volume was turned all the way up. The loser here, and by a fairly large margin, was the Artis X10. It was comprehensively beaten by all the above speakers, as well as by the Creative Inspire 5200.
The rear in this test was brought up by-apart from the Jazz mini home theatre-the Mercury HT 5800, which came very close to the performance of Artis S7100-the slim, elegant and expensive-looking speakers. "Never judge a book by its cover" never sounded truer!

In our audio CD tests, however, the Artis X10 fought back-and with gusto! It comfortably beat all the other speakers or tied with them for the first spot, except for in the Hindi Instrumental Audio CD test, where, surprisingly, it lost out in a big way to the Hyundai, Altec Lansing BS3151R and Creative Inspire 5200. As a matter of fact, it came in fourth, after the second-placed Creative MegaWorks and Soomoku 5.1 systems.

We then came to our DVD movie test. This was the first test where we were going to hear the sound in real 5.1 surround, so we fell over each other to get the best seats

Here, the Artis X10 was not alone at the top spot; the Creative Inspire 5200 tied with it and marginally beat the Creative 5.1 MegaWorks. The Philips A3.610 was slightly disappointing in this test. We found significant distortion at even mid- volume levels.

We were really taken aback by the sheer clarity of sound reproduction done by the X10. In the clip, there is a scene where a guy puts his helmet on the car-boot, while the car is motion and is surrounded by four other cars and a truck.

In all the other speakers,    the thud of the helmet was mostly lost in the chaos of sound all around, but not in the X10: it was faithfully and distinctly reproduced, without compromising on the bass punch we were getting from  the revving truck engine. Really great stuff!

The Typhoon 5.1 Amplified System Pro was outstanding in this particular test, and stood a proud third. Soomoku did quite well and stood fourth, but started to sound a bit too harsh in the scene where the car glass shatters.

The sound of broken glass falling on the ground wasn't reproduced with much clarity, either. The speaker that really lost in this roundwas the Creative PC Works LX520. There was so much distortion in this system that the only aspect of the scene it demonstrated was confusion and chaos!

The Altec Lansing BS 3151R's performance was just about average when compared to the other speakers. The slim Artis S7100 performed terribly. There was a huge amount of distortion, even at a volume level of less than half!

We now come to the last and final performance test-the Half-Life 2 demo run.

The minute the demo starts, there is some music, and that in itself is a pretty good indicator of how good or bad the speaker will perform here. The minute we plugged in the Creative MegaWorks, we knew we were in for a treat.

The thump of the sound made everyone around sit up and take notice. The speakers gave an excellent performance, and reproduced even the faintest sound in detail. The bomb explosions and the gunshots, the sound of the gun reloading… it was all so realistic, and it was all we could do to not look around us!

There was, however, a strange distorted sound during a specific part of the demo-it was very faint but noticeably there. Turning up the volume made it really clear, and that's where it lost out on in this test.

Once we unplugged the MegaWorks, we knew it for sure that we would not be getting a better performer in this test. We were wrong.

The minute we plugged in the Artis X10, the controlled bass and excellent treble reproduction indicated that we had to eat our words, and boy, did we feel happy about it!

We fired up the demo, and the sound was in every way comparable to the MegaWorks. What we were looking for was if it would get distorted at higher volumes, as was the case with the Creative MegaWorks.

The demo began, and we were highly impressed with the clarity of this system. The resemblance to the Bose was not just limited to design! This baby could perform and beat the best systems out there!

We turned the volume all the way up, and unfortunately were greeted with disappointing distortion. However,  the distortion began  at  a marginally higher level than the Creative one, and hence it edged aside the MegaWorks model to take the top spot.

Once again, the Soomoku surprised us with its performance and stood   a gallant third this time, beating its competitor-Creative Inspire 5200 by a hairsbreadth!

 The other speaker system in this category that performed commendably was the Logitech Z5300 speaker. However, this system came with a rather weak woofer. There was no way it could match the bass of the Creative MegaWorks and the Artis X10.

The two Mercury speakers-the HT5800R and the HT6200 performed poorly. Apart from that, both the speakers systems had extremely flat sounds.

As a matter of fact, the sound was so terrible that it almost negated the spacing effect, which is supposed to be created by a 5.1 system.

It came as a surprise to us, when the Philips A3.610 speaker lost out in this test, and it was quite comfortably bettered by the huge Hyundai 5.1  speaker system.

Download The PDF File of Speakers

The Speaker Superstar
The winner, although only by a slight margin, was the Artis X10, followed very closely by the Creative 5.1 MegaWorks 550 THX. Moreover, not only is the Artis X10 a slightly better performer, it is also Rs 3,000 cheaper than the Creative 5.1 MegaWorks 550 THX model.

The Artis X10 might not have led in each and every department, but was the most consistent performer, and so gets the Digit 'Best Buy Gold' award.

The 5.1 Creative MegaWorks 550 THX performed as brilliantly as ever, but eventually lost out due to its rather high price, and slight lack of clarity.

Apart from these two,an extremely worthy candidate that you could look at for  a budget buy is the Creative Inspire 5200 or the Soomoku 5.1 home theatre.

In fact, both speakers were neck-to-neck in terms of performance. While the Soomoku had slightly more features, the Creative Inspire 5200 was significantly cheaper.

Team DigitTeam Digit

All of us are better than one of us.