While the Creative T12 speakers performed beautifully and are easy on the eyes, we found it difficult to come up with a convincing enough use-case for its much-touted Bluetooth playback feature. Sure, every now and then someone might pair a device and marvel at the wireless playback but at a price of Rs. 5,499 theyï¿½re certainly not cheap for what might ultimately become a wired desktop set.
The T12 are the sort of speakers that make you tilt your head and go “is the sound coming from that?”. The reason is their small size and incongruously loud output. They are Bluetooth enabled, meaning they can pair with devices such as tablets or mobile phones and play audio wirelessly. (They still require a power cable though)
Look and feel
In terms of looks the speaker set definitely seems like it belongs to the T series from Creative. Piano black all over and housing a single driver in the top half, they’re not at all bad to look at. Still design being a bit subjective, some may find them too simplistic. The top of the speaker tapers behind to become a trapezoid form with smooth edges. At the base you have four rubber feet that firmly anchor each speaker to the surface and dampen vibration too. The right speaker has the line-in and power inputs at the back, while on the front you have a volume dial, headphone jack, and Bluetooth button.
The biggest feature of this set of speakers is the ability to connect via Bluetooth and play music off a device. Other than that you have a headphone out on the speaker which will be pretty useful if you want to listen to your music in solitude without disturbing others.
We tested the performance of the speakers via both the aux input (from Audinst HUD MX1 AMP/DAC) and Bluetooth. All the samples we used were either 320 KB/s or lossless flac. The same tracks being played via Bluetooth showed a slight degradation in quality when examined very closely. This ties in with the fact that the maximum theoretical application throughput for Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) is around 262.5 KB/s.
[RELATED_ARTICLE]Considering its transmitter dependant, the apt-x codec (if at work) did little to improve quality. Still, there is a solution at hand. There are enhancements available for the speaker set that can push it to CD quality and make pairing simpler. These are the BT-D1 and BT-D5 Bluetooth transmitters which are sold separately and which we didn’t have. We did however have a Creative Ziio 7 inch tablet at the time of testing and since it’s part of the same ecosystem of devices expected a better sound, which it did deliver at the push of the X-Fi button on the tablet.
Continue reading about the T12 performance, our verdict, on the next page...
Much of our testing hence was restricted to the wired input. The speaker set performed better than expected. The sound is full and warm, while the backward firing resonator provides enough bass. The bass may not be tight or accurate but is enough for a 2.0 speaker set this size. Push it to the higher 20 per cent of the volume spectrum and the bass starts distorting. So does the mid range in fact, so it’s best to not raise it to the red zones. It’s interesting to note that the first 20 percent of the turn of the volume knob does nothing to the volume output while it jams in the final 20 percent - perhaps a small hint to the user.
[RELATED_ARTICLE]Our metal track Selkies played surprisingly well with decent instrument separation and so did Brutal Hearts by Bedouin Soundclash. The female vocals on the latter were also reproduced nicely. Therions O’fortuna proved a little too much for the tiny guys - it distorted a little, lost detail in parts and the high cymbals were drowned out in the orchestration. Overall the performance is quite good for a two-piece speaker system.
While the speakers performed beautifully and are easy on the eyes, we found it difficult to come up with a convincing enough use-case scenario for the Bluetooth playback feature. What is most likely to happen is that they will eventually be reduced to a wired desktop set, in which case why pay for the Bluetooth feature?
Sure every now and then a guest might pair a device and marvel at the wireless playback but at a price of Rs. 5,499 they’re certainly not cheap. The only way we see these speakers being used as a wireless unit is if you don’t have a fixed spot for your laptop. Or if you like to be able to quickly switch between sources, in which case the price will be justified.
Price: Rs. 5,499
Test Scores Log Sheet
|Model No||T 12|
|Output (RMS)||9 W per channel|
|Frequency response||20Hz ~ 20kHz|
|Dimensions||18 x 7.1 x 9.8cm|
|PERFORMANCE (So 10)|
|Pink Floyd - Money||5.5|
|Chris Rea - Call On Me||6|
|Therion - O fortuna||5|
|Motherjane - Mindstreet||6.5|
|Between the Buried and Me - Selkies||7|
|Dream Theater - Pull me under||6|
|Bedouin Soundclash - Brutal Hearts||7|
|Porcupine Tree - Buying New Soul||7|
|Dream Theater - Wait for Sleep||6|
|Santana feat Yo-Yo Ma - While My Guitar||7|
|Massive Attack - Angel||6|
|Overall build quality||7.5|
|Remote control (Wired / Wireless)||N|
|Verdicts (on 10)|