Creative Inspire 5300 Speakers review


With every new soundcard line Creative launches, they also get ready a complimentary range of SoundWorks speakers to come along with them. In fact, with the Audigy introduction, it came the Inspire line of 2.1, 4.1 & 5.1 systems; later on the MegaWorks 2.1 & 5.1 systems were also released though targeted to the higher end market.

The Inspire 5300 speakers come as budget 5.1 system, essentially replacing the DTT 2200 much like the Inspire 5700's replace the DTT 3500 system. Retailing in most places for less than $90, maybe and this is exactly the kind of system you were looking for, read on...



Installation & Connectivity

Installing speakers is always a long enough process; what with taking everything out of the box, then taking each speaker out of the little box that it’s been packed into. Then you have to mount them onto their stands. Certainly it takes a lot longer than installing a new soundcard. Connectivity is provided via 3 stereo mini-jacks – 1 for Front left/right, 1 for Rear left/right & the last one for Centre/Subwoofer. After positioning the speakers and subwoofer I had to run the cables into the Subwoofer & connect the Subwoofer to the Soundcard. Finally I placed the “remote” volume control of sorts behind my Keyboard for easy access.

The only thing that felt missing from the package were stands to mount the Rear Speakers onto (All speakers use the same small mounting bar the Centre which has an optional mounting, though a wall mounting is supplied also). Seemingly the stands were omitted to keep the cost down to a minimum and are available separately at the Creative website. Rather than the old tripod mounting you’ve seen with the DTT2500 & other Creative systems the Inspire 5300 (& 5700) uses a monopole metal stand instead, supposedly as they provide far greater stability – though not having them I can’t really comment too much more on that.

Regarding soundcard connectivity, the Inspire 5300 provides 3 analog inputs only, as was already mentioned. This shouldn’t be of any problem for those with 4 channel only Soundcards, e.g. Hercules Gamesurround Fortissimo 2, though for other 6 Channel capable Soundcards the single Centre/Subwoofer input might require an adapter or 2, as would be the case with the Game Theater XP, whose rack features separate Centre & Subwoofer outputs and as such require a single mini-jack to dual RCA cable to connect from the Center & Subwoofer outputs of the rack (though it does provide 2 mini-jack outputs for Front left/right & Rear left/right channels).

Those of you using a SoundBlaster Live! 5.1, Audigy, Extigy, nForce (with motherboards that come with the add-on bracket with the Rear & Centre/Subwoofer analog outputs, e.g. Abit NV7-133R), Philips Acoustic Edge or Seismic Edge 5.1 soundcards do not need to worry about this though. Also, no mini-jack to dual RCA cables are required to get 6 Channel analog output with the system – This may well be the case with other 6 Channel analog capable Soundcards, though I’ve none others at my disposal (It shouldn’t be too hard to check this anyway) which would allow this.


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