Creative Inspire 2.1 Digital 2800
This model, unlike the one we have just described, is intended for three-channel audio cards (2.1), MP3 and CD players and other stereo sources. Still, the both systems have a lot in common. First of all, it refers to the identical acoustic enclosure design of the satellites and subwoofer. The subwoofer of this model has a digital input designed as a standard RCA connector (The word “Digital” in the name of this system refers to it). The acoustic enclosure of the subwoofer is identical for all three systems we review today: a massive wooden box with a phase inverter port, an LF speaker in its front side and an integrated amplifier (all models have no damping material inside). The digital input implies there should be a digital-to-analog converter: you can see it in the snapshot.
The electronic stuffing of this subwoofer is complemented
by a DAC module.
The wired remote control unit differs a little from the one in Inspire 6700. Its volume control is a small wheel, while the bass volume wheel is in the center. The remote control unit carries a power-on LED and a headphones jack.
The connectors panel is found at the back side of the subwoofer. It carries two line-in connectors, so you can attach two sound sources (the computer and an MP3 player, for example). Besides, don’t forget the digital input, enhancing the connecting capabilities of your system.
The panel carries the following connectors:
- External power supply connector;
- Two analog RCA-connectors (for the satellites);
- Two analog mini-jack inputs (for the sound card and a second sound source);
- Digital In connector;
- Composite remote control connector.
The amplifier of Inspire 2.1 is based on some unidentified components. They are marked as Creative CT1975-SAS, but as Creative itself doesn’t have semiconductor manufacturing facilities, they can be from any manufacturer (from Philips, for example). By the way, the components are designed in the same thin case with two vertical rows of connectors. The DAC is implemented as an independent card that carries the DAC itself (CT8930-SAS) and an operational amplifier. I can’t say anything about the technical parameters of the DAC as I couldn’t find any info about it.
The system performed well in aural tests: a detailed stereo-panorama and voice division. As for reproducing music tracks of different genres (pop, rock, jazz or classic), there are no distinctions in fact. So, the system is universal and suits for any music fan. Such instruments as saxophone or violins sound rather unnatural, while the cello frightens with its shriek sounds (at low frequencies, some instruments don’t sound at all, falling out of the frequency range). I found the power reserve rather insufficient (I wish the system could do more). The dynamic range is well-developed, though. The system is linear and is accurate about the accents of the pianoforte.
Now, to the audio-analyzer. Even visually the diagram of the gain-frequency characteristic of this system differs from the first one in misbalance along the entire frequency range. This must be caused by differences in the elemental base. By the way, the subwoofer of both Inspire systems is resonating. The resonance is perceptible at high volume levels when a special test track from IASCA Competition CD is sent to the amplifier. Overall, this system could be recommended for the owners of portable audio devices, if it were not for its price: strangely enough, this system costs just $4 less than the seven-channel system.
General gain-frequency characteristic of Creative Inspire 2.1 2800
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- Digital input;
- Two separate stereo inputs;
- Nice sound quality;
- Remote control unit with power-off button.
- Rather high price;
- No damping material inside the subwoofer;
- Great deviation of the gain-frequency characteristic.