iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Creative Inspire 2.1 Slim 2700 Active 2.1 Acoustic System Review

February 1, 2003

Not so long ago we dealt with the top model of the Creative's acoustic systems - MegaWorks 5.1 THX 550. The middle-level solutions are almost identical - the subwoofer is the same, it's only the number of satellites that changes.

We chose the Slim 2700 2.1 model for testing as it has a unique design of the satellites. According to the manufacturer, the slimness is achieved by using the flat dynamic loudspeakers, not by using the NXT technology as you may think.

Creative Slim 2700

Accessory pack

The Slim 2700 system ships in a colorful small package which contains:

  • two satellites; 
  • subwoofer; 
  • wired remote control; 
  • power supply unit; 
  • cable (minijack to minijack); 
  • user guide. 


The satellites have such an elegant look thanks to the protective grills. Take them off and you will see a miniature loudspeaker. The flat paper cone is only 5 cm in diameter. The flexible corrugation is made of impregnated fabric. Obviously, such speakers belong rather to the class of high-frequency dynamic loudspeakers than to the normal MF ones.

Satellite of the Creative Slim 2700 system

The satellites measure 10 x 20 x 6 cm. The cabinets are made of plastic 3 mm think. Inside the cabinets there is a bit of sound-absorbing material near the rear panel. The loudspeakers used in the satellites are magnetically shielded.

The satellites can be put on special detachable stands, which have rubber pads to prevent lacquered surfaces from scratches, or attached to the wall.

The satellites do not have any connectors on the back and the cable goes inside the cabinet. The cable is 2.5 m long and has an RCA connector on the end.

Remote Control

The remote control is not wireless here. Its design matches the style of the system. Here you can find a general volume control and a power switch with an indicator.

Wired Remote Control

In the box you can find two rubber pads with sticking surfaces on both sides so that you can fix the remote control on any smooth surface: a monitor, a desktop etc. A weak point of the remote control is a missing headphones-out. The cable connecting the remote control with the subwoofer, 2.5 m long, has a mini-DIN connector on its end.


The subwoofer is relatively small, its dimensions are 22x22x25 cm. It has the phase-inverter based acoustic scheme. The subwoofer's body is wooden. It has no filler inside. The phase-inverter's hole is output onto the side panel and the loadspeaker's cone to the front one. The paper cone is 12 cm in diameter. The flexible corrugation is made of foamed polymer.

Subwoofer's commutation panel

The following commutation elements are located on the back of the subwoofer:

  • power supply connector; 
  • 2 RCA outputs for speakers; 
  • wired remote control connector; 
  • analog-in; 
  • subwoofer's volume control. 

The amplifier is based on two chips: Creative's one and TDA 1554 from Philips Semiconductor.


We connected it with a supplied 3.5m cable; the signal was produced by the Terratec DMX 6fire sound card.

It's pleasant that this system produces no clicks when I connect or disconnect it.

Subjective tests

Undoubtedly, the Creative Slim 2700 system is meant for a computer corner or a work place. In general, it copes well with its functions.

The music plays decently in the background and doesn't tire ears. The satellites have a low level of distortions in the range of highs and upper mids. They are well noticeable in compositions with rich parts of cymbals and hi-tech. If you arrange the satellites the right way you can  make the stereo panorama good enough.

The satellites lack for normal mids. But the subwoofer helps it to a certain degree. As the subwoofer is not big and is designed to produce a relatively wide frequency range, it partially covers the mids. The volume level is enough for a work place, you won't need to turn the volume control by more than 50%.

The sound in movies and games generally corresponds to this acoustic class. You won't feel the floor trembling because of the bass or the extremely soft mids. At a relatively low volume level the speakers play fairly well.

Frequency responds and THD

Frequency response and THD of the satellite measured on the speaker's axis

Frequency response and THD of the satellite measured at the angle of 30 degrees

The diagrams demonstrate that the satellites have a pretty good directional diagram. The difference between the two measurements are minimal. The degree of how broken the line is and the level of distortions are acceptable for this class of acoustic systems.

Frequency response and THD of the subwoofer measured on the LF speaker's axis

The measurements show that the subwoofer does cover the mids up to 200 Hz. The distortion level which is not high means that the sound is more or less clear.

Frequency response and THD of the subwoofer measured in front of the phase-inverter's hole

The phase-inverter is designed for the frequency of 40 - 50 Hz which together with the LF speaker's range comes to the reproduced frequency range of 50 - 200 Hz.


By and large, the Creative Slim 2700 system makes a pleasant impression considering its pretty low price about $90. Although the flat panels on the satellites are made such just for show, the system demonstrates good sounding for its class.


  • original appearance; 
  • sound is good enough for its class; 
  • no clicks on turning on/off; 
  • relatively low price. 


  • no headphones out; 
  • the name of Slim does not represent the facts. 


Grigory Liadov (xgrigory@ixbt.com)

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