Published on November 12th, 2015 | by Greg0
A Creative Duet: The E-MU XM7 Bookshelf Speakers
Earlier this week, we looked at an intriguing piece of audio gear- an all-in-one solution for your PC featuring Bluetooth wireless, high-end DAC (digital to analog) circuitry, and a solid amp. The Creative Sound Blaster X7 is much more than a soundcard, it’s a multi-purpose unit that even offers dual headphone jacks. But it’s made to utilize passive speakers, which are common among audiophiles but less common among gamers and enthusiasts.
Creative set out to change that as well, offering a pair of accessible bookshelf speakers custom-built and designed from the ground up to be paired with with the X7. Called the Creative E-MU XM7s, they’ll sit nicely on your desktop and play perfectly with your computer, whether you are listening to music, watching movies, or wandering the world of Fallout 4. We tried them with other systems, but they definitely shined best when connected to the X7- it even offers three separate custom presets for neutral/flat (which we preferred), energetic (the default), and a bass boost mode as well.
Removable grills allow you to check out the design of the drivers- a five-inch woofer and a one-inch silk dome tweeter, with 60 watts of total power per channel. Rear ported, you’ll want to leave some space behind these guys, and the only connectors are gold-plated binding posts for use with the included speaker cables. For the price, we expected a real wooden enclosure- and we got one, which offers resonance without unwanted extra vibrations. Bass isn’t booming, due to the lack of an external subwoofer, but you’ll rarely miss anything thanks to a fairly wide ranging frequency response. Stereo imaging is good, especially at close range for near-field listening. There are plenty of great passive speakers out there that we’ve seen, like those from Audioengine, but these acquit themselves nicely across a range of music styles. Crisp, accurate, but never overpowering, they handled rock and pop well, with plenty of warmth for acoustic music and just a little light on the low end during explosions.
Available in either a brown wood grain with metallic grey finish or a black wood grain finish (as tested), the E-MU X7s look and feel worth every bit of their price tag. Expect to spend around $270 online and in stores, and just prepare a bit of space and for a bit of heft (they weigh in at about five pounds each).