eBay Purchase Price: $20.50 AUD
Country of Origin: Australia
Condition: New Old Stock
After scoring a brand new sound card for my 486 build, a Sound Blaster AWE 64 Gold, it crossed my mind as to the likelihood of finding a PC speaker set of similar vintage. After searching for a while on eBay, the chances looked rather slim. Then out of the blue, these new set of speakers came out of nowhere and fortunately I had won the auction. With the lack of thrift stores compared to North America, finding items such as these makes it all the more challenging.
These speakers are Creative’s SBS10 model from their Sound Blaster range dating back to the late 1990s. From an hour of looking for information on the internet, details of this model are few and far between. The next model up, the SBS20 was available bundled with the Sound Blaster 128 PCI sound card.
The SBS20 was similar in appearance though a more expensive option. With a dedicated AC power source, and separate controls for bass, treble, and balance, the SBS10 had none of that in comparison. Rated at 2.5 watt RMS, the speakers may be the same between the two given the similarities in design however.
While I wasn’t able to find an original retail price on these, I’d say these were priced around $20 AUD, given how cheap and plentiful generic passive speakers were coming out of China.
A single sheet of paper mostly filled with global technical support contact details, provides some rather “insightful” instructions on how to set these up.
I briefly tested these with a couple of songs from my iPhone. Cheap passive speakers for the time had a tendency to sound terribly tinny, fortunately these don’t though naturally there’s a lack of bass. Still for the aesthetics to match a beige 486 PC and the occasional DOS game, they will do nicely.