Acquired Electronics360

Consumer Peripherals

Creative Inspire T3100 Computer Speakers Teardown

04 December 2008
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Technology Teardown Services.

Overview / Main Features

The Creative Inspire T3100 is a 3-piece (2.1) , powered satellite speaker system for use with PCs, but could also be used with PMPs, and gaming consoles.

Creative Inspire T3100 Computer Speakers Main ImageCreative Inspire T3100 Computer Speakers Main Image

Target Market

Mainstream consumers - PC users such as gamers or those using PC as home entertainment system looking for better quality audio, as well as those using their MP3 players / iPods as the core of their sound system.


No press releases were found on this product, but it appears to have been on the market since around Q2 2008.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing - This system retails for $49.99 at the time of writing (November 2008).

Availability - assumed to be worldwide.

Volume Estimations

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an 'order of magnitude' lifetime production volume assumption of 3M units over a period of 3 to 4 years.

As a reminder, teardown volume production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed, volumes increment by an order of magnitude. Minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis.

Main Cost Drivers Representing ~53% of total materials cost

AC Adaptor - Wall Mount, 230V 50Hz AC In, 12V 2.9A AC Out, w/ BS1263 (UK) Plug, 1.8mm Cable & 2.0mm DC Plug

Loudspeaker - Subwoofer, 5-1/4', Ceramic Magnet, Paper Cone, Foam Surround, 1' Voice Coil, 4 Ohms

Enclosure - 1/4' & 3/8' MDF, Vinyl Covered, 6 Sides, w/ Internal Bracing

Loudspeaker - Full Range, 40mm, Ceramic Magnet, Paper Cone, Treated Cloth Surround, 1/2' Voice Coil, 4 Ohms, w/ Bucking Magnet & Shielding Cup

Loudspeaker - Full Range, 40mm, Ceramic Magnet, Paper Cone, Treated Cloth Surround, 1/2' Voice Coil, 4 Ohms, w/ Bucking Magnet & Shielding Cup

Box - Cardboard, Full-Color, 12' x 12' x 11'

ST Microelectronics - TDA7378 - Amplifier - Audio Power, Quad, 4x6W

Loudspeaker - Tweeter, 1' Mylar Dome, Ceramic Magnet, 1/2' Voice Coil, 4 Ohms, w/ Bucking Magnet, on Plastic Mounting Frame, w/ Ferrofluid

Loudspeaker - Tweeter, 1' Mylar Dome, Ceramic Magnet, 1/2' Voice Coil, 4 Ohms, w/ Bucking Magnet, on Plastic Mounting Frame, w/ Ferrofluid

Heatsink - Stamped / Formed Aluminum

Cable Assembly - 9-Conductor, Shielded, 9-Pin Mini-Din to Bare Ends

Materials and Manufacturing $27.37

Creative Inspire T3100 Computer Speakers Cost AnalysisCreative Inspire T3100 Computer Speakers Cost Analysis

What Is Not Included in our Cost Analysis

The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing with basic test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself - cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM's margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

Manufacturing Notes

OEM/ODM/EMS Relationships / Manufacturing

In the world of speaker cabinets and speaker systems such as this, there are many specialized manufacturers and ODM-type companies that also build their own designs for private labelers, primarily based in China. We do not know if this system was designed by the OEM (Creative) and simply outsourced as a completed design to such a manufacturer, however we are, for the purposes of this analysis, assuming that the system is completely outsourced to a 3rd party manufacturing the systems for the OEM.

Country of Origin / Volume Assumptions

This system was made in China (per product markings), as one would expect most such systems (which are primarily hand-assembled and feature primarily low tech components and assembly methods as well as disproportionate plastics content) to be made in China that compete with this system.

Country of origin assumptions related directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of 'finished' sub-assemblies (such as WLAN modules or Bluetooth modules), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.

Labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. "Auto inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pin-count of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design for Manufacturing / Device Complexity

This system has a total of 265 components (excluding box contents), of which 138 are mechanical components. The electronic components used in this system are a mix of thru-hole technology and some SMT components. Such PCBs are very similar to power supply assemblies.

Component counts have a direct bearing on the overall manufacturing cycle times and costs, and also can increase or decrease overall yields and re-work. Our calculations of manufacturing costs factor counts and more qualitative complexities in the design. The cost of manufacturing is also, to some extent, decreased in this case because of assumed labor rate applied for China.

Note that manual labor has a much smaller effect on auto-insertion assembly lines (for the Main PCB, for example), where manufacturing costs are much more capital equipment intensive and driven by these investment costs.

Design Notes

Here are the major components for the Creative T3100 Speaker design:

Electronic Components


  • ST Microelectronics - TDA7378 - Audio Power, Quad, 4x6W


Creative Inspire T3100 Computer Speakers - Box ContentsCreative Inspire T3100 Computer Speakers - Box Contents

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