Creative unveils Pure Wireless speaker system

Paul Hitchens Macworld Australia reader
3 June, 2011
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Creative has unveiled a new ‘Pure Wireless’ range of audio products including a modular speaker system, headphones and MP3 players.

At this week’s Sydney launch the company told Macworld Australia it had spent the past year working on a seamless way to challenge the traditional audio system model and bring pure wireless entertainment to everyone.

Included in the range are: the $69.95 ZEN Style M300 music, photo and video player, which is just 55 x 44 x 12mm in size and features a 1.45in TFT screen, microSD card slot and Bluetooth wireless connectivity; three Bluetooth-enabled headphones (the $79.95 WP-250, $129.95 WP-350, and $149.95 WP-450) with invisible mics for use with all smartphones; and the compact, $59.95 D80 Bluetooth speaker.

But the real star of the launch was the Ziisound Pure Wireless Modular Speaker System, comprising the D5x and D3x one-piece speakers, and the DSx wireless subwoofer.

The idea behind the new products is the flexible configuration of the range. You can start with one D3x or D5x, and then wirelessly add the DSx for more bass, or you can use two units for a wider soundstage.

The display at the Creative launch showed the ultimate Ziisound system – three D5xs carrying left, centre and right channels of sound, plus a subwoofer for more bass.

The clever concept allows multi configuration around the house, in multiple rooms with a simple design and multiple location deployment.

Last year Creative released the Ziisound D5, which got 4.5 mice and a Top Pick award in Macworld Australia’s April issue. During the launch it was compared side-by-side with the new D5x, with the same music files, and the new model showed noticeable improvement with a cleaner, clearer sound, particularly in the mid-ranges.

The D5x looks almost identical to the old model – a sleek, simple design black with side silver trimmings – but is a little wider.

It’s built around Bluetooth and Apt-X technology, and the completely reconfigured DSP in the unit can sense when other connections are present and uses an active crossover to direct frequencies to each speaker and the sub-sonics to the subwoofer.

With 24-bit resolution and compression, the time alignment between additional units is seamless. It all really sounds too good to be true.

The D3x and D5x are a good size to fit in a bedroom or on top of a fireplace – and the easy configuration of one to three units means it’s easy to stream music to multiple locations. If you move house you don’t need to buy a new speaker system.

An interesting point was made at the launch in regards to the positioning of the new range of Creative’s speaker systems – Creative has always been known as the desktop speaker system brand to pick and known for only the IT market.

A Creative spokesman acknowledged this, and said that the brand’s success was also its failure. Its traditional strong point has been selling high technology at low prices to the mass market.

Both the retail and IT channels have strengths and weakness for Creative products, the spokesman said, however Creative thinks everything in the world is merging.

Creative also said that it views Apple as a new channel in the market and that the return from Apple retail channels is huge.

The company said it was working on AirPlay functionality, but strongly believed it had made the right decision in choosing Bluetooth as its wireless technology.

Other brands in the market have brought out wireless systems, however the glitches are endless. Creative has out-done itself bringing flexibility and low cost while retaining an audio quality that would out-do systems five times the price.

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