Creative ZiiSound D5x
The best wireless solution for the price; good-looking design with seamless control
No built in battery so no portability
The ZiiSound D5x is Creative’s flagship product from its line-up of wireless modular speaker systems. It’s a flexible system that will play audio from pretty much any Bluetooth- enabled device, including the iPhone and iPad.
Dave Bullard reviewed the ZiiSound D5 back in April, but the D5x differs in that up to two more D5x models and a DSx subwoofer ($179.95) can be connected wirelessly to form a multi-channel home audio system.
In terms of design it makes something of a statement. The ZiiSound Dx5 measures 42.5cm
x 11cm x 9cm, and is basically a rectangular design set at an angle to project the music into the room.
The body is covered in mesh fabric, while the end plates are metal. A central band houses the minimal touch controls for volume and ‘connect’. At the back is the port for the subwoofer, a dock for the wireless transmitter, a 3.5mm aux-in jack and the power button.
Creative designed and constructed the ZiiSound with sound quality in mind. The usual approach of constructing a set of speakers is to mount the speakers in a panel, then mount that panel
in a box. In this case, Creative manufactured that box and mounting panel as a single piece, into which the speakers can be set. This makes the construction much more solid and means there is less to detract from the audio quality.
The series also features the renowned apt-X audio technology for outstanding sound quality.
With the ZiiSound D5x you are supplied with a Bluetooth transmitter which connects to your Apple device. This then fires the music to the speakers, so you don’t have to keep your iPod physically ‘docked’. You can detach it, walk around the room and put it in your pocket.
The big plus side of the D5x’s transmitter approach is that you don’t need a remote – you just pick up your device. The transmitter slips into the housing at the back of the ZiiSound to hold the device in place.
Your device will be charged when it and its transmitter are placed in the ZiiSound. You also get a little backrest that you can change to accommodate the model of device that you have. This gives support for your music player so you don’t put too much strain on the physical connection between the transmitter and the player.
The D5x does a good job of projecting your music into the room, giving a wider sound stage than you might expect, and punchy bass gives depth to tracks where lesser iPod docks can be found lacking.
The sound quality is very impressive given the size of the ZiiSound D5x. There is a great deal of detail and the speakers maintain audio integrity at those higher volumes you may want for a party.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice
As an all-round package, I’m impressed with the Creative ZiiSound D5x. Many traditional iPod speakers lack quality or are dependent on a cheap remote for control. The D5x side-steps this problem neatly, making the connected iPod entirely wireless.
The use of the transmitter system could be fraught with problems, but it works nicely. The sound quality is great too, making this a perfect solution for those with small apartments or who want to connect more than one unit