Creative ZiiSound Dx Series speakers hands-on
Building on the success of its D5 Bluetooth speaker, launched in 2010, Creative has introduced the updated ZiiSound Dx wireless speaker system and we were lucky enough to get a sneak preview.
The wireless modular speaker system comprises the ZiiSound D5x one-piece speaker, the ZiiSound D3x speaker and the ZiiSound DSx wireless subwoofer. The aim is to "challenge the traditional audio system" by offering a flexible sound system that will play off pretty much any Bluetooth-enabled device including the iPhone and Android and Blackberry handsets, as well as a wide range of tablets. Although the speakers are wireless, in that they don't have to be wired up to each other or to the music source, there is a still a power cable present.
All of the products feature apt-X Bluetooth technology for CD quality playback and you can choose the set-up that you want. For example, if cash is tight then you might opt for one of the two standalone speakers (the D5x and the D3x). If you want to add some extra bass, then you can invest in one of the DSx sub-woofers. If you want a 2.1 system, then simply add an extra D5x or D3x speaker and you can also set yourself up with a 3.1 system by adding one more. And if you really want to push the boat out, then you can invest in a second sub-woofer (the system will in fact supports up to four sub-woofers - that's a hell of a lot of bass).
The fact that the system is flexible means that you can have as several different speaker set-ups in various rooms around the house - you can just pick and mix whichever components are most suitable, so while a one-piece speaker might be ok for bedroom listening, you can kit yourself out with a 3.1 system for your living room.
Although the system will work with most Bluetooth products, Creative offers the BT-D5 Bluetooth trasmitter for iDevices, which is equipped with the same apt-X technology as the speakers and will also charge your iPod or iPhone during playback.
The new DX series has clearly taken its design cues from the D5 speaker - with the D5x looking pretty much identical to its predecessor. All of the components are very compact, so even if you opt for a full 3.2 system, they shouldn't take up too much room. There's aren't any controls on the speakers, so all the track changing is done directly from the iPod (or whatever you're using).
Although the speakers were already set up for our demo, we were assured that this is a very simple process, as once powered up, the base speaker will automatically search for other Bluetooth devices to hook up to.
The audio quality was certainly impressive, both on vocals and intrumental tracks. The sound was warm and clear, although it did sound as though a certain amount of clarity would be lost if you were to turn the volume up too high. The low-frequency response from the subwoofers was very strong and even made the windows rattle. Our first impressions of the new speaker series were good - but we'll get them in for a more in-depth review as soon as we can.
The ZiiSound D5x will hit the shops in June, priced at £279.99. The ZiiSound DSx sub-woofer will launch at the same time for £139.99, but you'll have to wait until August for the ZiiSound D3x, which will come with a price tag of £139.99.