Apple have plenty of speaker sets for its iPod range, so why can't other MP3 players have speaker sets too? In steps the Creative TravelSound Zen V Speakers for, you guessed it, the Creative Zen V and Creative Zen V Plus.

The speakers themselves carry the black gloss coating found on the diminutive player and the MP3 player sits snugly in the middle surrounded by two speaker grills that in fact hide the unit's four Neo Titanium Microdrivers that according to Creative deliver "superior clarity and accurate detailed sound".

Once plugged in there are two ways of controlling the music - either via the Zen V Plus itself, although you won't be able to access the controls at the side of the unit, or via the included credit card sized remote control.

Buttons on the unit include the on/off button, an option to opt for the Wide Stereo Effect that increases your soundstage via some built-in technology, a mode button that allows you to switch between playing music or listing to the FM radio on the Zen V, and of course volume buttons.

Taking advantage of the Zen V's built-in FM radio, Creative has taken the unusual step - well for a speaker dock - and included an FM radio antenna to boost the signal for you. In practice, this means you can use the whole unit as a radio as well as listen to your own music.

Powered with either four AA batteries, which allow up to 25 hours of extended music playback, or with the bundled universal power adapter.

There is also a line-in socket at the back so you can use it with another device.

Verdict

With the unit limited to only those who own a Zen V or Zen V Plus, this isn't going to have the same mass appeal that an iPod speaker dock has, however if you're one of those Zen V or Zen V Plus owners this will give you great quality sound that is loud enough to fill a room, but not a party.

Great for the summer picnic - its small size and portability make it ideal on the move or in the bedroom, but it's no match for the bigger speaker systems designed for the living room.