Getting Creative with sound

A name synonymous with personal computers and sound is Creative Technology, the Singapore-based company founded in 1981 that helped kick-start the era of digital multimedia with its Sound Blaster sound cards.

More recently, Creative has become well known for its range of portable digital audio players under the Zen brand. Today, Creative is driving its business globally in MP3 players, portable media centres, multimedia speakers and headphones, digital and web cameras, graphics solutions, music keyboards and PC peripherals.

A few weeks ago, Creative approached me to ask if I’d be willing to review some of its products. As regular readers of this blog will know, I often review products and services, mostly those I buy myself, but also those that manufacturers or PR agencies care to send me or give me free access to.

What Creative proposed was to send me some of their products to spend some time with, get a feel for them, then write what I think of them. I can keep the product I write about. I agreed, being clear that the basis for such a relationship is complete transparency (hence this post today explaining the deal) plus my freedom to write whatever I want, warts and all.

As a result, a package from Singapore arrived containing a ZiiSound D5, a digital wireless speaker system for the latest generation of music playback devices such as notebooks, net books, music phones, the iPhone, iPod and digital music players that incorporate Bluetooth wireless technology for music streaming.

That dry description does little justice to the ZiiSound D5 – you have to hear the results to really appreciate the superb sound quality you get.

When I first unpacked it out of the box, I tried it out with the Black Eyed PeasE.N.D album, the MP3 download version of which I’d bought from Amazon, streaming it from my Dell Z600 laptop, my HTC Desire smartphone and my wife’s iPhone 3GS. So easy to do and superlative sound results in all cases.

Since then I’ve tried a wide variety of things with it in different circumstances including streaming from a distance of about 60 yards with all sorts of physical obstacles in the way to disrupt the Bluetooth signal.

I’ll have a review posted soon (as soon as I get time to actually finish writing it) that will include some commentary on how easy or otherwise a device like this actually is in setting up (pairing) with other devices. Plus, thinking about a digital sound system like this from the workplace perspective.

Meanwhile, check out Creative’s ZiiSound D5 video on YouTube. Close to the real set-up experience.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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