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Creative D200 - Sound Quality And Verdict

By Hugo Jobling

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

What we almost lament, however, is the lack of any way for the D200 to charge your music player. But, given the price, it's far from a deal breaker, and besides, with a Bluetooth speaker there's no need to have the player anywhere near it, so you can plug it into a charger and keep playing music should you need to.

The sound quality offered by the D200 is surprisingly good. It has a powerful output for its size, with enough 'oomph' to fill a bedroom, and no noticeable distortion with the volume turned up. Chuck on some Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl's vocals will bellow out with appropriate gusto, although big dramatic pieces, such as the ever-popular Ride of the Valkyries, lose some of their impact coming from such a small system; the low end doesn't fill out amazingly, but that's to be expected of what is a fairly compact system.

The D200 does a decent job of handling more delicate pieces, too. Peter Gregson's delightful cello work on Terminal maintained as much detail and poise as can be hoped coming from a £75 Bluetooth speaker. Playing an losslessly encoded version of Peter Gabriel's Scratch my Back proved a little pointless, as A2DP Bluetooth just doesn’t offer enough bandwidth to get any benefit from high-bitrate music. But the rendition was nonetheless enjoyable.

Anything you'd really want to just sit and listen to - say, the likes of Band of Horses, David Bowie, and Frou Frou - deserves better treatment that the D200 can offer; but if budget precludes that, or you only listen to music in the background, you could definitely do worse. If you're happy with 'good enough' music, then the D200 won't disappoint.

Verdict

The Creative D200 speaker makes a number of compromises compared to the more expensive ZiiSound D5 to reach its much lower price, but they're all fair trade-offs. The build quality is definitely acceptable, the lack of a dock connector isn't too big an issue and audio quality isn't amazing, but is good enough.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Value 8
  • Sound Quality 8

ffrankmccaffery

February 28, 2011, 2:59 pm

Surely the T12's - also from Creative - would be a better idea? They're available for around the same price and crucially support Apt-X.

ffrankmccaffery

February 28, 2011, 2:59 pm

Surely the T12's - also from Creative - would be a better idea? They're available for around the same price and crucially support Apt-X.

ducati900fe

February 28, 2011, 4:24 pm

Is it rechargeable ?

ducati900fe

February 28, 2011, 4:24 pm

Is it rechargeable ?

Gk.pm

February 28, 2011, 10:55 pm

@ducati900fe
No, it's mains only. Stupid really as the lower model D100 can run off normal AA batteries.
I see no point on this D200, the T12 is a better deal for fixed systems like @ffrankmccaffery said. If you want cheap, go anywhere system, get the D100 for £35.

I'm using the D100 as a dirt-cheap Airplay-like system for the iPhone/Pod, works great.

Gk.pm

February 28, 2011, 10:55 pm

@ducati900fe


No, it's mains only. Stupid really as the lower model D100 can run off normal AA batteries.


I see no point on this D200, the T12 is a better deal for fixed systems like @ffrankmccaffery said. If you want cheap, go anywhere system, get the D100 for £35.





I'm using the D100 as a dirt-cheap Airplay-like system for the iPhone/Pod, works great.

Hardman

March 2, 2011, 2:27 am

I found sound quality good, but resonant at certain lower frequencies even at moderate volumes, perhaps just my unit though.

Biggest gripe (though foreseeable) was the audio delay that crept into the connection- makes it impossible to use for any video where audio syncing may be an issue- makes it unwatchable. This is a fault of the bluetooth connection and is present at even close range.

I sent mine back as I was happier to keep my trusty wired Saitek A-200 portable speaker which has served me well for nearly 5 years. If there is another solution that can wirelessly stream output from a PC from any source WITHOUT delay- I'd like to find it.

TUK

March 11, 2011, 3:11 am

... err I think you may have got your facts wrong regarding the aptX codec. The D200 speaker does have aptX. I have one and while the quality isn't as good as the D5, the aptX certainly makes an improvement over standard Bluetooth EDR + SBC codec.

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