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We know the feeling. You have your eyes on a Creative ZiiSound D5 speaker, with its fancy Bluetooth wireless connectivity, but find the cost prohibitive and would happily trade a little sound and build quality for a lower price. And wouldn't you now it, Creative has thought of you, hence the D200 speaker.
At around £75 it's reasonably affordable, and although it doesn't have fancy features like a dock for charging your iPod, it is still a decently attractive product, and offers the same Bluetooth wireless, making it a good solution for those who don't like having to leave their music player physically connected to a speaker system.
The design certainly won't win any awards for originality - it's a speaker dock without the dock, what do you expect? - but we think the combination of glossy black plastic body, with a plain black mesh covering at the front, will fit into most homes without issue. And the construction is solid enough not to leave us with any concerns - the D200 feels like a speaker that will last as long as you care you keep it. For those times when connecting a player via Bluetooth isn't possible, the rear-placed aux input will prove handy.
The only thing we don't like is the volume control, which has one rocker button, as opposed to separate up and down controls, but that's a minor complaint. The prominent Bluetooth connect button and status LED is well-placed next the volume control; a green light indication the system is powered on, a flashing blue light informing you that it's searching for a device, and a solid blue light indicating one is connected - no surprises there.
Unsurprisingly the Bluetooth adaptor in the D200 supports the A2DP standard, affording much better audio quality that older Bluetooth speaker systems could offer. However, it's not as good as the apt-X codec supported by the ZiiSound D5. Given the lower price, and lesser components, of the D200, however, we've no complains about the decision. And the plus side is that you don't need an adaptor for the D200, which was an annoyance of the D5.
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