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Creative ZiiSound D5 Speaker System review




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Creative ZiiSound D5 Speaker System
  • Creative ZiiSound D5 Speaker System
  • Creative ZiiSound D5 Speaker System
  • Creative ZiiSound D5 Speaker System
  • Creative ZiiSound D5 Speaker System
  • Creative ZiiSound D5 Speaker System
  • Creative ZiiSound D5 Speaker System
  • Creative ZiiSound D5 Speaker System
  • ZiiSound D5 Speaker for iPhone/iPod/iPad


Our Score:


Creative has this notion that wireless is going to be the next big thing in portable audio. More specifically, Bluetooth is the wireless medium in question and it's a primary feature of the ZiiSound D5.

It's not a particularly crazy idea - Bluetooth is about as ubiquitous as a technology gets. You'll find it in devices ranging from the Apple iPhone to the Samsung YP-R1, and many in between. The advantage that gives the ZiiSound D5 is obvious - unlike speaker docks, which are almost unilaterally built with Apple's players in mind, Creative's ZiiSound D5 will work equally well with anything that can connect to it.

The tastefully understated design could almost have spawned from the studio of Dieter Rams. Call us controversial, but to our minds the ZiiSound D5 looks more like the little brother of the B&W Zeppelin than does its actual descendant, the Zeppelin Mini. Certainly, there's a feeling that you are looking at £279.99-worth of audio equipment.

Its black mesh cloth covering hides a noteworthy aspect of the ZiiSound D5's design, namely its monocoque construction. The theory is that by reducing the number of parts used in the speaker's construction, it's less likely to affect the audio produced by the speaker cones mounted in it. Although Bluetooth is the intended connection to be used with the ZiiSound D5, Creative has still included a 3.5mm aux jack at the device's rear. This is accompanied only by the power input and on/off button.

The central strip of plastic is home to the only two controls on the ZiiSound D5. At the front is a connect 'button' (actually a touch-sensitive area, but you get the idea) used to place the device into syncing mode, while the top surface is a touch-sensitive volume control. This is excellent if you want to go from quiet to ungodly loud but not if you want to make any subtle adjustments.

Hamish Campbell

May 13, 2010, 11:56 am

Did I read that right? It comes with an ap-x adapter for all of apple's players, and not for creatives own?


May 13, 2010, 1:32 pm

@haim: So far as I'm aware, Creative doesn't have its own adapter anymore, it just uses miniUSB.


May 13, 2010, 1:42 pm

There's a good reason to go after the iPod and not other players -


(from http://www.wired.com/gadget... -- credit where due)

There's nothing stopping third parties from making adaptors for other players, of course. And as apt-X is the only codec other than sub-band approved by the Bluetooth SIG it's likely that forthcoming media players will have it built-in.


May 13, 2010, 3:06 pm

Use to be a big fan of Creative. Still waiting on Ziilabs to deliver with all that technical showcases on stem computing etc and if anyone at creative is reading this, then this is my plea.

Remember you use to make this really awesome audio decoder (DDTS-100) which had a huge range of connectivity http://images.techtree.com/... but stopped manufacturing them a long time ago.

I think its time you revise this product and put some zii bluetooth/AP-X magic into it because there is nothing in the market like it especially at the price it was sold. Its a gold mine waiting to be excarvated.


May 13, 2010, 5:16 pm

Are those product photos taken by TR or are they official photos from Creative?

Even without close-ups, it looks like its very grubby! Obviously not fingerprint resistant...

Count me out for one of these. For £20 more you can get the Zeppelin mini and for £100 more the flagship Zeppelin which is a visual and acoustic work of art.


May 13, 2010, 8:07 pm

@Another advantage of using a dongle is that there's no need to pair with the speakers.

Looking at the dongle it appears to have a power connector too, so does this also help with charging the Iphone/Ipod etc while in the dock?, if so then that would also be another advantage and a very neat setup.


May 13, 2010, 9:22 pm

@Keith - yeah the iPhone/iPod charges while it's in the dock. It's a great feature.

@Dan - Ok, £20 more for the Zeppelin mini which is a nice piece of kit, but with this you can use it as a normal iPod/iPhone dock, or pick up the iPhone and play some Flight Control while listening to music from the speakers...


May 13, 2010, 9:30 pm

I bought a D5 recently and am delighted with it. I run Apple Lossless files on my iPhone and the apt-X codec retains the fully integrity of the audio over Bluetooth..! I wonder in these audio listening tests, with 8/10, were your original tracks AAC?

By the way @Keith, there a power connector on the dongle, so you can dock and charge, then when you pick it up the audio keep streaming seamlessly.


May 13, 2010, 9:39 pm

Dan - they're our photos and yes, it does attract fingerprints - I was handing it a lot more than a 'normal' person would though.

Phil - I didn't think about that. brb, flgt plng ctrl :)

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