Creative ZiiSound D5 Speaker System - Creative ZiiSound D5

By Hugo Jobling



  • Recommended by TR
Creative ZiiSound D5 Speaker System


Our Score:


That's a shame, because apt-X makes a tangible difference to the quality of the ZiiSound D5's output, as was demonstrated when we used an iPod touch to switch between its built-in Bluetooth and the bundled dongle. Sub-band encoding, the fall-back alternative where apt-X is unavailable, just doesn't cut it in comparison.

Importantly, the ZiiSound D5 produces a high quality enough output to warrant the improved input. There's a surprising amount of bass for such a small system and it doesn't overwhelm the overall balance, instead adding a pleasing level of depth and warmth.

There's also great mid-range clarity, with vocals coming across particularly well. This is rounded off nicely with a crisp high-end too. Furthermore, the ZiiSound D5 produces a surprisingly wide soundstage for such a compact system, with defined stereo separation, as long as you don’t get too close.

It's no exaggeration to say the ZiiSound D5 can get pretty darned loud. The device had no problem spreading its audio throughout our office so unless you live in a particularly sizeable mansion you'll get room-filling sound in a home environment. Importantly, there was no significant deterioration in quality when cranking the volume up.

We'd probably still give the sonic advantage to the similarly-priced B&W Zeppelin Mini, but it's a close run. Where the ZiiSound D5 wins out is its versatility and, verging onto the subjective, its looks.


Creative isn't targeting the budget-constrained with the ZiiSound D5 - its £279.99 price tag makes that clear. It's not hard to see what that money is buying though. The ZiiSound D5's Bluetooth connectivity is well-implemented and it both looks and sounds great.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Value 8
  • Sound Quality 8

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 -- 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 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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