Creative ZiiSound D5x & DSx £280

6th Sep 2011 | 08:30

Creative ZiiSound D5x & DSx

A wireless speaker system in the true sense of the term

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

Like:

Wireless everything; Fantastic sound

Dislike:

A pain to set up; Expensive

We're not going to tell you that the Creative ZiiSound D5x speaker dock system is cheap, but we will tell you that you're probably going to want it badly.

Let's explain the different bits of hardware above first. There are two ZiiSound D5x speaker docks and one ZiiSound DSx subwoofer.

The D5x is an updated version of the ZiiSound D5. Creative tells us the sound is better in the D5x than the D5, but even putting them side-by-side, we're hard-pushed to tell the difference. Happily, though, even the D5 sounded awesome, so you should be more than satisfied.

The bigger news with the D5x, and the reason there are two above, is that you can link them together wirelessly, and even add the DSx subwoofer – again wirelessly.

You could link two speaker docks wirelessly in two different rooms to stream to both at once. Or you could have one and link a subwoofer, tucked in a corner somewhere. Or you could, as we've done, link two D5xs and a DSx as a 2.1 system, telling one D5x to be the left channel and one to be the right channel (rather than a left-and-right plus a left-and-right).

As with a normal speaker dock, you can just set your iPhone or iPod touch down onto the dock connector at the middle back of each D5x; it plays and charges your device simultaneously.

Lift your device off, though, and a little dongle comes with it that connects your device over Bluetooth to the D5x. So, you're now streaming music wirelessly to a set of speakers that are themselves connected wirelessly. We're in the future now. (Actually, there are even more configuration options!)

There are caveats. It's expensive (though you could start small and grow) and a pain to set up. What's more, there are sometimes horrid jitters when you switch tracks, and if you're not used to so much bass, you might feel overwhelmed – there is at least an adjustment dial on the DSx.

Without the DSx, one or more D5x's still sounds good; the sub just adds real punch to the low end.

It's also a shame that it doesn't use Apple's AirPlay, because that way you wouldn't need the dongle, and it would add flexibility.

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