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Creative ZiiSound D5 - Style Unlimited
iPod docks are a dime a dozen and what consumers need is something more. Creative’s ZiiSound D5 is a Bluetooth-enabled speaker that aims to give the consumer exactly that in terms of portability, high quality sound and looks. Let’s see if it can actually do what it set out to accomplish.
Small, black, beautiful
Design and features
Right from the box it comes in to the actual speaker, the D5 oozes style. It’s a sleek black rectangular speaker, and is quite compact at 3.5-inches in height x 16.7-inches in width x 4.3-inches in depth. The front of the speaker is covered in cloth and this goes a little against the D5, as it will definitely attract dust and could tear if not handled with care.
The front of the D5 has just one feather touch button for turning on Bluetooth connectivity and the top has the volume control. This is also feather touch and has these really cool lights, which illuminate when you increase the volume; reminiscent of a runway at an airport. The back of the D5 has a power input, the power on/off button and even an auxiliary input for those poor devices that don’t aren’t Bluetooth enabled. This means you can even use this with your laptop, TV or portable media player.
The view from behind
What I really like about this speaker is the Bluetooth dongle that Creative has provided for older generation iPods that don’t have Bluetooth connectivity. So this way you can even connect your old Nano or iPod Classic to the D5. And there’s even a slot on the top of the speaker to insert this dongle, where it charges the device.
What is surprising though is the fact that there’s no remote included. I know it’s Bluetooth enabled, and that you can simply have your iPod or iPhone next to you all the time, but what about when I want to control the volume from the other end of the room when my device is being charging by the D5? I really think they should have included a remote, even if it was just a basic one.
The 2nd gen iPod Nano found this dongle very comfortable
I also thought that this speaker would have a speakerphone function, but unfortunately it does not. When a call comes in, the music just stops; and when you hang up, the music start on its own again.
Using the D5 was a breeze. With your iPhone or iPod with Bluetooth, all you have to do is press the connect button for around 3-4 seconds, and it starts blinking. Now you’re ready to pair your iPhone or iPod to the speaker and blast some music! However, the process is a little different for non-Apple devices, as you will have to enter a pin, which is simply 0000. I tried this out with the Motorola Milestone and it worked perfectly. As mentioned before, Creative has provided this neat Bluetooth dongle for Apple devices that aren’t Bluetooth enabled. All you have to do is insert the dongle where your iPod transfer cable usually goes, and you’re ready to listen to music.
The iPhone 4 works perfectly with this one
A long as you don’t pump the music level all the way up, the D5 is great. Unfortunately, the sound starts distorting once you set the output above 75%. But do keep in mind that my iPhone volume level was set at full when this happened. I also think that the D5 is a little too bass heavy. And when you try and get so much bass out of such a small speaker, it can spell disaster. However, it’s not so bad, as you can always play around with the EQ presets on your iPod or iPhone to make it sound a little better. The sound is pretty good overall and if you keep the level between 60-70 percent and control the final output with your iPod or iPhone, all should be well.
This is a really good Bluetooth speaker, but is way too expensive at Rs. 17,999. Sure, it sounds good, but it's bass heavy and distorts at high volume. It looks great, but has a cloth-covered front which could easily tear or gather dust. But the D5 does have other advantages such as the Bluetooth dongle, which makes life a lot easier for those who want to use it with older, non-Bluetooth enabled devices.
The old with the new
I give the D5 three stars; and although it sounds great, looks beautiful and has some nice features, I think it’s too expensive and has its fair share of shortcomings, as mentioned above. Another disappointment is the lack of a remote, which would have definitely added value to the product. Hopefully Creative will keep this technology up, and reduce the price for their future models.