Hothardware: Creative is on a serious roll this week. First, the D80 Bluetooth speaker, and now a line of new BT headphones. The new WP series is comprised of the 450, 350, and 250, ANC all three feature support for Bluetooth calling and music listening. The company is really playing up the invisible mic angle, and they’re insinuating that these were specifically designed to work with mobile devices. You’ll find a degree of noise killing powers throughout, with the 450 able to last around 8 or 9 hours when listening to music.
Pricing on the trio ranges from $60 right on up to $129, with the 350 on sale this month and the other two on sale in September.
iPodNN: As part of the same launch that brought the Ziio tablets, Creative today put out both a sequel to its Zen Touch MP3 player and a new set of Bluetooth headphones. The Zen Touch 2 is a rare Android-based MP3 player and outputs Bluetooth audio with the same apt-X compression as the Ziios, theoretically supplying lossless wireless sound over Bluetooth. Equally unique is the option of GPS in some models that lets them use stand-alone GPS apps without having to use a cellular connection.
All versions of the new Zen Touch have a 3.2-inch touchscreen, 802.11n Wi-Fi and a two-megapixel camera. They carry microSDHC slots to add to the built-in storage and have their own RCA video out for viewing on a TV. The plain version without GPS comes in 8GB and 16GB capacities at the equivalent prices of $217 and $248 in Singapore; GPS is only available with an 8GB model and costs $232.
The WP-300 headphones can recognize apt-X but are platform-independent and should work with iPads, iPods and other devices that can send out stereo Bluetooth audio. It can charge up from USB and has its own physical controls on an ear cup to skip through tracks. Creative hopes to charge $116 for a pair.
Both the Zen Touch 2 and the WP-300 should be available in Singapore by the end of the year, although they should get an international launch not long afterwards.
iPodNN: Creative has just released its ZiiSound D5 Bluetooth speaker system. The company claimed to have avoided the usual compression problems and is using apt-X for streaming high-quality audio over the 3Mbps link. It should support any A2DP-capable Bluetooth device, including smartphones such as the iPhone as well as other handhelds like the iPad and iPod. (more…)
iPodNN: Creative recently introduced its D200 and D100 Bluetooth speakers for mobile devices such as smartphones. The D200 is being described as a more affordable version of the ZiiSound D5 and gets 9W of sustained power for each of its two built-in speakers.
The Creative D100 is the entry level model with 2W for each of its two speakers. It can be had in black, pink, green or blue. Either gets a 3.5mm auxiliary input and can be either plugged in or powered by four AA batteries.
The high-quality apt-X codec is supported when an optional Creative iPod transmitter is ordered for about $61. This will result in higher quality sound than the standard A2DP Bluetooth connection.
The D200 will cost about $140 and the D100 about $92 when both arrive in stores in July.
Electronista: Creative last week tried to appeal to a niche market by introducing a line of Zens encapsuled in a cow’s head likeness, calling it the ZEN Moo.
Basically a new exterior for what is essentially the Zen Stone, the Moo includes 2GB of integrated memory with MP3 and WMA file support as well as built-in speakers. There is an entry version and a higher-end one, called the Plus, that includes a small OLED display behind the cow’s nose, an FM tuner, voice recording functionality and an alarm clock.
Adding to the farm animal theme, buyers of the ZEN Moo can indulge in a tamagotchi-like game where users can train and feed their virtual cow.
At the same time, Creative showed its Mi speaker made to hold the company’s Krystal and play back its content.
Electronista: Between the IFA show in Berlin and COMEX in Singapore, Creative will show off at least three new products, including the Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! portable USB sound card, the N400 speakers and EP-430 in-ear earphones.
The X-Fi Go! uses a microphone and headset port but differs from the earlier USB Play! sound card with the company’s X-Fi audio processing software and 1GB of internal storage capacity.
The company will also unveil its N400 USB-powered X-Fi speakers. With the same X-Fi sound processing integrated into the 2W RMS twin 2-inch drivers, they include media controls on their front panel.
For personal audio enjoyment, Creative will also show its EP-430 in-ear earphones, which are available in six colors.
Shiny Shiny: Creative always do well in the portable audio field, so it’s no surprise their latest device is one fine looking piece of kit.
Called the Mozaic, it looks like a cross between a child’s jigsaw puzzle and a piece of contemporary art, and comes in three colours to boot. But that’s enough on the design, what are the specs like?
Well, first off there’s an 1.8 inch LCD screen to view pictures and videos on, as well as a FM radio and a voice recorder.
It’s only 12.8 mm thick and whilst it can’t rival the X-Fi in terms of wireless connectivity options, it will undoubtedly have a longer battery life.
It has four sizes of storage, starting at 2GB, then 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB. It still falls short of the Zen Player’s 32GB, but it has a significantly lower price point.
There’s also a built-in speaker.
ipodnn: Creative recently introduced its newest headset, designed for use with Apple’s iPhone and iPod. The EP-630i uses a pair of in-ear buds, which come with three different silicone covers to ensure users find an ideal fit. Each earbud is powered by a 9mm Neodymium magnet to deliver above average sound quality.
The headset, available in black only, includes an integrated microphone with a built-in button that allows users to answer or end calls in between listening to music on the iPhone.
The gold-plated 3.5mm 4-pole plug makes this possible, and the Y-configuration cord is nearly 4 feet long, with an oxygen-free copper cable to maximize sound quality.
Absolute Gadget: Most docking stations these days cater mainly for the full-blown iPod and its smaller cousin the iPod nano, but what about the baby of the family, the Shuffle? Well Creative has made sure that Shuffle owners don’t feel left out with its new TravelSound i50 docking speaker.
Inside the brushed-metal case is a combination of four precision microdrivers and a digital amplifier to deliver a full, rich sound. The vendor claims that the speakers will last 21 hours playtime on a single charge.
The speaker is fitted with a mini-USB port which allows users to recharge the iPod Shuffle and TravelSound i50 system together, while downloading music from the PC. An intelligent LED display shows when the speakers are charging or ready for use.
TravelSound i50 speaker at a glance.
- Compact, good-looking, one-piece design. Custom made for second generation iPod Shuffle players
- Powerful, detailed audio with low power consumption thanks to four precision microdrivers and digital amplifier.
- Up to 21 hours playtime per charge via lithium polymer battery technology.
- Mini USB connector supports downloads from computer and web. Also recharges the player and speakers.
- Intelligent LED display indicates whether speakers are ready for use or charging.
Anything But iPod: Hasbro and Creative have joined to create a line of digital audio players for the Playskool line of toys for tots. Plans are to integrate digital music into various Playskool toys starting with some sort of tune playing mobile. The product is aimed at Generation X and Y’ers that will be able to customize the music played by downloading songs from the internet. Hasbro has looked to Creative to find a way to protect content and legally download rhymes and lullabies.
The new line will drop September 1st.