By Patrick Avenell
SYDNEY, NSW: “Docking stations are dead.” That’s the message from Creative, which today released details of its new range of Bluetooth speakers. The thinking behind this ideal, according to the Singaporean-based marketing executive Paul Seow, is that audio companies are focusing too much on iPod and iPhone accessories; ignoring the other music-playing devices currently available.
The new range from Creative, marketed under its Pure branding, is compatible with any MP3 player or mobile device with Bluetooth. Once a consumers has paired their device with the speaker system, music can be played wirelessly in real time. Bluetooth adaptors are also available for music players that do not have in-built Bluetooth functionality.
At the top of Creative’s Pure Bluetooth range is the Zii Sound D5. This unit does include an iPod/iPhone docking station, in addition to Bluetooth playback, so users can charge their device while playing. Seow described the sound quality from this unit as being “audiophile sound beyond home stereo”. It also includes an integrated auxiliary-in jack for playback. This unit is RRP $369.
In the middle of the range is the Creative D200. The audio quality of this device is equal to the Zii Sound D5, but there is no docking station. This would be the best unit for playing music straight from a PC, which is enabled through a USB plug that is automatically paired to the device, much like on a wireless mouse. This unit is RRP $169.
The entry level model is the D100. The USP in this device is portability, with approximately 25 hours of playback available through four AA batteries. It can also be mains powered, and is available in a range of colours. This model is RRP $119.
All three units are set to be released to retail in mid-August. Already signed up to sell these products are Fone Zone, Next Byte and Betta Electrical.