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Creative ZiiSound D3x Modular Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
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Average Customer Review:
( 131 customer reviews )
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55 of 59 found the following review helpful:
Excellent bluetooth speaker system with great sound.Oct 22, 2011
The more I listen to the D3x, the more I like it. The presence on vocals is especially appealing to me...
Excellent bass response for size (and companion sub-woofer available as well)
Crisp and clear mid-range and high end
More than adequate sound levels for its size
Bluetooth paired easily and works well, supports A2DP stereo
Auto-power off and wake on Blutooth connect (no need to turn off/on once set-up)
Nice vocals, with excellent definition and clarity
Nice design and good build quality
Has AUX-In port for non-bluetooth devices (tested and works well)
Expandable to a full 3.1 system, all wireless (could be used as a mini home theatre setup)
Minimalist design is very attractive (sleek and sexy black)
Requires power plug, so not fully portable
Best used in a fixed location in most situations
Set the volume on your notebook or other device to around 70-80% and try to keep D3x volume in middle range, then tweak from there for best sound. Don't turn D3x volume too high at start, listen a bit and you will see that the sound "grows" a bit due to the way your brain/hearing works and the excellent speaker response. After you are used to it, then tweak the volume if needed.
This powered Bluetooth speaker set is well made, not too big, and has a good sound. It needs a power plug, so not fully portable, but it is small (about 16 1/2 inches wide and around 4 inches square)and easy to move around. It works well and is easy to set-up and use. It paired instantly and easily with my notebook. The sound quality seems pretty good right out of the box, but I'll need more time with different content and listening to give a fair evaluation (see below for update).
The device is sleek and attractive, with basic controls. There is a companion sub-woofer available (for another $150). Besides Bluetooth, there is an Aux-in jack so you can hook up any other audio device (via Aux-out or headphone jack). For example, I hooked up my portable Slacker player (using the headphone out -> aux In) and that worked fine.
I'll play with this some more and come back and post more of my impressions soon.
2011-10-26 Update: After some diverse listening tests, I am pretty impressed with this bluetooth speaker and have raised my rating from 4 to 5 stars. I have used other bluetooth speakers such as the Altec Lansing IM325 SoundBlade and very much enjoy the freedom and portability of bluetooth speakers. Many have limited fidelity, but the newer offerings in this category have addressed that. In particular the D3x has a very good sound for its size and is quite enjoyable. The bass response is impressive, it won't challenge a true subwoofer, but for an all-in-one device it is very good. There is a decent size reflex port in the back and it is not too boomy as some are. The mid-range and high end are handled quite well and the volume levels are more than adequate. The "punch" and clarity are also impressive for this size unit. Vocals are very crisp and clear. Percussion sounds are nice and lively. All in all, an impressive performance for a unit so small.
The unit is an attractive, sleek design with quality evident throughout. The controls are top notch and do not detract from the appearance. They are positioned well for easy access and use at the top front edge in a beveled control area. The power button is on the back near the power connect as usual (the Aux port is here as well). The black cloth covered unit looks like a high-end bookshelf or home theatre speaker, and indeed a plus of this unit is that it is expandable into a full 3.1 system with left, center, and right speakers plus sub. All wireless. Very cool. In fact this would make a nice bedroom home theatre system in the 3.1 configuration.
The more I listen to the D3x, the more I like it. I will be retiring my current studio desk system and replacing it with the D3x. At the current price, it needs to be good, and it is. I find it a fair value and worth the asking price. I think most purchasing the D3x will be pleasantly surprised and very happy with it.
2011-11-18 Auto power on/off -- Have been testing this and want to clarify this feature. Once you have your system configured and setup properly, it will automatically power off (stand-by mode) after 10 minutes with no Blutooth signal. It will then power-on automatically if you "connect" (via Blutooth) from your laptop or tablet (or other device). This is a very nice feature and works well. (If you are using the DSx Subwoofer, it also powers up/down in tandem as you would expect.) With my Toshiba laptop (Win 7), this means the speakers power on and connect automatically when I boot up my laptop, and turn off automatically (stand-by) when I shutdown -- very nice.
2011-11-11 DSx Subwoofer -- I now have the excellent DSx Subwoofer (see here Creative ZiiSound DSx Wireless Subwoofer for ZiiSound Modular Speaker Systems (51MF8125AA000)) hooked up and it does indeed add great low-end to the mix. It sounds great and works well -- see my review on the DSx product page (follow the link). Worth considering especially if you are using this in a Home Theatre situation or just like good bass response. Acoustic music really got a boost in my tests.
Also, if you still have mp3's encoded at 128 bps, you really will want to make sure you use 192-320 bps as you can definitely hear the difference with a good unit like the D3x. I noticed this immediately in my listening tests. (Of course, ogg, flac or other lossless alternatives are another choice.) And those well engineered CD's in your collection will stand out and be enjoyed as well.
2011-10-29 Notes: Another reviewer here mentions running the unit on batteries, I don't see anyway to do that as delivered, it comes with an A/C adapter and cord and has no provision for battery power (sure you can use a battery and inverter, but that applies to anything). He also mentions as a negative the auto-shutdown feature. Opinions can differ, of course, but I see no issues with it. There is a feature where the unit will shutdown after 10 minutes, but it is not an issue in my experience. As long as there is an active bluetooth signal (i.e. connection) the unit remains on. It's only once you disconnect that it will shutdown after 10 minutes. This strikes me as a good feature for a wireless unit. Who wants to have to get up and walk over to the device and turn it off every time you're done using it? Anyway, as I said, decide for yourself, but it's fine by me.
Finally, I have not addressed all of the other special features claimed by CL because, as Jim notes in his review, they're only available if you combine multiple units together. They are cool features, but I have focused on the single unit as delivered here. You can find more information about these features on the CL web site.
31 of 36 found the following review helpful:
Sound quality good but Bluetooth audio out of synch with videosJan 15, 2012
By Phil I.
I purchased this speaker for the purpose of listening to music and watching movies/shows on my MacBook. For listening to music, this speaker is great. I can position the speaker centrally and get good audio within a couple rooms.
While watching movies while connected to this speaker, there is a huge flaw. The audio of the movie will be out-of-synch with the video. The audio quite obviously lags behind the video which is most likely due to the delay in broadcasting the audio wirelessly. I naively assumed that the wireless technology was mature enough for this usage but looks like I was wrong.
In summary, if you will be listening to just music, this speaker is great. If you'll be using this speaker for watching movies on your laptop, go with a wired speaker.
14 of 15 found the following review helpful:
High fidelity and the convenience of Bluetooth in a compact pkg.Oct 25, 2011
Bluetooth speakers are convenient, but I normally don't expect good sound from them. I tend to expect a tradeoff of sound quality for convenience. Not so for the D3x. For a small speaker system (the footprint is 16" x 3 1/2"), the sound quality is excellent, as good to my ears as my friend's five hundred dollar Bose Wave music system. The fidelity is impressive, as is the bass, which benefits from the fact that this speaker unit is ported; there is a port tube on the rear of the unit. Ported or reflex speaker enclosures improve low-frequency output, meaning better bass. The bass from this unit isn't thumping subwoofer bass, but it's darn good bass given the relatively small size of the unit. I've owned similarly sized boom boxes and radios that didn't have such good bass. (Obviously, how much bass one gets out of a D3x depends on the kind of music being played, the EQ settings on the source unit, and the location of the D3x. Being close to but not up against a wall or being located near a room corner will increase the bass.)
The design is minimalistic and black (like an Ad Reinhardt painting), with sleek, clean lines. That plus its small size makes the D3x pretty unobtrusive, and otherwise pleasing to the eye. A D3x as a standalone unit (i.e., without adding a DSx subwoofer or other linkable units) would be ideal for a student living in a dorm or for anyone in a small apartment or any place where space is tight. It would work on a large nightstand, but doesn't work, for example, on a nightstand I have that is a hair under 16" wide, for in addition to being a bit too long for that nightstand, there is no way to place anything else on the nightstand without blocking one or both of the D3x's speakers (which are hidden behind the non-removable sheer black fabric or "matte black mesh cloth," as Creative describes it, that covers the face, top, and rear of the unit; the sides are shiny piano black plastic). There is a narrow control panel on the top front of the unit, which includes lit volume control buttons, a button to press when connecting the unit to a Bluetooth device, and a "link" button that is only of use when the D3x is wirelessly linked with other D3x speakers and/or the DSx subwoofer; the on/off switch is on the rear of the unit between the auxiliary-in port (for MP3 players, etc.) and the AC power port (the unit is AC powered only). (At Creative's page for the D3x, there is a small photo in a slide show of a D3x atop a fairly wide nightstand. In the photo, the D3x is positioned near the front of the nightstand, and behind it is a bedside lamp. One problem with such an arrangement is that the D3x is far enough from the wall that there is bound to be an appreciable decrease in bass. Another problem is that it leaves virtually no room atop the nightstand for anything else, such as a pair of reading glasses, a book, or a drinking glass.)
The D3x is said by Creative Labs to maintain a Bluetooth connection for up to 32 feet (approximately) or 10 meters. I tested it by taking the iPad I linked to it about 25 feet away into a separate room with the door closed, and there was no interruption, audible deterioration, or loss of connection.
The D3x can be played at a fairly loud volume, though I find that the sound becomes overly trebly and somewhat distorted past a certain volume level. So I would say that the D3x on its own (without an added subwoofer) is not a stereo system for those who want to blast music, feel the explosions on movie soundtracks, or host dance parties. (On their web page for the D3x, Creative says, "The ZiiSound D3x is versatile enough for you to also switch easily from dance parties to sit-down movie sessions with 'Party' and 'Multi-channel' mode selection." Even when read in context, it may not be clear to all readers that these modes are only applicable to the D3x when it is paired with other D3x speakers or the DSx subwoofer.)
12 of 13 found the following review helpful:
Almost PerfectNov 22, 2011
I am very pleased with the sound of this speaker and the more I use it the more it grows on me.
In the box you get the speaker, a universal power adapter with changeable plugs, and paperwork.
The speaker finish is nice with a minimal strip of gloss black around the controls and glossy sides. The rest of the top and front are covered with speaker cloth. Normally I am not a fan of glossy plastic but in this case it works.
On the front of the unit the speakers are concealed under the speaker cloth. At the top middle sits the controls including connect, link, volume up, and volume down buttons along with LED indicators for connection, link, and volume button status. The LEDs are white and not so bright that they are overpowering. I like the color and intensity of the LED indicators and appreciate that aspect of the design a lot, no blazing blue LEDs here. Around the back you find power in and aux in jacks along with a power button and a bass port. Why creative seems to put the power button on the back of every Bluetooth speaker of theirs that I touch still baffles me. This is the only thing that I hate about this speaker. It is not battery powered so you will probably want to find a place for it and keep it there.
When I first fired this speaker up I immediately knew this is something special. This speaker is probably the best compact Bluetooth speaker that I have heard. Considering that the speakers are so close you still get really good left/right separation. On a lot of material I felt as if there was some sort of virtual surround going on because of the sound separation. I checked with Creative and they informed me that where was no sound processing going on. The speaker also has impressive bass response for it's size. The speaker has very good volume output and can get very loud before it starts to sound distorted. It is plenty loud for most listening situations.
Pairing to my Droid X and Asus Transformer were no brainers and I had no problems with audio drops or reconnecting. I did not try a creative apt-x dongle.
Where I actually found that I liked using the speakers the most was at my PC. I used the aux in jack connected to the sound card on my PC. The speaker sits perfectly under my monitor and blends in like it was meant to be there. This is almost a perfect setup and would be if it weren't for one thing, the power button on the back. That power button on the back gets me again. The speaker has an auto off function and as you know a PC doesn't have sound coming out of it all the time. The speaker will shut off and I have to try to reach around the back from the side and below my monitor bezel to turn the speaker back on. If the power button was on the front or side I would be able to live with this but as it is with the button in the back things don't work very well. However, I did accidentally discover a workaround. I can connect my Droid X to the speaker via Bluetooth when I want to use it and the speaker will remain on while I use the PC. So I basically use my phone as the on/off switch.
I other than the power button I can't say enough good things about the speaker. I noticed in the material that Creative threw into the box that you could request a DSx subwoofer so that you could review the speaker at work with it. I asked for and got one.
All I can say is WOW if you pair the DSx with the D3x you will not be disappointed. It makes a good thing even better. The D3x really fills out the sound and adds a new dimension to things. The bass is nice and tight and can rattle the windows if you want.
For a sub it is very compact but puts out very good sound for it's size like the D3x does. The front is completely covered with speaker cloth and the sides each have a passive radiator covered with speaker cloth.
The only controls on the DSx are a bass control knob and connect button. There is also the same type of white LED hidden under the front grill so you get a visual indicator of the speakers status. It pairs easily to the D3x just like other devices do and works with no wires other than the power cord. When the D3x goes to sleep so does the DSx. It comes with cords for other countries that they could have probably done without in the North American packages. I know I'll never need them and it is waste to me.
Overall I am very impressed with this line of product from Creative. I would say if you are considering this and are hesitant because of the price don't be. I think the price justifies the quality in this case.
14 of 16 found the following review helpful:
Good Speakers, LimitedOct 29, 2012
By Benjamin L. Bishop
I bought THREE D3x & the DSx subwoofer. Great speakers, but I had to return them.
* The set-up is simple, quick, and easy, despite what other reviews say.
* Swapping from party mode to left/center/right is very simple.
* The sound is quite good.
* The auto-on & auto/off function is fantastic, making this system a dream to come home to, pop out one's smart phone, and just start jamming.
* I tried spreading the speakers throughout my railroad apartment to place the same music simultaneously everywhere. It didn't work. If the main looses it's connection with a "wing" speaker the whole system will go quiet until it regains the connection. Initially, these speakers sync over a fair distance (say 20 feet not direct line of sight), but minutes into play, they consistently lose connection. I had to bring all speakers into DIRECT line of sight. Two speakers placed 8ft away without direct line of sight would lose connection.
* This may be obvious, but switching between different bluetooth devices takes a minute or two. One has to go to the D3x main, hold the sync button, then search and pair it with your "new" device.
* This also may be obvious, but if you decide to stream video off of the internet (eg youtube) using these speakers, you may experience a lag between video and sound. HOWEVER, I did have success syncing this to an iPad and streaming video off of HBOgo with no lag and excellent sound quality. (pretty sweet to sit on one's couch holding a screen and have music pumping all around oneself)
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