Creative ZiiSound D5 Review

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Creative ZiiSound D5

Michael Aulia

Creative ZiiSound D5 is a clear winner in both design and audio quality in the wireless speaker market. The fact that it’s powered by Bluetooth technology means that it’s accessible by almost every electronic device in the world.

My rating: 5.0 stars
*****

Creative ZiiSound D5 ReviewI was honored to be the first person to get the Creative ZiiSound D5 in Australia and therefore, this review post is probably one of the first few to cover the Creative ZiiSound D5. Creative ZiiSound D5 is a high quality audio wireless speaker system with Bluetooth technology. That means you can connect practically any Bluetooth capable device, such as your smartphone or your notebook. Oh, I haven’t mentioned that Creative also ship it with a Bluetooth iPod/iPhone transmitter which supports trasmitting music with apt-X audio codec technology to the ZiiSound D5 wirelessly.

So let’s check out my impressions on the Creative ZiiSound D5.

Creative ZiiSound D5 Review – Technologies

Before we go to my personal experience in using the ZiiSound D5, here is a list of technologies behind the ZiiSound D5:

  • Bluetooth Technology
    Supporting wireless transfer for up to 10 metres (depends on the walls or obstacles of course).
  • apt-X codec
    High performance low-latency audio codec for superior stereo Bluetooth audio.
  • World class-acoustic tuning
    Ensures striking accuracy, detail, and atmosphere – all in one piece.
  • Sleek one-piece music system
    A clean cut design, encased in a sleek black cloth mesh, enhancing the elegance of your room.
  • 2.75″ full range drivers with efficient digital amplifiers
    High performance full range drivers from digital amplifiers delivering higher performance compared to conventional home stereos.
  • AUX-in jack
    There is an AUX-in jack available for connecting other audio devices.
  • Touch volume control
    Intuitive touch sensitive panel for volume control
  • Magnetically-shielded speaker
    Means zero interference when used near other devices

Creative ZiiSound D5 Review – Overview

The ZiiSound D5 is “packaged” into one single piece unit but it includes all the pieces that power it: two loudspeaker drivers, the touch control panel for volume control & Bluetooth connectivity, the AUX-in jack, integrated Bass port, and also a built-in dock for an iPod or an iPhone. Overall, the whole piece looks sleek and elegant:

Creative ZiiSound D5 Review - iPod Nano

I also like the fact that Creative understands the popularity of the iPod/iPhone and includes a docking station for them rather than having a dock for their ZEN X-Fi players. If you have a ZEN X-Fi though, you can use the AUX-in jack to play the music out from it:

Creative ZiiSound D5 Review Audio jack

The only thing that makes it less elegant is probably the fact that you still have to connect the power with a cable, but I guess this can’t be helped because ZiiSound D5 doesn’t support running in batteries. Not sure how many batteries would even be needed should ZiiSound D5 supports it!

The Bluetooth connection & Volume indicators are represented as white dots on the Touch control panel, giving it a contrast yet elegant look:

Creative ZiiSound D5 Review - Volume Control

Creative ZiiSound D5 Review – Bluetooth connection

Creative ZiiSound D5 Review - BT-D1

The unit that I have includes a Bluetooth wireless transmitter for an iPod/iPhone and also the Creative Bluetooth Audio BT-D1, to be plugged to your desktop/laptop. The USB Bluetooth Transmitter (BT-D1) comes free with the ZiiSound D5 ONLY when it is purchased from Creative.com. This offer applies to Creative Online Store Australia, US and Europe and is for a limited
period of time. Please double check before you make your purchase!

Creative ZiiSound D5 Review- iPod iPhone Transmitter

Pairing the ZiiSound D5 with my iPod Nano is really easy. I simply need to plug the transmitter on my iPod and press the Connect on the ZiiSound D5 touch panel. It takes a merely few seconds to pair them up and not long after, I can hear my music coming from the ZiiSound D5 speakers. The transmitter actually serves as a remote control if you want to see it that way – so I can adjust the volume on my iPod, for example, and the ZiiSound D5 adjusts its volume accordingly. Note that there will be a small delay though as data needs to be transferred so this doesn’t happen in an instant (I’d say about half a second delay which is still tolerable).

The fact that the Bluetooth connectivity supports up to 10 metres in an open space means that you can carry your iPod/iPhone to different rooms in your house. So whether you are cooking in the kitchen or “meditating” in the toilet, the power still lies in your hands!

Creative ZiiSound D5 also supports any A2DP-Bluetooth device so your smartphones, your iPad, and most Bluetooth enabled devices will work well.

HTC Touch Pro 2 found ZiiSound D5 easily using Bluetooth:

Creative ZiiSound D5 with HTC Touch Pro 2 phone

Creative ZiiSound D5 HTC Touch Pro 2 phone

and it works well too on the LG Chocolate Touch:

Creative ZiiSound D5 Review - on LG Chocolate Touch

Even if you don’t have the BT-D1, you’ll still be able to connect using the traditional Bluetooth connection on your Windows. But of course, if you do have one, it will make things much easier for you, simply plug and play the music.

Creative ZiiSound D5 Review – Other impressions

The sound quality coming out from the ZiiSound D5 doesn’t disappoint at all – as boasted by Creative. The sound is crystal clear and feels like it’s coming from really high quality speakers. It may not beat your home entertainment centre but considering the size of the unit and how the sound is being transferred wirelessly, ZiiSound D5 sound quality exceeds my expectation.  The bass gives a good punch but heavy bass lovers might be feeling disappointed. However, given that the ZiiSound D5 doesn’t have a dedicated subwoofer, we already get more than what we deserve. There is also no built-in equalizer on the ZiiSound D5 but you can do the adjustment on your music device anyway.

I also think that the touch panel is a great idea but my only complaint is the volume control. Adjusting the volume control on the ZiiSound D5 is easy and intuitive (using your finger to slide through the touch panel to adjust). However in practice, it’s quite sensitive which makes the jump between 1 volume level to the next too steep.

It may take you a few slight slides to get the volume right to your liking because of this. You’ll find that it’s much better to adjust the volume on your iPod/iPhone instead.

ZiiSound D5 Review - iPhone iPod DockThe iPod/iPhone charger also deserves a thumbs up! With the transmitter plugged, simply rest your iPod/iPhone on the dock and you can basically experience endless music to your ears.

Multiple backrests (with multiple sizes) are included in the packaging to make sure your iPod/iPhone is supported well on the dock.

Creative ZiiSound D5 Review – Conclusion

Creative ZiiSound D5Creative speak true to their words when they boast the high quality sound of the Creative ZiiSound D5. The sound quality is very impressive for its size and the fact that audio is being transferrerd wirelessly. Creative ZiiSound D5 also gets a thumbs up for its sleek and elegant design, no matter where you put the unit in your house. Pairing up the ZiiSound D5 and another device with the included transmitter is very easy too, unlike the frustrations I have whenever I try to pair up two Bluetooth devices together. You don’t even need to understand any technical stuffs to pair your device with the ZiiSound D5.

A combination of high quality sound, elegant design, wireless solution, easy Bluetooth pairing for non-techy users, and wide support for any Bluetooth capable devices makes the ZiiSound D5 a clear winner in delivering the best wireless sound solution at your home. Combined with the iPhone/iPod charging dock station and the Bluetooth BT-D1, you practically have everything that you can squeeze out of the Creative ZiiSound D5.

Creative ZiiSound D5 Pros
+ Wireless sound solution
+ Support Bluetooth devices, such as your phones
+ Elegant design
+ Includes an iPod/iPhone Bluetooth transmitter with zero set-up
+ Excellent sound quality
+ Includes a docking station to charge an iPod/iPhone
+ Has an AUX-in jack to support other devices
+ Automatically “sleeps” if no music being played through it after a while
+ Quite portable to carry to parties

Creative ZiiSound D5 Cons
– You still have to plug it to a power socket
– Volume control is a bit too sensitive

Note: Review unit provided by Creative. Photos were taken with Canon EOS 500D.




Creative Labs ZiiSound D5 2.0 Speaker System - Black 51MF8080AA001 Computer Speakers
List Price:$299.99 USD
New From:$222.00 USD In Stock
Used from:$160.00 USD In Stock

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A technology enthusiast, blogger, gamer, and reviewer. Proud owner of Craving Tech
  • http://animeready.com Dan

    Great, I love bluetooth stuff, Hillsong ftw too!

    • http://www.michaelaulia.com Michael Aulia

      lol, it’s amazing how you could figure it out from the tiny cover album on the screenshot

  • http://www.networknuts.net CCNA

    Ziisound seems to be a pretty cool wireless sound system. The interesting part is the use of bluetooth

    • http://www.michaelaulia.com Michael Aulia

      Yup, Bluetooth is widely supported in almost every device which is a plus

  • James

    How does pure bluetooth audio from the mobile phone sounds on this speaker? My impression is that bluetooth audio are – in general – pretty crappy.

    • http://www.michaelaulia.com Michael Aulia

      That’s the amazing thing about it, the audio quality is really great. Creative is using this apt-x audio codec technology that basically delivers a high quality audio output through Bluetooth connection. I wish there’s a way to prove or show it to you somehow hm. Perhaps I can do a video with sound but it will not sound as clear as the real one, so I’m not sure if it’s even worth it

  • Lucas

    Hey, i bought the ziisound frm the creative website, but some how couldn’t get the usb bluetooth dongle to work nice with my macbook pro. is it not compatible with the macbook. i feel so helpless! cld you do as video on how i cld get it to work?

    • http://www.michaelaulia.com Michael Aulia

      Hm I’ll see what I can do. The best is to email Creative Support, I guess. Have you press the Connect button on the ZiiSound D5 and then press the small button on the USB Bluetooth dongle? You need to do that both so they can find each other and sync

  • http://Roadguide.Ph/Forums Benedicto Mon

    If it’s any help. Just to share my expeience with my recently bought D5 (like 4 hours ago. hehe):

    First off, the main concept is that you try to discover the D5, pair and stream. However, in my case (Acer Aspire 4745G with W7 Pro), I did discover the D5 and it appeared on the BT devices list and that’s it. Thought it’d appear in the sound devices automatically but it didn’t. So, went to BT settings, clicked Audio tab and right click to connect to the D5. And voila, I can use it already. Didn’t even ask me for pairing code. Note: I bought the D5 off he retail store so it didn’t come with the dongle although I’ve seen some reviews for the Inspire S2 Wireless that they sounded louder when used with the dongle. Dunno if this’d be the case with the D5 too…probably you could test this Michael?

    Anyway, HTH… just sharing my blooper/experience.