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Portable Audio: Creative's TravelSound Travel Speakers

 
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Jason Dunn
Executive Editor


Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 1315
Location: Calgary, CANADA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 12:30 pm    Post subject: Portable Audio: Creative's TravelSound Travel Speakers Reply with quote

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/r...088413/sr%3D1-1



One of the things I don't like about my current laptop, a Fujitsu P5010D, is that the speakers just aren't very loud. With it's wide, crisp 10.6" screen, it's perfect for DVD playback but the lack of audio punch makes watching DVDs practical only when using headphones. So I set out looking for a set of external speakers that would connect to the laptop and give me more audio, yet still be small enough to easily travel with me. My first attempt was a set of small $20 un-powered Sony speakers that were touted as being a walkman accessory the audio level was no louder than what my laptop could produce (being un-powered was my first clue that they wouldn't be sufficient).

Next I tried a much more expensive solution: the Creative TravelSound speakers. At $75 CND, this was more than I was comfortable spending, but I knew I could return it if I wasn't happy. Here's a quick Photo Review of the Creative TravelSound speakers.

Figure 1: The Creative TravelSound is quite small and very portable. It comes with a nylon pouch for travelling. The pouch is nothing special, but it does the job.


Figure 2: I liked the fit and finish of the speakers the silver and black looks sharp. Creative opted for no speaker covers, which is a good decision given the need to eek out every last decibel from these.


Figure 3: The Creative TravelSound connected to the headphone jack on my laptop. How does it sound? Compared to the built-in speakers, loud! The audio is crisp and clear, with strong high and mid tones. Given the size of the speakers, it's not surprising that there's little to no bass response. One thing that I'd like to see added is some sort of a removable plastic mounting bracket it's a bit disorienting to have the audio coming from one side or another, so I'd like to see a way for the speakers to mount to the LCD screen of the laptop. This may or may not be practical based on the weight of the speakers, but it sure would be cool to see.

Two other features worth noting: there's a normalization button on top, less useful with a TV signal, but more aimed at an MP3 player with songs that might have different audio levels. There's also the line-in jack, for connecting your device, and a headphone jack, which I find a bit curious. I'm having a hard time imaging a scenario where someone would prefer to connect the headphones to the Creative TravelSound instead of the headphone jack on the audio device itself. Perhaps the TravelSound would amplify the signal beyond what the original device can put out.



Figure 4: The base of the unit is where the four AAA batteries are located, so the unit is weighted towards the bottom. This makes positioning the speaker simple, and the swivel-mount allows you to position the speakers at whatever angle suits you best. Shown here, I have the speakers connected to my Shuttle ST62K I didn't have any other speakers set up, so I connected these in a pinch. I ended up keeping them in place for several weeks and several sets of batteries. The TravelSound has a power input for AC power, but the unit doesn't come with an AC adaptor I imagine it's available separately.


Figure 5: The Creative TravelSound connected to my E200 Smartphone. I needed a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adaptor from Pocket PC Techs in order to connect it, but once connected it worked nicely. One thing I did notice though was before I started the audio I heard buzzing and popping - I'm not sure what this was from. Once the music started, it sounded fine.

Conclusion
The Creative TravelSound speakers are the perfect solution for what I was looking for: small, easy to pack speakers that still proved to have much more audio punch that what my laptop can accomplish alone. They're a bit pricey, and I wish you'd get an AC adaptor for that price, but from a design standpoint the speakers deliver quite well. They can be purchased from Amazon.com for $64.99 USD, and also include a short minjack to minijack audio cable. [Affiliate]


Last edited by Jason Dunn on Tue Aug 10, 2004 12:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mike Temporale
Managing Editor


Joined: 07 Jul 2003
Posts: 6871
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They look a little larger than I would have expected for portable speakers. Any idea what the weight is on these?
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Kris Kumar
Contributing Editor


Joined: 02 Jul 2003
Posts: 3528
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like to go sailing and biking. I am going to add this to my outdoor gear. Till now I was dependent on the speakers on my Smartphone, but with these I am sure camping/relaxing would be fun.
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Jason Dunn
Executive Editor


Joined: 30 Jun 2003
Posts: 1315
Location: Calgary, CANADA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2004 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Temporale wrote:
They look a little larger than I would have expected for portable speakers. Any idea what the weight is on these?


Umm...not too heavy? Wink (maybe check the Creative site for more details)
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TANKERx
Smartphone Intellectual


Joined: 01 Jul 2003
Posts: 169
Location: South Wales

PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2004 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing A photo review of speakers! I like it! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Myke
Smartphone Pupil


Joined: 18 Jul 2003
Posts: 13
Location: Agoura Hills, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you guys have to realize that his computer is a subnotebook. If the speakers look big its cause his laptop one of the smallest you can get. In the review he said his screen was 12in, but its actually 10.6.

ive got the same computer (well almost, p5020d, most awesome laptop there is), and I went speaker shopping as well, i made a video review/preview for the leog.net forums.

I got the Panasonic RP-SPT70, they sound amazing and are only 20 bucks. http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q...SPT70&scoring=p .



video!

http://www.mykearmstrong.com/misc/p5020drocks.wmv
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Disco Stu
Smartphone Neophyte


Joined: 11 Nov 2003
Posts: 4
Location: Coventry, UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2004 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can get the Creative speakers much cheaper on Ebay.
I got mine for around 35 Very Happy
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