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Compact with a kick: Creative's ZiiSound D5 Bluetooth speaker

Though the $300 price tag of the Creative ZiiSound D5 Bluetooth speaker is a bit steep, its simple, attractive design and decent sound make it recommendable.

The ZiiSound D5 is a higer-end Bluetooth speaker that retails for $300.
Creative Labs

As the iPhone-iPod audio docking systems move into a more mature phase, Creative is hitching its wagon to Bluetooth in a bid to differentiate itself in this crowded category. Bluetooth compatibility allows the wide range of A2DP devices--which includes iPhones, iPads, recent iPod Touch models, most recent smartphones, and many PCs--to stream audio wirelessly to the speaker. On the PC speaker side, Creative has the $130 Inspire S2 Bluetooth system, and now the company has bulked up its audio line with several Bluetooth-enabled iPod speaker options, including the ZiiSound D5, a higher-end model that retails for $300.

The nice thing about the ZiiSound D5 is that it's pretty compact, measuring 3.5 inches high by 16.7 inches wide by 4.3 inches deep, with a low profile that's well suited for shelf placement. The attractively designed speaker has nice heft (8.4 pounds) and appears to be well-built, though the speaker cloth that covers the front and top of the speaker seems susceptible to fraying (keep this away from cats) and does attract some dust. In an ideal world, we would have preferred a matte-finished top and metal or plastic grilles to cover the speakers.

If you own any of the stereo Bluetooth-enabled devices mentioned above (the D5 supports the A2DP and AVRCP profiles), connecting to the D5 can be as simple as turning your device's Bluetooth on, waiting for it to search and find the D5, inputting the PIN (0000), then hitting play on your music. The music will stream wirelessly to the speaker so long as you're within about 30 feet of the D5.

Read the full review of the ZiiSound D5.