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I'm just getting started with bluetooth speakers

by wpgwpg / February 22, 2014 4:35 AM PST

Yesterday I bought a Creative D80 bluetooth speaker for my laptop and have amazed at how good it sounds with my laptop. I've also discovered Rick Broida's CNET review at
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13845_3-57424844-58/get-a-creative-d80-bluetooth-speaker-for-$29.99/ . Like Rick I always thought bluetooth was an esoteric technology for cell phones and not much else. Then I bought a tablet with bluetooth, and started to wonder what else it might be good for.
We all know how poor most laptop speakers are, but this thing really surprised me at how good it sounds. The one thing that I'd really like to see is the specs on power output and frequency response. The bass on this pair of 3" speakers is most impressive so I really enjoy listening to classical music on Pandora.
Am I just late to the bluetooth game or are there others out there who've made similar discoveries? I'd love to hear from you.

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You're right. Most laptop speakers are marginal.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 22, 2014 4:47 AM PST

My cheapest USB powered analog desktop speakers sound better than onboard most of the time.

If I have one quibble or two it's this. The pairing beeps are too loud most of the time and can't be squelched. And one set I have makes a click noise on bluetooth connection so it's annoying.

I'm picky.
Bob

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I don't hear any of that with this speaker.
by wpgwpg / February 22, 2014 5:06 AM PST

Neither does my wife. I wear hearing aids, but my wife hears everything, and she doesn't hear any pairing sounds or other distractions either. Rick Broida didn't mention this in his CNET review either, so maybe you have an older version? It couldn't be much cheaper than mine though because mine sells for 30 to 50 depending where you shop. I've seen some customer reviews saying they've had disconnect problems with their Windows 7 PCs, but I've tried it with Windows 7 and 8, and haven't seen any problems. I did get my drivers screwed up on my laptop, so I uninstalled the bluetooth adapter and the speaker, and when I reinstalled everything worked just fine. My bluetooth adapter is an inexpensive Inland that uses Broadcom 4 FWIW. Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn send you their regards. Wink

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So far, Creative has been a fav of mine for a long time.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 22, 2014 5:10 AM PST

My first Creative Labs product was some Soundblaster on the PC ISA BUS. That was on a 80486!
Bob

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486 huh?
by wpgwpg / February 22, 2014 5:28 AM PST

My first PC was a 386SX, and it seems like I had something from Creative Labs even back then. That was a significant influence in my buying from them this time. Wow, we've really dated ourselves here today!

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Creative won't release frequency response & power
by wpgwpg / February 24, 2014 4:06 AM PST

statistics for the D80 speaker. That really irks me. What do they have to hide? It smells of some marketer deciding that because it's not 20 to 20 KHz, they would sell more with folks not knowing. You know the engineers had to test and find out what it was. This smacks of what happens when a company gets too old, too big, and too bureaucratic. I've seen that happen in numerous tech companies before. I sure hate to see that happen. I emailed them asking and was told "those statistics are not available" along with a bureaucratic line of BS about how you shouldn't just go with numbers. What a crock! Angry It sure turns my opinion of Creative Labs around 180 degrees unfortunately.

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I have a few friends who worked for CL.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 24, 2014 4:12 AM PST

It was over a decade ago and over time they moved to mass production of many products. As the speakers are not tightly "source controlled" but bid out and more (this is not a CL exclusive idea) then the curves can bounce around.

In fact many HDTVs don't have great specifications from the makers. Few reveal color gamut coverage, the nits are rarely spot on but they are mass produced and may be a variable as a 1960's GM car was on a Tuesday versus a Friday production day.
Bob

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Good point
by wpgwpg / February 24, 2014 4:26 AM PST

Mass production not tightly controlled does add an extra dimension to this. I know about those old GM cars - I had a '78 Buick that needed a new piston on one trip to the shop, then a new crankshaft on another. Fortunately under warranty. I figured my engine must've been put together early on a Monday morning after the assemblers had a wild party the night before. We know what that got them too, don't we.

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Will wonders never cease, persistence pays
by wpgwpg / February 28, 2014 2:42 AM PST

Would you believe Creative finally sent me specs for that D80 bluetooth speaker? 5 watts RMS total and 90 to 20 KHz, although they still didn't say plus or minus how many db. With the exception of the high frequency number, this is close to what I'd guessed. I've got a feeling the curve drops off pretty sharply when you get over around 8 to 10 KHz. For a $33 stereo speaker it does right well I have to say. The low frequency sound is surprisingly good - I'm guessing that by having two 3" speakers, they get close to the bass of a 6" one.
It's strange to me that you can buy $10 USB speakers with the specs readily available, but even on their $300 bluetooth ones, they don't publish. I've got to believe this decision was made by non-technical marketing people for whom I'll spare writing my opinion!

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