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Creative ships tiny digital-amp speakers

The Singapore-based company launches a portable speaker system with a built-in digital amplifier, which it claims can deliver powerful, high-quality sound in a small package.

Singapore-based Creative Technology has launched a portable speaker system with a built-in digital amplifier, which it claims can deliver powerful, high-quality sound in a small package.

The size of a slim paperback at 154mm x 65mm x 50mm when unfolded, the Creative TravelSound weighs 320g with batteries. Four AA batteries can power the amplifier for 35 hours, according to Creative.

"The TravelSound demonstrates Creative's superior ability to combine speaker innovation with audio quality," said Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo.

Designed to work with portable MP3 or CD music players, it has a 3.5mm stereo input jack that is compatible with the speaker or headphone plugs of most playback devices. It folds back into its stand to make it easier to pack away, and a power adapter is included for nonbattery use.

Unlike other portable speaker-amplifier combos, the TravelSound features a digital amplifier. It converts analog inputs and amplifies them in the digital domain before converting the signal back into analog to drive the speakers.

The use of digital amplification allows for more efficient battery use, less heat, a smaller form factor and better audio reproduction, Creative said.

The TravelSound costs $79.99 and is immediately available in Europe and Asia.

CNETAsia's John Lui reported from Singapore.

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