Creative has made an exceptionally good MP3 player, and it calls it the Zen V Plus. Now it's created what can be described as the "man's best friend" for the little player, and it's called the Creative TravelSound Zen V -- an elegant and portable loudspeaker setup.
There have been times when we thought Creative had stuffed a very talented banshee into a cute black box, because this beast screams music like a decent mini hi-fi. It's a speaker system that's not so large, but certainly knows who's boss. Ever the prankster, Crave enjoyed carrying it to the beach and setting it down next to a kid's sandcastle. With Metallica switched on at full volume, castles tumble to the ground in seconds.
Like all good portable speaker systems, the TravelSound Zen V can be powered for over 24 hours by four AA batteries. It's also kind enough to charge the Zen V Plus while docked, and even allows you to connect an external subwoofer should you desire a more powerful bass reproduction.
The only downside to the unit is that no matter how hard we tried, our video iPod just wouldn't fit in the docking space. If, like us, you're effectively married to your iPod, you may wish to have a quick cry that your beloved player won't slot into this system.
If you've got a Zen V Plus, however, give this setup a second glance -- it's got a lot of meat for such a small sandwich. At about £70 it's also a cracking buy, though we're not sure why Creative didn't bother to give it a carry handle. Would you buy a chair that didn't come with legs? No, we wouldn't either. But we can always sit on the table, and for that reason we still think this is a nice piece of kit. -NL