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MP3 Players

Hands-on with the Creative TravelSound Zen Stone

Stoners: your speakers have arrived. Users of the Creative Zen Stone, that is. These cute little speakers are for use with Creative's Stone and Stone Plus set of MP3 players, and we like them

Last week we were somewhat taken by Creative's new Zen Stone Plus. No sooner had we got used to hearing the thing through bits of plastic in our ears than, lo, a speaker system for it arrived.

The TravelSound Zen Stone is small and both the Stone and the Stone Plus fit inside it very snugly. It's powered by two AAA batteries and is loud enough to listen to in a bedroom or by a tent at one of those drugged-up, tripped-out festivals you Cravers tell us you're all going to this summer.

Little rubber placeholders keep the Stone in place, but this does mean the play/pause and special function buttons become unusable on the top of the player as they're hidden by the body of the speakers. The system can also be used in passive mode powered by the player if you haven't got any batteries to hand.

Sound quality's fine for something this small. It's very similar to Logic3's cute little i-Station Traveller. Rock gets a bit muddy at higher volumes and bass is lacking, but for something of this size it's really not too shabby. Pop one into your wellies next time you hit a muddy field.

The TravelSound Zen Stone is released later this month at a price of £29.99. -Nate Lanxon