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Creative Labs D200 wireless Bluetooth speaker review:

Creative Labs D200 wireless Bluetooth speaker

What happens when a call comes in on your phone? The music pauses and when you hang up, it starts again where it left off. Alas, you can't use the D200 as a speakerphone, but that's not the end of the world.

As for sound, this model doesn't perform as well as the step-up Zii Sound D5 (which is, in fairness, more than twice as expensive), but we were still fairly impressed. With a Bluetooth connection, your digital music gets more compressed than it already is, but some companies like Creative infuse it with some extra technology to optimize the sound (Creative uses something called the apt-X audio codec). We should also point out that the quality of the music matters less when you're dealing with a smaller speaker that doesn't accentuate the flaws created by compression. In other words, bigger and better speakers will highlight the flaws of your digital music. By comparison, ignorance is bliss: when listening to the D200, it's pretty hard to tell you're listening to music streamed wirelessly via Bluetooth.

The little speaker plays pretty loud and can fill a small- to medium-size room with sound. Its bass is a little thinner than the D5's and you don't get quite as much detail, but the difference between the two speakers isn't huge.

Like a lot of these smaller speakers, the D200 is stronger in the midrange and tends to do best with acoustical arrangements and ballads and less well with hip-hop and bass-heavy material. Still, it's got a little kick, and plays bigger than it looks. (For our tests, we kept the volume on the speaker at about 80 to 85 percent from the top and then adjusted the volume via the volume control on our phone).

As we said, at $130, this model costs significantly less than the Zii Sound D5 and in terms of sound quality, compares favorably with speakers in the $125 to $150 price range that are missing the Bluetooth-streaming capabilities (although most of those competing models have an iPod/iPhone charging dock). No, it doesn't have a battery option for portable use like the $80 Creative D100 does. But if you're looking for a compact Bluetooth speaker that you can easily move around the house, the D200 offers decent bang for the buck.

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