With music collections increasingly being stored in digital format rather than inside jewel cases and record sleeves, the line between PC speakers and portable audio speakers is getting very squiggly indeed. Creative's HD50 take a bet each way, targeting both iPod owners and those looking to add some good-looking, unobtrusive speakers to their PC set-up.
The HD50 speakers are quite diminutive at just over 14 centimetres tall. Finished in shiny white, they're trendy-looking, but not so fashionable that they'll look like relics within two years. The mesh-covered speaker grilles are attached to each unit by six weak magnets, making them easily removable. Beneath each fabric layer you'll find a 5-centimetre driver complemented by a titanium super tweeter.
Unlike the company's taller, cheaper and more PC-focused T40s, there's just one controller: a silver power/volume knob on the front of the right speaker. Switch the HD50 on by turning the knob to the right and an illuminated neon blue ring appears around the dial.
On the back of the right speaker you'll find a neat row of sockets. Cables snake from these to the left speaker, a power supply and your audio source. Creative's proprietary docking station socket also makes an appearance, but as yet there is no compatible dock available in Australia. If you're keen to attach an iPod dock you can always plug one in via the standard 3.5mm audio input. We tried it with Creative's ownand had no troubles. The required cable is even included in the HD50 box.