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Creative TravelSound Zen V Portable Speakers review: Creative TravelSound Zen V Portable Speakers

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MSRP: $129.99

The Good Creative's TravelSound for the Zen V offers a compact design, comes with a handy remote, and will charge the player while plugged in. The speaker can also run off of batteries, and it features a retractable antenna for optimizing reception of the Zen V's built-in FM tuner.

The Bad When the Zen V is docked in the TravelSound, it doesn't sit flush with the unit. The remote won't power the speaker on or off and turning the unit on doesn't automatically turn the player on as well. Like many compact speakers, this one lacks bass.

The Bottom Line For frequent fliers who own Creative's Zen V MP3 player and don't want to be stuck listening to clock radios, the TravelSound Zen V is a fine choice.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 6

Creative Labs really knows how to make a fantastic MP3 player, but the company hasn't shown nearly as much skill in the portable speaker arena. This issue has compelled many a Creative MP3 user (including myself) to force their players to couple with "Made for iPod" sound systems. Luckily for Zen V users, this is no longer a concern. Enter the Creative TravelSound Zen V, a $129 portable speaker that works with all Zen Vs (including the Plus versions).

The included remote is a nice touch.

As its name implies, the TravelSound Zen V is quite travel friendly: it measures 9x5x2.2 inches, weighs 1.5 pounds, and comes with a drawstring pouch for transport. Unlike most travel speakers, this unit also comes with an infrared remote. Unfortunately, the remote can't power the TravelSound on or off--as is usually the case with devices that use a switch rather than a button for this feature--but I got around this by just using play/pause when I wanted to stop playback. The remote does include track shuttle keys, mute and mode buttons, volume toggles, and a stereo separation button, which gives the music a wider soundstage. This feature actually worked quite well in testing.

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