JBL’s Creature III Speakers Get Funky

Back in 2002, JBL introduced a set of futuristic sci-fi speakers designed to bring desktop computers and notebooks into the world of quality audio without looking like giant slabs of with grilles. Now Harman International has gone back to the future, announcing the JBL Creature III speakers with a new streamlined airy feel and soft-touch controls…but they still look like they plopped onto your desktop from some alien mothership.

JBL Creature III speakers (black)

“Our inspiration for the Creature series was rooted in our weariness with static, six-sided box designs so commonly seen on desktop speaker systems,” said Harman International VP of industrial design Kurt Solland, in a statement, “The idea of a ‘creature’ bubbling next to your desktop with acoustic waveguides that look like face masks gives the system a distinctive personality that our consumers love.”

The Creature III system features Harman’s Odyssey transducer technology to offer high quality audio with “impressive” bass response and clear midrange. The speakers feature soft-touch tactile controls so users can adjust volume or mute the speakers with a simple touch; the system also remembers volume settings from when it was last used.

And for flexibility, the system is old-school analog, accepting a 3.5mm stereo mini input and eschewing USB, S/PDIF, and all that other fancy nonsense: the Creature IIIs can be used with computers, stereos, portable media players, televisions, and other gear with impunity. The two satellite speakers feature 1 5/8-inch drivers running at 5 watts, while the “subwoofer” uses a 3-inch driver—but Harman says the system handles everything from 50Hz to 20kHz.

The Creature IIIs will carry a suggested retail price of $129,99, and (for the time being anyway) will be available exclusively at Apple retail stores and Apple’s online store.

JBL Creature III speakers (white)
Emerging Tech

These Alexa-stuffed retro phones don’t listen until you take them off the hook

Looking for an Amazon Echo with a cool vintage touch? Los Angeles-based Grain Design is taking old, non-working antique phones and transforming them into amazing Alexa smart speakers.
Home Theater

Learn how to calibrate your home theater speakers for sheer audio bliss

Make your home theater rumble just right with our manual speaker setup guide, a simple, step-by-step walkthrough to getting the most from your audio equipment without needing to rely on imperfect automatic calibration.
Smart Home

Amazon has a huge team dedicated to enhancing Alexa and Echo

An Amazon executive on Tuesday, November 13 revealed the huge size of the team that's tasked with developing the Echo, the company's smart speaker, and Alexa, the digital assistant that powers it.
Computing

Great PC speakers don't need to break the bank. These are our favorites

Not sure which PC speakers work best with your computer? Here are the best computer speakers on the market, whether you're working with a tight budget or looking to rattle your workstation with top-of-the-line audio components.
Computing

Want to use one drive between a Mac and Windows PC? Partitions are your best bet

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Computing

Microsoft turns on the lights with a new white theme in Windows 10 update

Microsoft is introducing a new light theme in the upcoming version of Windows 10 and is currently beta testing the change with Windows Insiders. The clean-looking theme brings a much-needed facelift to Windows.
Computing

Four Andromeda-related Microsoft patents hint at new ways to use the device

Andromeda might be getting even more real as four Microsoft patents have surfaced recently, all of which hint at possible new use cases and other new configurations for the device. 
Computing

Here's why 64-bit (not 32-bit) dominates modern computing

Today's computing world isn't the same as it once was. With 64-bit processors and operating systems replacing the older 32-bit designs, we look at what 32-bit vs. 64-bit really means for you.
Computing

A Google patent shows a way to make VR even more immersive

Virtual reality can be a really immersive experience, but it does sometimes it does have boundaries. Google has addressed this problem by patenting shoes with a flexible region on the bottom.
Computing

Converting files from MKV to MP4 is quick and easy. Just follow these steps

MKV files have their place, but if you would rather convert your videos from MKV to MP4, there are two methods we consider the best and most efficient for getting it done. In this guide, we'll walk you through them step by step.
Computing

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering changing up your mouse for something ergonomic. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.
Computing

Our 10 favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Computing

Windows 10 notifications driving you crazy? Here's how to get them under control

Are the notifications on Windows 10 annoying you? Here's our guide on how to turn off notifications in Windows, and how to manage alerts so that the important stuff still gets through.