Creative Brings on Zen Speakers

Creative has introduced three new speaker systems for its Zen line of portable media players, including compact speakers for traveling, a small bookshelf system, and a subwoofer-equipped music station with the company’s X-Fi technology, which promises to take MP3s and other compressed audio “beyond than CD quality.”

First up, the TravelSound Zen V docking speakers supports Creative’s Zen V and Zen V Plus players, offering four 36mm NeoTitanium microdriver speakers with a wide stereo effect featre which enables the system to simulate a wider field of sound. The system runs off either a power adapter or four AA batteries (which provide up to 25 hours of music playback); users can charge and load up their player while their Zen player is docked with the speakers. The TravelSound Zen V will be available for $129 online.

The Creative ZenDock Z500 speakers system offers more of a bookshelf solution, although it sports a carrying handle in addition to two 12 Watt drivers and a 24 Watt subwoofer in a compact package just over 5.25 pounds. The system runs off an AC adapter or 8 C batteries which offer 16 hours of music playback, and users can extend a built-in FM antenna and adjust the bass response on the subwoofer, then manage the whole thing from afar with the included infrared remote. Users can charge their Zen players while they’re docked with the speakers, and the system offers the same Wide Stereo effect which exaggerates the sound stage of stereo sound sources. The ZenDock Z500 will be available online in December for $199; it supports Creative’s Zen V/Zen V Plus and Zen Vision:M players.

Finally, the big kahuna of Creative’s new speaker systems is the X-Fi Sound System Z600, which sports two wall-mountable 35 Watt satellite speakers and a compact 130 Watt subwoofer, and supports Creative’s Zen Vision:M portable media player as well as external stereos and televisions through audio/video output, so users can put their Zen-bound video on big-screen TVs. The system also includes Creative’s X-Fi processor, which the company claims restores audio data tossed out by “lossy” compression formats like MP3 and plays back the recordings at “beyond CD quality” and offers “virtual surround sound” from stereo recordings. (Reviews of the X-Fi have been mixed—as with many things, a lot depends on the quality and nature of the recording and the encoder used to make the MP3 file.) The X-Fi Sound System Z600 comes with an IR remote which enables users to control key functions of the Zen Vision:M player. The X-Fi Sound System Z600 will be available online for $399 on November 24.

All three Creative speaker systems will be available at selected Singapore retail outlets as well as Creative’s online stores, although the units are priced at S$199, S$299, and S$588, respectively, in Singapore dollars.

Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.

Get a new Nintendo Switch? You'll need to grab these accessories

The Switch is a capable console right out of the box, but it has its limitations. Thankfully, these Nintendo Switch accessories will allow you to make the most of Nintendo's latest console.

Building a 4K home theater? Grab a discounted Denon A/V receiver from Amazon

Denon makes some of the best 4K A/V receivers on the market, and a handful of Denon’s latest models are on sale on Amazon now. If you’ve been thinking about building a home theater and are looking for a 4K receiver that doesn’t cost…

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.
Emerging Tech

Researchers gave alligators headphones and ketamine, and all for a good cause

Researchers in Germany and the United States recently gave ketamine and earphones to alligators to monitor how they process sounds. Here's what it reveals about alligator evolution.
Emerging Tech

Cheese tastes different when it listens to Led Zeppelin, Swiss study finds

A funky new study says that exposing cheese to music changes its aroma and flavor. What’s more, the genre of music matters. Researchers from the Bern University of Arts played music to nine, 22-pound wheels of Emmental cheese.
Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.
Emerging Tech

Astronomers plan to beam Earth’s greatest hits into deep space, and you can help

A new project from the SETI Institute (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will give the public the chance to submit compositions to be beamed into space, with the aim of connecting people around the world through music.
Emerging Tech

Scientists have a way to turn off alcoholism: Blasting the brain with lasers

Researchers from Scripps Research have demonstrated that it is possible to reverse the desire to drink in alcohol-dependent rats by targeting a part of the brain using lasers. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

China has cloned its best police dog. Now it wants to mass-produce more

Scientists in China have cloned the Sherlock Holmes of police sniffer dogs, with possible plans to mass produce it in the future. Here's why its creators think that's a great idea.
Emerging Tech

Scientists use drone to map Icelandic cave in preparation for Mars exploration

Researchers from the SETI Institute and Astrobotic Technology have demonstrated a way that astronauts may be able to map Martian caves using a Lidar-equipped drone that can travel autonomously without GPS.
Emerging Tech

A 3D printer the size of a small barn will produce entire homes in Saudi Arabia

If you’re looking for a 3D printer that can comfortably fit on the side of your desk… well, Danish company Cobod International’s enormous new 3D house printer probably isn’t for you.

Need a ride? Amazon is slashing prices on popular electric scooters

If you’re not much of a cyclist or if you’re looking for a lazier way to zip about town, an electric scooter should be right up your alley. Two of our favorites, the foldable Glion Dolly and the eco-friendly Razor scooter, are on sale…
Emerging Tech

Unexpected particle plumes discovered jetting out of asteroid Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx craft traveled to asteroid Bennu last year and won't return until 2023. But the mission is already throwing up unexpected findings, like plumes of particles which are being ejected from the surface of the asteroid.