Sexy and Intoxicating..
The ZiiSound D5 eludes a sense of tranquility with the full black outlook coupled with a tinge of gloss. The overall speaker is covered by black fabric, with its sides armoured with a reflective metallic surface.
Being a soundbar, D5 stayed true to the meaning quite literally, by shaping up as a no-frills rectangular bar with almost no protruding edge on the top and front. Its elegance has not fallen short on us, there is virtually no other button found on the speaker with the exception of the power button.
The back of the speakers contains the power jack, power button and 3.5mm audio jack, all housed centrally in sleek plastic. Gorged out next to this, is the porthole for the bass boom.
The central housing, houses more than just the connection jacks, the top of it is actually the connector port for the charging element for iPods and iPhones.
The charging element is also the uniquely designed Bluetooth dongle for the iPods and iPhones.
The top of the speakers contains nothing more than the volume control which is just a capacitive sensor that reacts via finger touch.
The front of the speakers is also one of the most important place, as it houses the 2 speaker drivers and the connect touch sensor.
Once again, designed with Apple in mind, the D5 offers more than just Bluetooth wireless connection for the iPods and iPhones. It also comes with inter-changeable docking fit that virtually fits all pods out there.
Fret not for those without Bluetooth-enabled devices, connection to the D5 is still possible, albeit not wireless. The 3.5mm audio jack located behind the speaker should suffice. For laptops and desktops users, worry not too, for Creative also created a USB Bluetooth dongle that allows these devices to transmit wirelessly.
Connecting using the Bluetooth is a simple affair, one only need to turn on the Bluetooth feature of the device, or plug in the Bluetooth dongle, and gently finger depress the ‘Connect’ sensor. Moments later, you can start pumping music out of the lovely soundbar.
For Apple users, you can either control volume via your iPods and iPhones or rely on the volume control on the D5.
The volume is controlled in a digital domain on both the speakers and the device. For example, when you raise the volume on your Apple iPod, the volume bar on the D5 increases accordingly, and vice versa. Effectively, it is impossible to go beyond ‘full scale’ volume, and hence you will never experience audio distortion due to clipping.
Getting Personal with Wireless
Wireless connections is the next Google. No longer are we satisfied by binding ourselves with any rope or cable for that matter, we require space and movement, and wireless is the way to go.
But, many products have came and failed, for lack of a better word, terribly. Bluetooth is here to stay, and Creative has smartly integrated it with their sound codec, apt-X
apt-X audio coding is used in professional audio solutions, television and radio broadcasting and consumer electronics applications in wireless audio. For apt-X over Bluetooth A2DP, a bandwidth of only 352kbps is required for CD-quality transmission, well within the 768kbps limit of the A2DP protocol.
The final product we have is the ZiiSound D5, that allows for wireless connections, while still offering those living in the caves, the trusty 3.5mm jack.
In our labs, we tested the Bluetooth connection with a variety of devices, from iPod Classic, to desktops, to mobile phones. apt-X is also the key behind the reduced latency and pair time. All connections were instantaneous, if not for all the devices trying to get a piece of the speaker. Once a connection is made, reliability is not so much of a concern, we were able control the music with us being in another closed-door room without connection dropages.