Last September 27, Creative Labs unveiled their newest line of wireless speakers during their product launch at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The Sound Blaster Axx series promises to give consumers a very portable yet powerful device. (Apologies for the crappy pictures, I was using an old camera phone during the coverage.)
If you can recall, Sound Blaster was one of the widely known sound cards for the PC, and now Creative is expanding their Sound Blaster brand to the audio market.
Mr. Paul Seow, Worldwide Sales Manager of Creative opened a presentation about the Sound Blaster Axx, there are three models: the SBX 8, SBX 10 and SBX 20. One thing we noticed is that the SBX series has a vertical tower-like design, which is kind of interesting as the usual design focused on the speakers being in a horizontal position. But don’t get yourself fooled if you think that the SBX series on has one speaker, it has two speakers placed strategically inside to bounce off the sounds on your room to give that optimal sound experience. Another thing is that the speaker is USB powered, but it only consumes around 3 to 5 Watts, so if you have an external battery connected to the SBX, it can lasts up to almost a day.
The Sound BlasterAxx offers a lot of nifty features, majority of these are more on the microphone function such as the CrystalVoice technology, where it has different features like the Smart Volume Management where your voice will pick up and the volume will not decrease no matter how far you are from the SBX unit. Next is the Voice Focus where your voice will be the one that can be heard even in a noisy area as long as you are in the focused beam area. There is even a Voice Effects feature where you can change your voice on the available presets, want to scare your friends, change your voice to a robot or even an alien.
Since it is wireless with its Bluetooth connectivity, smartphones such as iPhone and Android phones can sync with the Sound Blaster Axx to play their music and movies. Plus, you can use the Creative Central application (which is free to download) for your smartphones to control your audio settings. The Sound BlasterAxx Control Panel is for the PC and Mac to adjust the audio settings for your computer
Mr. Seow demonstrated the SBX 20 during the presentation and the audio was good especially in a large conference room, although it may not have that punch from their other powerhouse speakers, they are merely focused on portability. He also tested the speakers on different formats like in movies (which gave a pretty good audio output) and in games (we found the output is not that good or probably the game that was used as a demo does not have really good audio quality). Mr. Seow also pointed out that the SBX series is targeted to consumers who are after portability to their speakers and this is not for audiophiles as the sound quality is not that top notch.
We tried asking about the compatibility of the SBX series to the current generation of gaming consoles like the PS3 and Xbox 360, but unfortunately it seems that the speakers cannot playback game audio output (although the speakers can be detected by the console like what we did during the Creative D200 review) in wireless, and this a problem on the console’s side. Aside from the SBX lineout, we get to try the other wireless products of Creative Labs.
The Sound BlasterAxx series is already out in the market (SBX 8 at around PhP 4,000 SBX 10 PhP 8,000 and SBX 20 at PhP 12,000). You can check our gallery for more images from the product launch.