New wireless speakers adjust to room size
Speakers set can be set up as home theater with separate audio channels through app.
Sun, Sep 02, 2012 at 3:32 PM
BERLIN At the IFA tech show here, or at any tech show, it's not hard to find wireless speakers that pair with smartphones and tablets. But audio company Creative is being more — creative — with a speaker that can function on its own for basic stereo or link wirelessly with additional speakers to form a surround-sound system.
The D5XM, due in January for about $200, at first looks like simply a more stylish upgrade to the current D5x model. But the new D5XM has a twist: It builds a home theater for you.
First comes the wireless capability that allows up to three units to communicate with each other and with a matching subwoofer over their own wireless network using the 5.4-gigahertz frequency. In "party mode" each speaker simply blasts the same thing to cover a larger area. But the speakers can also be set up as a home theater with left, right and center audio channels, plus rumbling from the subwoofer.
Another neat trick is a bit esoteric but very handy for people serious about audio. An audiophile can calibrate the system — adjusting for the shape of the room, equalizing the loudness of each speaker and other adjustments — using a simple app.
Traditional studio systems come with a microphone you set in the middle of the room to measure a series of tones sent from each speaker. The Creative D5XM works with an Android and iOS app that uses the phone's microphone to listen to speaker tones, and make the adjustments.
Creative dubs this system "self-calibrating," which is a bit of a stretch, but it does make the process easier.
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