CES 2011 CoverageBosco - January 7, 2011
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Creative had a very impressive booth this year at CES. Many recent products were on display and the company offered thorough demos of most of them. We were first greeted with a wall of products in their retail boxes, mainly Creative's sound card and speaker lineups, as well as a few USB cameras.
Many of Creative's gaming headsets were demoed on several high performance gaming PCs, powered by the recently-released G1-Killer motherboards manufactured by Gigabyte. Most, if not all of these gaming headsets feature a very comfortable around-the-ear circumaural design, relieving just about any fatigue-related pain that can be caused by lower-end headsets that are less comfortable after extended periods of use. Many of these offer USB connectivity, while some still use the standard 3.5mm audio jacks for input and output so that they may be used on other devices that may not have USB ports, such as certain consoles and music devices.
Creative now has several more additions to its set of wireless speakers that allow for more end-user flexibility and a very clean look to one's workstation. This series is named ZiiSound, and there are currently three different products in this category. Each ZiiSound device streams audio wirelessly using Bluetooth and are compatible with just about every Bluetooth device, swiftly eliminating the need for wires. The T6 will be shipped with an included USB transmitter that can be used to broadcast audio from computers. There is also an optional dongle for Apple devices that use the standard dock connector, as seen in the picture below. Currently, there is no way to wirelessly stream from analog sources, such as your TV or any other non-Bluetooth devices, though that's sure to show up in the future with the way that Creative is moving! The rear of the T6 looks like any other 2.1 set of speakers — so no fully wireless speakers here yet.
The last cool gadget we checked out at the Creative booth was the Sound Blaster Recon3D. It is an external USB sound card that is great for portability. It is hardware accelerated, so the additional activity on the CPU from running an integrated sound card is offloaded to this device. It has virtual surround sound, which turns any regular stereo headset into an immersive 3D sound experience. It is also compatible with Xbox 360, PS3 and obviously with Windows and Mac operating systems.