AV Peripherals and Systems Guide

The Creative Sound BlasterAxx Speaker Family - Heralding a New Era for Creative

Introducing the Sound BlasterAxx

Introducing the Sound BlasterAxx

The new Sound BlasterAxx speakers comes in three different sizes and all of three of them follow a simple hexagonal tower design. It’s a simple and elegant design that lives up to Creative CEO Sim Wong Hoo’s earlier claims that from now on all Creative products would be "elegantly designed".

The smaller SBX 10 and SBX 8 models are very compact and take up very little space on a desk. The larger SBX 20 flagship is a little tricky though because at 40cm it is pretty tall and requires a stand to stabilize it. As such it takes up slightly more desk space. Even so, its height makes it look awkward on a desk; on the other hand, we think it looks too small to be floor-standing speakers too. For users who are fussy with positioning and placement, finding a suitable spot for the SBX 20 will take a bit more work and creativity. For those wondering if it's the tallest PC speaker yet, if you recall a seriously bulky and tall speaker set from Altec Lansing called the ACS500 from the 1990s, that's actually taller at 46cm! So the Creative SBX 20 is certainly not the tallest, but it comes close.

The Sound BlasterAxx utilizes what Creative calls a "Stacked Stereo Acoustic Design" that combines two full-range speaker drivers vertically into a single chassis. The two speakers are also slightly angled to give better stereo separation and a wider sound soundstage, a common weakness of single unit stereo speaker systems. Also, for the SBX 20 and SBX 10, the speakers also has a dual-mic array, which uses two microphones to accurately pick up voice and intelligently adjusts audio.

In terms of features, the SBX 20 and SBX 10 are nearly identical. The only difference being that the larger SBX 20 has Creative's specially-designed intelligent amplifier that allows it to be powered via USB - the SBX 10 and SBX 8 which have smaller drivers do not have such high power requirements and as such are not equipped with this amplifier.

The baby SBX 8 also lacks Bluetooth connectivity too, so it cannot play music wirelessly and must be connected to the source either via USB or the auxiliary jack. It is also missing Creative's VoiceFocus technology (which we'll discuss in later pages). This is a little weird seeing that the most portable unit actually lacks the most useful of functions ideal for on-the-go usage.

Here's a round up of the speakers' sizes and features: 

Model Height Driver Size Intelligent Amplifier Bluetooth SBX Pro Studio CrystalVoice Technology
SBX 20 40cm 2.75-inch Yes Yes Yes Yes
SBX 10 30cm 2.25-inch No Yes Yes Yes
SBX 8 16 cm 1.4-inch No No Yes Yes (No VoiceFocus)