Sneak Preview: Creative's D5xm Self-calibrating Wireless Speaker
Creative Labs Europe is at IFA 2012 to showcase some of their latest products, such as the Sound Blaster Recon 3D, ZiiSound D5x, and Sound BlasterAxx. But sitting at one corner of the room is an unannounced product called the D5xm, which Creative is billing as the ‘world’s first self-calibrating modular wireless speaker system’.
For the most part, the D5xm is like the D5x, a modular speaker system with the ability to expand into a multi-channel configuration (as of now, you can go up to a 3.2-channel config). The D5xm has touch controls and houses its own digital amplifier. It also uses the aptX audio coding technology to ensure great sound quality during real-time audio streaming. We were also told that it runs on a quad-core SB-Axx1 chip, the same chip used by the Sound BlasterAxx series of products. Of course, it also comes with Bluetooth support, so that compatible Bluetooth A2DP devices (which most mobile smart devices are) can stream audio to it wirelessly.
Like the ZiiSound D5x and D3x, there would be two models in this Signature series: D5xm and D3xm.
In addition, a new subwoofer is created for the D5xm/D3xm. Called the DSxm, it uses Creative’s Symmetrically Loaded Acoustic Module (SLAM) that uses a master driver and dual pressure drivers, and features a port-less design. It links to the D5xm/D3xm wirelessly, so the only cable needed is for the power supply.
As mentioned earlier, the headline feature of the D5xm is that it can do its own calibration based on the room size. To do so, you first have to link the speakers up (including the subwoofers) via a 5.8GHz wireless link. Then, pair the linked up system with your mobile device, such as a smartphone, over Bluetooth. You can then use the free Creative Central app (again, similar to the one we saw for the Sound BlasterAxx) to do things like customizing advanced audio settings and calibrating the system. The latter is done by the app first listening to a tone sent by the D5xm, and from then on, it’s able to determine the room size, and calibrate itself.
While there’s no official word on the pricing of the D5xm and D3xm (and the DSxm), we got the hint that they would be priced slightly higher than the D5x and D3x that are currently retailing for S$349 and S$169 respectively. Launch timing isn’t confirmed as well, but again, the hint we got is that it’d be sometime in January 2013. Our best guess is it’d be at CES 2013.