Creative ZiioSound T6 review
All the connections you could wish for and some thoughtful features, but sound quality is little more than mediocre
Review Date: 4 Feb 2011
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £292 (£350 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
The market for computer speakers is a crowded one, but Creative’s ZiiSound T6 set stands out in more ways than one. Boasting USB, Bluetooth and standard analogue connections, they’re among the most flexible PC speakers we’ve come across, and with a price of nearly £400, they’re among the most expensive too.
They’re designed to partner seamlessly with Creative’s ZiiO tablets, and they do that well. In fact, any device equipped with Bluetooth can connect just as easily – there’s even a small USB Bluetooth dongle included in the box for you to connect your non-Bluetooth desktop or laptop wirelessly. The only difference with the ZiiO products is they’re able to take advantage of Creative’s proprietary X-Fi audio processing software, which comes pre-installed.
Whatever way you hook them up, though, there’s no denying they look good. Each left and right speaker consists of a pair of sharp-edged cuboids, and you can rotate each individually to create a pseudo-surround sound effect. The compact “SLAM” subwoofer looks purposeful too, complete with three 5in drivers covered with aggressive-looking metal grilles. At the rear of the sub are USB and analogue stereo inputs and the sub also houses the Bluetooth receiver and DAC (digital to analogue convertor).
Putting the final, luxury touch on the whole lot is its chunky, ball-shaped remote control. Connected to a serial port on the back of the sub, this offers not only volume control, but also buttons for source selection and Bluetooth pairing, plus a pair of 3.5mm audio jacks for headphone and line-in connection. Oh, and lest we forget, there’s also a small infrared remote control so you can operate the speakers from the comfort of your sofa.
It’s all very impressive, but the key is how good they sound, and over the Bluetooth connection they largely delivered the goods. We found it difficult to tell the difference between tracks played via the analogue or USB connection and Bluetooth, and pairing was simple.
The T6s create a remarkable sense of space and imaging around music and soundtracks, if you arrange the satellites correctly, and at the top end of the audio spectrum there’s all the detail you’d expect at the price.
There’s trouble down the range, though: the subwoofer is poor. Although there’s plenty of power on offer, definition and control are sadly lacking, with deep bass beats that sound flabby and indistinct.
A bigger problem, however, is a huge hole in the dynamic range between the upper and lower registers. It often sounds as if there’s a gap in the music, desperate to be filled with powerful vocals, or rich orchestral colour. And this problem afflicts not just music, but movie soundtracks too – listening to these speakers is like biting into a Creme Egg and finding there’s no cream inside. There’s not enough substance.
Put simply, the sound quality of the ZiiSound T6s isn’t good enough. They may be about as flexible as a set of speakers can get, they may sound great over Bluetooth, they may look fantastic. But for output this mediocre, the price is simply too high.
Author: Jonathan Bray
- Sorry monkeys: you can't copyright your selfies
- Google: driverless car testers don't need to be "safe drivers"
- Microsoft to announce Windows 9 on 30 September
- Motorola Moto X+1 press photos leaked online
- Microsoft working on Miracast Dongle streaming hardware
- Diaspora: we can't stop spread of beheading videos
- Sony Xperia Z3 specs leak online
- iPhone 6 and iPhone 6L pictures leak online
- Bug hunters paid to target Oculus Rift
- Meet the "scarecrows" and "snipers" slaying Twitter spam
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to edit PDFs: make change to a PDF
- Building a patently better future
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy