By Tab Olsen
I’m no audiophile but I know what I like in computer speakers. I prefer speakers that: 1) look nice, 2) don’t take up too much space, 3) are easy to use, 4) have decent sound, and 5) are reasonably priced. Oh, and there’s one more thing: 6) I don’t care for wireless, but I don’t want a tangle of wires either.
Sounds like an impossible set of requirements, right?
Good news – the Creative Pebble Plus Speakers have all of the above!
I guess at one time Logitech speakers were the way to go, but I was getting so sick of my old speakers. The two desktop speakers and subwoofer came with a separate power/bass/volume control unit, requiring another extra wire to run. Why not just have a knob on the speaker itself instead of adding extra wires?
For all that unnecessary extra wiring, the volume controller didn’t even work right. You’d think being a scroll wheel it would offer greater control by being able to turn the volume up or down gradually. But this one would either be too quiet or too loud, no happy medium. So a lot of good the volume dial did. Not only that, but the volume dial was right next to the bass leveler. So whenever I was trying to turn up the volume, I’d always end up turning the base control and get it out of whack when it didn’t need to be adjusted.
So I was super happy when I got the Creative Pebble Plus Speakers set!
Let’s go down my list, shall we?
1) Do they look nice? Yes! Creative Labs says its Pebble speakers were inspired by a Japanese Zen rock garden. They have a minimalist design, aesthetically pleasing, black with a copper colored center, angled at 45 degrees for directing the sound to your ears when you’re sitting in front of your computer.
2) Don’t take up too much space? Not at all! The space-saving size makes it easy to find room for them on even the smallest or most cluttered desk. Each of the round desktop speakers is about the size of a grapefruit. The rubber ring on the flattened bottom of each speaker keeps it from slipping or tipping. The volume knob is within easy reach on one of the desktop speakers, so no extra dongles or extra wires to contend with, yay! The subwoofer is about 6×8 inches square. You can set it on your desk or on the floor beneath your desk.
3) Easy to use? Yes! I unboxed the speakers and easily set them up myself. They are plug-and-play – so all you need to do is plug the USB cord into one of your PC USB ports, and the 3.5mm input into your headphone jack – and you’re good to go!
4) Decent sound? Yes! They produce great sound for their size and simplicity! The audio is crystal clear and well balanced. The subwoofer has no bass knob, so you never have to worry about the bass being too much or too little, it always stays level. There is a high/low gain switch, which may be to increase the bass but I don’t know and haven’t tried it. The power/volume knob on the front of the desktop speaker works in conjunction with your PC’s audio controls to further manage the volume.
5) Reasonably priced? Yes! Less than $40 on Amazon! Unbelievable value for the crisp, clear sound that comes out of these cute little speakers!
6) How are they wired? The two desktop speakers have one black cord strung between them. The speaker with the control knob has three cords going down, but at first glance they almost look like one because they fit snugly together. One of those three cords goes to the subwoofer which I have sitting on the floor under my desk. The other two cords (USB and aux input) plug into the back of the computer, which is also under my desk. You also could plug these speakers into your laptop if that’s what you use. Since it’s USB-powered, no electrical outlet is needed! This means you could even set up in the middle of the room if you want to! If you don’t have enough USB ports and would rather use a wall socket, they sell a wall adapter separately. It doubles as a fast charger to charge your mobile devices, tablets, power banks, and more. A USB port on a power bar serves the same purpose.
The Creative Labs people thought of everything!
This speaker set might not play super loud party music (it’s powered by USB after all), but it’s not really meant to. The high-quality audio is perfect for listening to music while working on your computer, streaming your favorite TV shows or movies, playing games, and I even turn it up to listen to music when I’m in the other room. So I’d definitely say the Creative Pebble Plus Speakers deliver the best sound for the money. If you appreciate simplicity and good design on a budget, these are the speakers for you. 🙂
P.S. I’m pretty proud of myself because I found the Creative Pebble Plus Speakers on my own by searching Amazon. It wasn’t until after I already bought them that I saw they came highly recommended by Mashable and PCMag too!
NOTE: The above product was NOT provided for free or at a discount in exchange for a review. This item was purchased by a homeschooling family at their own expense.
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