MEGATech Reviews – Creative Airwave Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

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Whoa. That’s a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. That was my initial reaction when I first saw the Creative Airwave Wireless Bluetooth Speaker. It’s not like I haven’t seen a broad range of Bluetooth speakers before, but you would have never guessed these kinds of dimensions based on the photos you see of the Airwave. Does this mean that this particular speaker is totally large and in charge or is it just unnecessarily big for no reason in particular?

Getting Amped Up on the Triangle

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The Creative Airwave measures nearly one foot wide, making it about 50% (or more) wider than the majority of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market today. You’ll also notice that it takes on a triangular profile rather than a rectangular one, presumably to direct the sound slightly upward from the surface where you decide to place this speaker.

The specs and features won’t surprise too many people. This is a Bluetooth speakerphone with an integrated microphone on the top so you can take voice calls. You can pair it up with your phone, tablet or whatever other audio source via Bluetooth and the pairing process is made easier with NFC. If you don’t have NFC, you can still do the Bluetooth pairing the traditional way. There’s also a 3.5mm auxiliary input in the back.

Three Button Controls

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Continuing with the relative simplicity, everything is handled through the three buttons on the top of this triangular speaker. You have volume up and volume down, plus a multifunction button that is used to turn the speaker on and off, as well as put it into Bluetooth pairing mode. What this means is that you will not be able to skip tracks or do do other more “advanced” things via the speaker itself.

While I perfectly understand that you don’t want to accidentally turn the speaker on or off with a gentle bump, Creative may have gone a little too far with its preventative measures. If you want to turn the Creative Airwave off, you have to hold the button down for eight seconds. It’s not an eternity, but that is a lot longer than normal.

How’s the Creative Airwave Sound?

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You would think that its larger than average proportions would also result in larger than average sound production. Unfortunately, this does appear to be the case. I’m not saying that the Airwave is whisper quiet, but even at the loudest volume levels, it didn’t exactly blow me away. Thankfully, I experienced very minimal distortion at higher volume levels too, quite unlike some other speakers that I’ve tried.

The audio profile, while perfectly adequate for the vast majority of music genres, did sound a little flat. While it did not suffer It didn’t the same kind of rich and heavy feel that I was able to get out of the Creative Sound BlasterAxx AXX200 with SBX Pro mode activated. It wasn’t as loud either. Presumably, this is because the Airwave is not a part of the company’s “Sound Blaster” family.

MEGATechie Powerful Value or MEGATechie Lost in the Wave?

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This is another one of those situations where I was neither amazed nor terribly disappointed with what I got. The sound quality is perfectly decent and the controls are just fine. It’s almost like the Creative Airwave is wonderfully mediocre, offering a slightly better than average experience in a larger package. I did appreciate the longer 12-hour battery life, though.

While the MSRP is set at $100, I was able to find the grey version, as shown, for under $40 online, while the more colorful versions (it also comes in pink, green, and blue) seem to start at around $50. I’d be hesitant to spend the full $100 on this speaker, but it’s a good value at half that price. You won’t be overwhelmingly impressed, but this is a wireless speaker that is reliable and will get the job done with ease.

About

Michael Kwan is a freelance writer who also happens to be a professional gadget geek. From smartphones to digital cameras, he's gotta get 'em all. Follow him on Twitter: @michaelkwan.

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