Creative Sound Blaster Wireless for iTunes + Receiver review
Creative’s Sound Blaster Wireless system connects your PC to a home stereo system via a 2.4GHz radio link, so you can enjoy your MP3s through proper speakers without getting tied up in wires. This pack includes a USB transmitter and a powered receiver with both jack and phono outputs.
In our tests the two worked excellently together, maintaining a rock-solid wireless link over distances of thirty feet and more – even through walls and ceilings. You can buy additional receivers too, to fill your house with music.
The transmitter installs as a standard USB audio device, and although Windows 7 isn’t officially supported we found it worked perfectly in Microsoft’s latest OS. You’re not restricted to iTunes either, despite what the name implies. Audio can be streamed from any program you like, and three buttons mounted on the receiver let you remotely pause and skip tracks in iTunes, Windows Media Player and Creative’s own jukebox application.
There’s even a remote control included, which lets you choose tracks, play, pause and change volume. It’s not of stunning quality, though: the buttons feel cheap and squidgy, and there’s a noticeable lag between press and response. When you first set up the package you might even think it’s not working at all, since most of the controls do nothing until you find and enable the “wireless application control” tick-box, hidden away in one of Creative’s multiple control panels.
Another disappointment is the design of the USB transmitter itself: for a desktop system it’s fine, but chunky casing and a plasticky antenna make it an awkward protuberance for laptop users.
Our real reservation, though, is the £111 exc VAT price. For the better-off, it may be a luxury worth considering – though it would be better still if the quality of the remote control reflected the premium price. But it’s too expensive for the students and twenty-somethings who are most likely to use a laptop as their primary music centre.
Software and OS support
|Operating system Windows 7 supported?||no|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Operating system Mac OS X supported?||yes|
|Operating system Linux supported?||no|
|Dimensions||33 x 84 x 10mm (WDH)|
Audio format support
Ports and communications
|UPnP media server?||no|
|802.11 draft-n support||no|
|Wired adapter speed||N/A|
|RCA (phono) outputs||2|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||0|