So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Creative Labs TravelSound 400
- Compact and Portable, Good value, Wide Music Effect
- No Included AC Power Charger, Some distortion at high volume, Poor low-end
The TravelSound 400 isn’t going to blow you away in terms of sound quality, but for those who travel frequently, it is quite good value for money.
Price$ 99.00 (AUD)
The Creative TravelSound 400 is one of the many portable speaker systems for digital music players floating around on the market. If you're looking for convenience of a small and compact sound system to carry with you when you travel, then this may be the product for you, but don't expect fantastic sound quality.
Measuring just 157mm x 71mm x 41mm and weighing only 270 grams (without batteries), portability and compactness are the TravelSound 400's best features. The unit is small enough to fit into any bag or purse, which means it's no hassle to take with you on trips. Frequent travelers will appreciate this design and the included travel drawstring bag is a nice touch.
The TravelSound 400 employs a handy swivel design, which means the speakers can be mounted at different angles for an optimum listening experience. Finished in brushed silver aluminum and black, the TravelSound 400's rotating speaker system can be folded away when not in use, providing protection to the delicate speaker cones. You can connect any music player to the TravelSound via the included cable which uses a standard headphone jack input.
The base of the unit houses the controls - Volume Up and Down keys, the Power Button and a "Wide Music Effect" button. Creative have cleverly designed a sound feature to attempt to combat the lack of stereo separation, which is a disadvantage on small systems such as this one. Pressing the Wide Stereo Button creates a wider sounding field, which feels as though the unit is taking up more space than it actually is. It works well without being outstanding and we noticed the difference as soon as we switched it off - the sound seems stretched without creating distortion levels.
The TravelSound 400 performs well in the sound department, but don't expect unsurpassed quality. It really is difficult to create quality sound on such small units, and although Creative has done an admirable job here, there is a little distortion evident at high volume levels. The unit also lacks the heavy bass that a lot of music freaks love and the low end is fairly poor, but for a travel unit, the sound is quite efficient. It does tend to suit soother, softer tracks better than some heavier tunes, but overall, for the price, the TravelSound 400 is good value for money.
The rear of the unit contains the line-in input for your MP3 player and a DC In connection. Unfortunately, Creative has failed to include an AC Charger, which means you'll have to purchase this separately should you wish to run the unit on normal power. Otherwise, 4 x AAA batteries are supplied in the sales package and these slot into the bottom of the unit. Creative says that the batteries will be good for up to 35 hours of playback.
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