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These wireless speakers deliver rich lows and crisp highs for just about any style of music

If you're looking for a set of Bluetooth speakers capable of punching up the bass without muddying the sound, the Creative Pebble X Plus is a real winner.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Creative Pebble X Plus Bluetooth speaker set.

The Creative Pebble X Plus is a Bluetooth speaker set that punches way above its weight.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Pebble X Plus speakers are available now from the Creative site, for only $130.
  • Rich, deep bass perfectly matches the mids and highs delivered by the satellite speakers.
  • Does not have built-in battery power, so your portability will be limited to having a power source.

It shocks me how good Bluetooth speakers have come over the years. I remember when I bought my first Bose Bluetooth speaker thinking it had set the bar pretty high. But when I listen to that speaker now, versus what has become available over the last year, it is put to shame; not only in quality of sound but sheer volume.

Recently, I've received a number of Bluetooth speakers to review. Some of them come in the form of a single, portable speaker, whereas others come in pairs. And then there's the Creative Pebble X Plus, which not only includes a matched pair of speakers but also the tiniest subwoofer I've ever seen.

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Of course, when I pulled the speakers out of the box, all I could think was, "What an adorable little subwoofer… I bet it has an adorable little sound." I was wrong.

View at Us.creative

Much to my surprise, this minuscule sub (6.14 x 6.16 x 6.24 inches) packs a serious punch. No, it doesn't deliver nearly the sound my SVS SB 1000 Pro sub offers, but given how small it is, I was shocked at how well it balances out the low end for the Pebble X speakers. You wouldn't think such a small set of speakers could produce such a well-rounded, exciting sound but these certainly do.

Before I get into my experience with the Pebble X Plus, let's take a look at the specs.

The specs

  • RGB lighting
  • Connectivity: USB audio/power, Bluetooth 5.3, 3.5mm AUX, 4-pole headphone jack, 3-pole mic jack.
  • Power output: Up to 15W RMS and peak power up to 30W.
  • Drivers: 2.75-inch full-range speaker drivers and a 3.5-inch subwoofer with dual passive radiators.
  • High gain mode: Auto
  • Frequency response: 45-20,000 Hz
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: > 93 dB
  • Operating range: Up to 33 feet
  • Price: $130 from the Creative.com site

Of course, there is an app you can install, which is the Creative Labs App (Android/iOS) but I was surprised that the quality of sound produced by the Pebble X Plus didn't need the attention of an EQ. However, if you are so inclined you can install the app, which gives you access to controlling the Acoustic Engine (for different sound profiles), customization of the RGB lights, and perform a firmware upgrade. 

My experience

As I said, right from the start these speakers impressed me. I decided to use them in my bathroom because I found it's a very live room and I wanted to test the clarity of the sound, even when I was in the shower. To my surprise, these speakers performed far better than I would have expected in a room with such high ceilings and very few surfaces that absorb sound. 

I started out with my go-to test album, "Signals" by Rush. I wanted to see if the sub was capable of keeping up with Geddy Lee's bass on "The Analog Kid." I found the sound to be clean, punchy, agile, and not heavy-handed. In fact, the Pebble X Plus handled the song much better than I would have expected.

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I then moved to some ambient music, specifically Carbon Based Lifeform's latest album, "Seeker," and found each track a delight. The entire soundscape of every song was wide, bright, and rich.

Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting" was as beautiful as it should be.

No matter what track I threw at the speakers, they delivered the full-bodied sound I'd expect from something much larger and more expensive. The only track these speakers had even the slightest trouble with was "Nessun dorma," as sung by the great one himself, Pavarotti. In defense of the Pebble X Plus, this track never fails to place the singer's voice a bit too front and center, which not only narrows the soundstage but makes it sound a bit too thin. Outside of that, these speakers performed remarkably.

ZDNET's buying advice

Straight up, the Pebble X Plus is an outstanding set of Bluetooth speakers. The addition of the subwoofer gives them a depth of sound, without needing to punch up the volume to uncomfortable levels. 

I'd recommend these speakers to anyone looking for the ability to get rich sound when space can be an issue. The cost is spot on for what you get and no matter the genre, you'll be pleased with how these speakers deliver your favorite music.

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