Small is beautiful
Le Creative Pebble Plus are a 2.1 audio system, from the nominal price of 39.99 €. What stands out immediately is their aesthetics. Strength is unusual and makes these objects particularly attractive, at least from my point of view. The dedicated bass unit has a much more spartan design, appearing as a simple black cube. The design of the audio speakers is not a mere aesthetic choice. The 45 ° angle allows you to have a sound direction optimized to reach our ears in the classic desk position. And the sound travels even further than one might expect in a home environment.
The most important feature of this sound system is its ability to be powered from a USB socket. The nominal power of the satellites is 2W, while the subwoofer is from 4 Watt. The system therefore lends itself very well to being connected to laptops to improve its sound performance at home or even on the road once a support surface has been found. The subwoofer is, among other things, completely optional. The whole part of ignition, switching off and connection is managed by the right satellite. Given these peculiarities, I preferred to test these cases with the set up shown below.
After connecting the speakers to my tablet windows, I harassed them with every type of music track. Clean and balanced pieces, like Get Lucky of Daft Punk, rhythmic like Billie Jean of Winterplay, passing through pieces with different uses of bass and others that use a wide variety of instruments. Ranging between different genres. In general, I was positively impressed by the sound quality reproduced by the 2 watt speakers alone. Like any sound system, turning up the volume too much starts to distort the sound and too complicated tracks start to lose detail. Listening to more "generalist" songs the system gets along very well, but going to push on the various components you start to see the limitations.
The intro of NIB. of the Black Sabbath lacked presence. Particularly complicated songs, such as Through The Fire and Flames, they were more caciara than anything else.
They behave well with games, anime and TV series. For gaming they have been tested in Warframe, Doom 2016, Witcher 3 and Metal Gear Solid V and in any case they have made the fullness of the setting well. I was lucky with The Witcher, which happened in the middle of a thunderstorm, with lightning and thunder that stressed the bass, achieving an excellent result. On the films they prove less effective, but it is an out-of-range field of application for each 2.1 system, regardless of power.
However, the Pebble Plus have an ace up their sleeve. The high gain mode. Under the right side you can find a switch that will increase the power of the system. To work it requires a USB-wall adapter, able to handle 5V and 2A, a size now very common on the latest generation mobile phones. I must admit my initial skepticism at seeing such a mode. But the result is 100% positive. The Pebble Plus is sized on this mode by 8W RMS and, therefore, the increase in power does not generate any abnormal distortion. This helps a lot in improving the performance on the most demanding pieces and transforms the cases from "laptops" to "fixed", so to speak.
In short, summing up, we can say that the CreativePebble Plus is a great system given their flexibility and their price. Usable as a pair of takeaway stereo speakers, enhancement of a portable but mobile workstation, or even as long-lasting fixed boxes in high gain mode. They are easily placed within the Creative offer. A step above the simple Pebbles, equipped only with passive subwoofers but more portable, and under the T3300 for a station a hair more fixed, even if with a less refined design.
The only real flaw? The cables that I can bother a little in the set up.