- Powerful audio performance with bright, detailed highs and rich lows.
- Properly angled drivers.
- Lots of wires.
- No bass level knob.
- Only one input.
A year ago we reviewed the Creative Pebble and marveled at the company’s ability to sell quality stereo speakers for a mere $25. Not content to rest on its laurels, the new Creative Pebble Plus speakers are a bit more expensive at $39.99, but manage to include an actual subwoofer for the extra $15. To manage your expectations, the subwoofer is more like a woofer, and the wires spilling out of the back almost look like a practical joke in the Bluetooth era. But for $40, these speakers sound pretty great. This is the best inexpensive 2.1 system we’ve tested, making it our Editors’ Choice.
The Pebble Plus system is available in a black, eggshell-like finish. The left and right speakers, which each measure 4.5 by 4.8 by 4.5 inches (HWD), are spheres that have portions cut out to house the drivers and create a flat, rubberized bottom panel. The right speaker is powered, feeding both the left speaker and the sub. It also houses the power/volume knob.
Creative gets something right here that so many other, far more expensive PC speakers get wrong—the drivers are angled upward at 45 degrees to meet the listener’s ears, rather than firing straight forward at your ribcage. This makes a tremendous difference in perceived clarity of the 2-inch midrange drivers housed in each enclosure. Each speaker delivers 2 watts of audio, and the frequency range for the entire system is 50Hz to 20kHz. The left speaker also houses a low/high gain switch on its bottom panel.
The 4-watt subwoofer, which sits on four rubber feet to elevate its down-firing, 4-inch driver, measures 8.0 by 5.9 by 7.7 inches. The bottom panel is ported for better airflow. Creative keeps the design here splendidly minimal—there’s no logo on the sub, it’s simply a crisp, black cuboid that offers a striking juxtaposition to the spherical left and right satellites. It would’ve been nice to see a bass level knob here, but the price keeps me from considering this a true shortcoming.