Creative Pebble Plus (review)

pebble plus

Creative Technology has a slew of audio products ranging from headphones to SXFI soundbars, and nearly everything in between. I recently spent about 2 months with the new Pebble Plus. The Pebble was well known for being the best desktop speakers for under $30. The Pebble Plus is an updated version that includes a sub-woofer as well. So let’s see how it stacks up. (Disclaimer: This product was received for review purposes)

Setup

Setting up the Pebble Plus takes all of 1-3 minutes. There are 3 plugs to address. One is a 3.5 mm jack to the desktop for audio, another is the USB Type-A for power, and the last is an RCA connector for use of the subwoofer. Once you have the speakers positioned, just plug in those 3 cables and it’s 100% ready to use. Due to this being a wired audio setup, there are many wires. All of these wired are embedded into the back of the right satellite. It does seem like a large cluster, but some good cable management can fix that.

Audio Quality

When it comes to the build and audio quality, the Pebble Plus does a lot of things right but misses the mark on a few things. When it comes to audio quality, the Pebble Plus provides an equalized experience. The reason for this is mainly due to the subwoofer. Since it’s separated from the primary speakers, the mids and lows have minimal overlap. This means clearer audio for movies with dialog and loud deep soundtracks. It can get annoying to constantly adjust audio for different scenes of a movie. The highs do not get distorted even when pushed to its highest volume.

It’s clear that the Pebble Plus does a great job with separating its mids and lows and has sharp highs, but when it comes to lows, there’s a bit to be desired. Even with the subwoofer, the lows can sound a bit shallow. It does improve a bit when adjusting the gain. The subwoofer is definitely an improvement over the original Pebble, but it can only create a decent bass effect. Granted, for the price tag, it provides better audio than you could get on some products that are twice the cost. The Pebble Plus are great speakers for those that listen to music while they work and watch the occasional movie. These are perfect for those environments. For those looking for a more elevated experience, and more commonly use their desktop speakers, it may be worth investing in one of their Sound Blaster speakers.

Build Quality

As mentioned earlier, the cables seem like a big deal, because they all run back to the right satellite. There may have been a better solution to this, but not likely for the price point that Creative wanted to reach. However, this would be the case of any wired desktop speaker so it is expected. The speakers sit at a 45-degree angle which is different than the typically straight shooter desktop speakers. Thanks to the angled speakers, the audio travels much better around the room.

In addition to the wires all grouping into the back of the right satellite, there is also a gain switch. This is really the only physical audio control the Pebble Plus has to offer, besides the volume dial on the front. The switch will allow for the gain to be changed between high and low. It really is just a switch though, not any kind of control between high and low. All other control over audio quality has to be handled through the device it is connected (ie. system equalizer, spatial audio, enhancements).

Final Reaction

The Pebble Plus provides superior audio for its class. The subwoofer is a contributing factor to its success. As with any wired speaker setup, prepare for some cable management. Other than that, there really is not a better wired desktop speaker for $50 or less. The Pebble Plus costs $39.99 and is worth every penny, but if you can invest more money into the purchase, Creative has much better desktop speaker products.

Rating: 4/5

Specs

  • Cable Length:
    • Right to left Satellite – 1.2m molded cable
    • Line in – 1.2m terminated with 3.5mm stereo jack
    • DC power – 1.2m cable terminated with USB Type A
    • Subwoofer – 1.8m cable terminated with standard RCA connector
  • Weight:
    • Left Satellite – 0.30 kg / 0.66 lbs x 1
    • Right Satellite – 0.34 kg / 0.76 lbs x 1
    • Subwoofer – 1.05 kg / 2.32 lbs
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C to 45°C
  • Power Output: Up to 8W RMS
  • Frequency Response: 50 Hz ~ 20 kHz
  • System Configuration: 2.1 system
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): ≥ 75 dB
  • Connector Type: AUX-in, USB
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About author

Nick Keogan
Nick Keogan 34 posts

I've reviewed gaming and tech for over 10 years now. I'm a family man based out of Utah. Grew up in the Greater Washington DC Area.