Creative Sound BlasterAxx SBX 20

New Sound BlasterAxx range aims to push Creative away from the PC and onto a mobile audience, with Bluetooth connectivity and voice communication.


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CNET Editor

Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.


Creative's new Sound BlasterAxx range is a speaker series that combines Bluetooth with a built-in dual-microphone array, for a device design to be used for both listening to mobile music and voice communications.

At its simplest, the Sound BlasterAxx can connect to a PC via USB (which also supplies all the required power) and be used as high-quality wired speaker with a built-in mic for Skype, gaming, etc.

However, in two higher-end models — the SBX 20 and SBX 10 — the Bluetooth capability means that you can stream music from mobile devices and use the BlasterAxx as a desktop hands-free call device.

Creative has included some impressive features for voice, including echo cancellation, noise reduction, a voice focus that narrows the mics field and Smart Volume, which will keep your voice at a consistent level, even as you move around the room. All this, including the music playback quality, is aided by Creative's SB-Axx1 audio processor.

Creative has built a software suite that allows you to control the speaker from either your PC, Mac or smartphone — an app is available for both iOS and Android. The software includes a number of presets for music and video sound, as well as some stranger functions, such as Voice Effects.

The control panel on the SBX 20.
(Credit: Creative)

The SBX 20 is the largest of the devices, standing 410mm tall, with a 91mm base and weighing in at 1.9kg. The hexagonal device has a touch-sensitive control panel at the top for basic controls. As the flagship of the range, it commands the highest price at $249.95, with the SBX 10 retailing at $179.95 and the SBX 8 — which has no Bluetooth connectivity — $129.95

Stay tuned for a full review of the SBX 20. A Creative-produced video with Sound BlasterAxx in action can be seen below.

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