If there was ever a Bluetooth speaker version of a Swiss Army Knife, it’s going to have to be the Creative AXX 200. While it can function like any regular mobile speaker, it adds a ridiculous amount of talents that turn an erstwhile device for streaming music into a genuinely useful multi-function rig.
Physically, it looks like any regular Bluetooth speaker, with a compact bar-style chassis that can slip (perhaps, a little forcibly) into your jeans backpocket. Naturally, it can be used like one, tapping its pair of 1.5-inch drivers and subwoofer to wirelessly blare out your favorite songs on the road, all while serving as a hands-free calling device for your smartphone.
Defying convention, however, the Creative AXX 200 packs a whole load of capabilities on top of the traditional features. For one, it comes with a built-in MP3 player. Just insert an SD card of your tunes and instantly spare the phone’s battery from further drain. Armed with a high-quality quad microphone array, it also integrates a voice recorder function that can automatically save an audio file of your jam sessions and spoken thoughts to the same microSD card. There’s even a megaphone feature that will amplify your voice when you speak through the mics, so you can yell at your friend who’s 50 feet away without straining your vocal cords, along with a siren that you can let out in case your megaphone voice isn't enough to get his attention.
It uses the SB-Axx1 chipset multi-core audio processor and SBX Pro Studio suite that powers many of Creative’s SoundBlaster line of audio cards, ensuring you get the same superior listening experience on the road that many people enjoy on their computers. It can actually function as a full-fledged sound card when hooked up to a computer via USB (both Macs and PCs), so you can use it whether at home, at work, or on the road. Features include a patent-pending stacked stereo design, capacitive touch control buttons, 360-degree audio pickup with CrystalVoice noise cancelling tech, and accompanying apps for both Android and iOS.
The Creative AXX 200 is available now, priced at $149.99.