Creative Pebble X Plus Review: Small Speakers, Big Sound

Creative’s new mini speakers are pricier and of higher quality than before. But the improvement in quality and Bluetooth support is worth it.
pebble-x-plus

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • Good sound quality, great value for money
  • RGB effects, if interested
  • Supports multiple audio sources

Cons:

  • Fixed, short cables
  • Limited controls for mobile devices
  • No software available for Mac

Our Verdict:

With aux and Bluetooth as alternatives to USB, this is not just a computer speaker. The Pebble X Plus can be a complete audio solution for your bedroom, dorm room, or home office. It sounds surprisingly good and doesn’t break the bank. It would be nice to have better control through a mobile app, but aside from that, there’s not much to complain about.


Creative’s round Pebble speakers have long been a good choice for those looking to get better computer sound on their desktop without spending hundreds of dollars. The new Pebble X raises the bar in ambition, price, and, most importantly, quality standards.

Design and Construction:

There are two versions of the Pebble X, one with just two stereo speakers, and the Pebble X Plus, which includes a subwoofer. That’s the one I tested here. These two speakers (both facing and bottom spherical) are larger than the previous models, with a diameter of 5.48 inches. They sit fairly snugly on a flat rubber-coated bottom, but the center of gravity is slightly higher, so you can tilt them to roll on the table.

If you want to place them higher than the desktop, there’s also a tripod mounting bracket on the bottom. But that’s where they should be, such as on the sides of a laptop. And that’s where they sound best. If your desk is very small and you want to place two devices side by side, the tripod may come in handy.

These speakers are more expensive than previous Pebble models, with a pair of speakers priced at about $90, and the Plus set with a subwoofer priced at $130. But the look still doesn’t have a real premium feel. It’s made of black plastic, which looks decent from afar, but there are some noticeable seams up close, and there’s a slight plastic feel in one of the speaker controls.


The subwoofer is slightly larger, at 6.24 inches cubed. It’s obviously smaller than the subwoofer of the cheaper Pebble, but when I took it out of the box, it was clear that it wasn’t just a big empty box with speaker components. It has a solid weight and is noticeably more robust than its predecessor.

It also feels more robust than satellite speakers. Unfortunately, they don’t have the same build quality. Especially since the subwoofer should be hidden away, such as behind a corner or behind a computer screen, while the satellite speakers are designed to be visible, surrounded by RGB LEDs. By default, they emit slowly changing colors, which can be set to glow in one color, change color modes, sync with sound, or other creative gadgets through the app or software.

Setup and installation are straightforward. But there’s one limitation, as the cables connecting the speakers are hardwired and short. You can have the speakers up to 3 feet apart.

The speakers need to be powered by connecting to one of the two USB-C ports on the speaker, and then you can use them directly as Bluetooth speakers. The other Pebble speakers don’t have this feature, making Pebble X a more versatile choice. Here, you can easily connect any phone, tablet, or laptop without using additional cables.

Two Power Modes:

You also have an analog 3.5mm input for auxiliary audio, and there are separate ports on the side for analog headphones and microphone. These will be very useful if you connect the Pebble X as an external sound card to your computer. For this, a cable connecting the computer is sufficient, which can power from the USB port. But then you won’t get the full 30 watts continuous or up to 60 watts peak power from the speakers, only half. For most sounds, you’ll need to plug a separate USB-PD adapter into another USB-C port on the wall socket.

One of the satellite’s fronts has a volume controller with a built-in power button, a button to control RGB lighting, and a button to switch between input modes, whether you’re getting audio from Bluetooth, USB, or an auxiliary device. That’s all the control you get. You can’t adjust the sound field.

How does the Creative Pebble X Plus sound?

Well, well, enough about design, connection, control, and everything else. The important question is: does this system sound good? Yes, you can get clean, clear soundscapes, and great detail in the highs and mids.

The Pebble X Plus system sounds best on my office desk in front of me, and is a great upgrade for a laptop or gaming PC. As a Bluetooth speaker, it can fill a small to medium-sized room with delicate sound, although the quality drops when the volume goes above about 80%, the impact of the sound is still enough to disappoint a few people.

When I first tested playing music, the subwoofer sounded very hesitant, the mid-range tones were good, but thin at low frequencies. As it turned out, this was because it wasn’t firmly seated on the table, with a layer of plastic film on the rubber feet under the subwoofer, which prevented it from gripping the surface and allowing vibrations to penetrate further into the air.

So, when you set them up, don’t miss this point. Then it sounded much better. So it’s a bit of a shame that it can’t be permanently fixed, such as by screwing it to the bottom of the table. Then it would also be conveniently out of the way.

In Creative’s PC control program, there’s an equalizer and other controls for balancing and microphone input, but that’s about it. It’s a Windows program, with no equivalent program available for Mac. The Creative App feature for phones isn’t as rich, only controlling lights and firmware upgrades.

Of course, there are speakers that are more luxurious and of higher quality than these, but at $130, this is an investment in quality sound that most people can afford, and it’s stylish, versatile, and convenient enough for most desktops. In fact, it can also serve as a decent Bluetooth speaker system for medium-sized rooms, which is clearly a plus. I’m not too concerned about all the RGB effects, but fortunately, they can be turned off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *