review

Creative Pebble V3 Review 2.0 Channel Speakers With USB-C, Bluetooth And Auxiliary Connections

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Having a dac amp combo for speakers is great but when spare room becomes scarce, downsizing is the way to go. A good option to go with, it's with 2.0 channel speakers such as the Creative Pebble V3, which work great for desktop computer use, as well as living room speakers. V3 stands for version 3 since the Creative Pebble V3 is preceded by the Pebble V2 and Pebble V1 versions. There is even a Pebble Plus version, which comes with a subwoofer.
Each Pebble V3 2.25 inch speaker is capable of putting out 4 watts RWS of power so, the Pebble V3 speakers have a maximum output of 8 watts RWS, which can only be achieved when the Pebble V3 speakers receive at least 10 watts (5V/2A) of power. Unless you phone's amplifier is capable, you will need to use a 10-watt wall adapter. You can also power the Pebble V3 via a monitor that has a pass-through USB port. A USB-A to USB-C adapter is included with the Pebble V3 speakers.
The Pebble V3 speakers do have a Peak Power rating of 16 watts so, you can potentially get more volume output if you drive more power into the Pebble V3 speakers via a 15-watt charger. That said, it's worth knowing that Peak Power is not continuous power like RWS; hence you cannot efficiently run the Pebble V3 or any other speaker for that matter, at Peak Power. This is important to note, especially if plan to hook the Pebble V3 speakers to an external amplifier. If you do, you have to make sure the external amplifier power matches the Pebble V3 speakers Peak Power (16 watts) to prevent the speakers from blowing up.
For desktop use, sitting close to the Creative Pebble V3 speakers, you will only need half of the total output (4 watts), which is 50% volume. Being wired, the audio dynamics and sound quality of the Creative Pebble V3 is superb and really travels. At 70% volume, the Pebble V3 speakers can easily fill up a large room with plenty of sound. There is no apparent sound distortion at 90% and upwards, although the higher in volume you go the thinner the bass response gets, which is basically the case with most speakers. Luckily, the Pebble V3 speakers have passive radiators, which maintains the bass at higher volume levels.
There are a total of three playing modes: USB-C (wired), Bluetooth (wireless) and Aux (wired). Bluetooth connectivity is a nice touch so, you can stream audio from a phone or computer to the Pebble V3 speakers. Because the speakers are connected to an external source, the volume output in bluetooth mode and Aux mode is louder than USB mode. The sound feels richer and fuller than compared to a portable bluetooth speaker, primarily because the Pebble V3 stereo speakers are separated and not contained within the same housing.
Because each Pebble V3 speaker is self-contained, you can orient the speakers different ways for a 360 degree sound and, you can also manually increase the soundstage, making it more defined. The Creative Pebble V3 speakers are tethered to one another via a cable so, you can only separate the speakers up to 1.2 meters apart. The Pebble V3 speakers use a Bluetooth 5.0 chip, although it only supports regular bluetooth; hence no SBC, aptX or AAC support.
One feature the Pebble V3 speakers don't have that portable Bluetooth speakers have is a rechargeable battery. Because the Pebble V3 speakers do not have a battery built-in, bluetooth mode does not work unless the Pebble V3 speakers are powered to an external source (i.e. phone, computer). During bluetooth mode, the status led blinks with a breathing effect so, it's not constantly lit up. The brightness of the status led is subtle so, it doesn't light up a dark room.
The Creative Pebble V3 speakers have a signal-to-noise ratio of 75dB, which is above average and a very good rating since the signal-to-noise ratio of studio speakers is around 80dB. The higher the signal-to-noise ratio the better as it means, less noise being transmitted through the audio. 
The Creative Pebble V3 speakers weigh 684 grams. The right speaker, which has the button controls weighs slightly more (370 grams) compared to the left speaker (314 grams). The cable has a rubbery sheath and measures 1.8 meters long. The base of the speakers is also rubberized with a rubber ring.
The Creative Pebble V3 speakers have a rounded shape with a front-facing half-cut style where the speaker driver sits at a 45 degree angle. The main button controls are front facing too and consist of a bluetooth button and a multi functional knob that controls volume and power. The knob is the same type you get in vintage stereo equipment so, the knob is a potentiometer with an on/off switch that clicks when turning the knob all the way to the left. The volume has a smooth and gradual resistance to it, preventing you from accidentally cranking up the volume loud. The other button control is a low/high gain switch located on the base of the right speaker for increasing or lowering the gain during bluetooth mode. The gain feature is not enabled during wired mode.
The speaker cone is exposed, which looks nice but, it being made of paper it is also liable to getting damaged if you aren't careful. Also, having the speaker cones exposed allows dust to collect, especially on the Pebble V3 speakers because of the recessed design of the speaker cones.When cleaning, you want to go gentle and use a feather duster or foundation brush because speaker cones are extremely fragile. You can buy the Creative Pebble V3 on amazon. Check out the review of the Creative Aurvana Trio earbuds.

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