Although JBL's three-piece Creature may not look like any set of speakersyou've ever seen, its high-quality sound is easy to recognize. Itsfull-range sound allows a complete range of tones across all kinds ofmusic.
The Creature looks like some futuristic object manifested in a largecurved bulge resembling Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and/or Clyde (you know, thePacMan monsters). Clearly the audio engineers took a design note fromApple on this one-the Creature complements the iMac's clean and polishedlook.
On the 9-inch woofer are two bullet-shaped dials for bass and treble.Conveniently placed small notches let you easily balance both dials in themiddle for a solid combination. Even at high volumes, the woofer handlesdeep tones very well and didn't give me any distortion.
The tweeters' substantial sound surprised me, given that they're onlyabout 1 inch in diameter. The left speaker sports a unique andhigh-quality volume control: one small metallic button crescendos thesound, and another lowers it. Touching both buttons at the same time mutesthe whole system until you press that combination again, a feature thatimpressed me.
Overall the trio packs a lot of punch. Listening to a rap CD, we couldclearly distinguish a subtle stopwatch ticking underneath a heavy bassline, a sound that comes out as distortion-or doesn't come out at all-onother small speakers. If you don't mind paying a premium for a greatdesign, the Creature is for you. But when compared with a pair of speakersthat cost a fifth the price, they're not five times better.