The connector panel
There are sockets for connecting the satellites, external power and the audio source at the subwoofer’s back. The power-on button and the power-on LED are also found there. Interestingly, each satellite socket has an original section: square-shaped for the right satellite and triangular for the left one. It means you cannot be wrong attaching the channels: it’s simply impossible to plug a “square” connector into a “triangular” plug and vice versa. Next to the connections panel, there’s a port of the phase inverter, aimed downwards (like the transducer) – it’s going to blow dust away from under the subwoofer :).
The user manual suggests that you place the subwoofer right on your desk, but I wouldn’t agree: the table will get a strong vibration at the maximum volume levels.
The massive aluminum pipe is the phase inverter’s port
The port of the phase inverter continues inside the subwoofer as a massive aluminum pipe. The electronics PCB is placed vertically, dividing the acoustic chamber of the subwoofer in two.
The subwoofer of JBL Creature II is equipped with a 4.5” transducer
The other part of the chamber is occupied by a 4.5” JBL transducer. It has a plastic diffuser and a foam-rubber soft suspension.
The miniature satellites of the JBL Creature II system have a most original appearance
Each satellite has an aluminum speaker with a 1” diffuser. At the bottom of the satellite, there’s a LED that highlights the desk surface to create a more futuristic atmosphere. Such small diffusers are usually employed as tweeters to reproduce the high-frequency range. It means that the subwoofer of this speaker set must help the satellites, reproducing the medium frequency range.
The satellites from the inside
The satellites differ in their electronic stuffing: the right satellite has a special chip, responsible for the sensor pads. Interestingly, there’s no additional power cable here – the satellites connect to the subwoofer through an ordinary stereo-cable.
The system did well in my tests, producing a high-quality sound. The measured frequency response had a low irregularity (about 6dB), while the range of the reproduced frequencies fully met the manufacturer’s specifications.
The maximum sound pressure level the JBL Creature II achieved was 100.2dB, which is very nice considering the small dimensions of the system. However, the system failed the linearity test, not reaching the declared reference sound pressure levels. The discrepancy was about -9dB.
I liked the good stereo panorama of that speaker set – it was easy to guess the positioning of the sound sources, but the sound scene was rather narrow and without depth. The system is emotionally reserved. When playing jazz compositions, it seemed like the system “encountered” this music genre for the first time. Well, there must be another music where these “alien” satellites have come from :).
The system has a certain timbral misbalance, which provokes an aggressive impression from certain ambient compositions which usually feature exotic music instruments. Well, ambient always sounds a bit aggressive, but there should be no repulsing feeling against any of the instruments. For example, percussion instruments shouldn’t sound like a cork shooting out of the bottle, don’t you agree? Anyway, I was overall pleased with the voice of the system.
- Good stereo panorama;
- Compliance with the specification;
- Good bass.
- High price;
- Clicks when you touch the sensors;
- Timbral misbalance.