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Speak, Creature!

Harman Multimedia’s The Creature.

There’s a strange creature on my desk, and it’s singing to me.

Well, OK, it’s the Creature, a three-piece speaker system by Harman Multimedia. The critter, which looks gorgeous and sounds great, has replaced my SoundSticks (also made by Harman) as the speaker system of choice for my Mac, though it works equally well with PCs and portable MP3 and DVD players.

The Creature has a subwoofer (27 watts at 10 percent THD) and two satellites (each with 9 watts at 10 percent THD). The audio system plugs into a headphone jack on a Mac (or PC or iPod).

The sound quality is very impressive, especially for such a small system. The satellite speakers are three inches tall and three inches wide, while the subwoofer is nine inches high and nine inches deep. The Creature incorporates the latest in Odyssey transducer technology called the Odyssey Plus. It’s a full range transducer designed for extremely small speaker enclosures.

With about the same wattage as the SoundSticks system, the Creature offers as much volume (maybe more), very crisp midrange tonality, solid midrange and highs, and a thumpingly good level of bass response. The audio system offers soft-touch tactile controls, a very nice feature. You can raise or lower the volume with the press of a “sensor” on one of the speakers. Push both sensors and it mutes instantly. What’s more, the Creature recalls the volume setting from when the computer was last shut down.

Treble and bass level adjustment knobs are located on the front of the subwoofer unit. A system on/off switch is also located on the rear of the subwoofer. Both the subwoofer and the speakers are magnetically shielded to provide against computer monitor image distortion.

At a suggested retail price of $129, the Creature is immediately available at Apple retail stores, Apple’s online store, and the Harman Multimedia store.

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