EletiofePebble V3 Desktop Speakers Review: Elegant, Cheap, and Powerful

Pebble V3 Desktop Speakers Review: Elegant, Cheap, and Powerful

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Before I covered technology, I was a home and design writer. Nothing breaks my heart more than how ugly technology devices often are–particularly ones you’ll be looking at all day in your home. Is it so hard to make it look nice? I mean, really?

Maybe not. Creative’s Pebble V3 desktop PC speakers manage to tick every box on the list. They have clear sound and an eye-catching design, and they cost only $35. Are they too good to be true? I wondered the same when I ordered them, but they’ve been a delight.

Creative Pebble V3 Speakers

Heart of Chrome

These speakers are small, which makes them easy to fit on just about any desk or gaming setup without sacrificing volume.

They’re just 4.8 inches tall and have a similar width and depth, thanks to their shape, which is a half-moon of sorts—a small cavern cut out of an otherwise orblike shape for the actual speaker to project sound from. The speaker at the center of that cavern is a metallic gold, and the body comes in either white or black.

It’s often hard to find white speakers at all, but white and gold? It’s the closest thing I’m getting to a light academia-style setup. Maybe I’m biased. It does match my similarly white and gold Tears of the Kingdom OLED Switch, and the color palette looks lovely in my office. The speakers tend to fade into the background a bit while giving the room a welcome pop of gold.

The two speakers are connected by a white cord that can’t be removed, so they’re forever a pair. It’s just 4.4 feet long, so the two speakers can sit on opposite ends of a shelf or desk but can’t go much father than that. There’s a built-in white USB-C cord that you can use for power and connect for sound at the same time. If you’re using the included 3.5-mm audio cable for sound input, it stands out as the sole black cord of the bunch, but you don’t have to use it as your sound source (more on that below).

Small Form, Loud Sound

Photograph: Creative

Given how small they are, I assumed the sound wouldn’t carry through my home. I was mistaken. My husband had to text me, “I can hear your game over the sound machine,” while he was trying to get our son down for a nap on the opposite side of our apartment. Oops.

I use these speakers for everything from video games and playing music to joining meetings where I won’t need a mic. The low bass notes come through nicely from the Baldur’s Gate 3 soundtrack, and Link’s pitter-patter footsteps in Tears of the Kingdom are clear enough for my sound-activated lights to react to each and every step. The midrange could be a little clearer; there’s a slight fuzziness to the edge of some music and high notes, but it’s plenty good enough to listen to another NPC describe my next quest.

There’s also a gain switch you can use, underneath the speaker that has the volume control. (One speaker has the controls for both.) It’s not very advanced; most gain switches have a few levels of gain, while this just lets you toggle it on or off. I usually leave the gain on to add a little more power to my sound, but it does add just a touch of distortion to the edges of music. It’s hard to notice a difference with voices or dialog, though.

Select Your Setup

Photograph: Creative

You can connect the Pebble V3 speakers to your devices in a few ways: USB-C cable (you’ll need a USB-C to A adapter if your computer doesn’t have USB-C ports), Bluetooth, and the included 3.5-mm audio cable. The included audio cable will plug into the headphone jack of any device; I tend to prefer it, since I switch between sourcing sound from my laptop and my Nintendo Switch, and it’s faster than re-pairing Bluetooth.

Speaking of Bluetooth, the Pebble V3 is good at reconnecting to the device it was last paired with–but it does get confused if you turn off its paired device but leave the speakers themselves on. I got into the habit of switching the speakers off before turning off my PC or Switch to avoid this problem, but it can be easy to forget.

Bluetooth is also how the Pebble V3 differs from Creative’s similar, slightly cheaper Pebble V2 speakers. The V2 are usually about $10 cheaper, but you won’t have Bluetooth as an option—or the white color. If you aren’t fussy about color and like a bit of oomph when you listen, the Pebble Pro speakers come with a subwoofer.

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