Creative Technology is a Singapore-based global company headquartered in Jurong East, Singapore. The principal activities of the company and its subsidiaries consist of the design, manufacture and distribution of digitized sound and video boards, computers and related multimedia, and personal digital entertainment products.
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Not worth it
Perhaps about 4 years back when I was still in primary school, I would have recommended most people to use Creative Technology. Now? I suggest you to drop that idea.
My first MP3 was from Creative Technology. It was durable and reliable for nearly 3 years until I jumped onto the iPod bandwagon. My next Creative encounter was an electronic dictionary which every Chinese student had to purchase during secondary school. I had a bad experience with it. The dictionary met many problems and died on me in less than a year. Needless to say, I was very reluctant to get a new one but I relented because I can't forsake my grades as well.
By comparing Creative Technology with other international brands such as Apple and Sony, I strongly believe that the latter produces better quality products.
Just stick to Apple.
Back in secondary school, I was so obsessed with Creative MP3s, I'm not even kidding. I was determined not to be an Apple convert when everyone else was clearly enjoying the iPod.
My first MP3 was the Creative Zen V Plus and it served me for 2 years until it decided to die. I decided to get another Creative MP3 even though all my friends were egging me to get an iPod. But no, I thought having a Creative would be cooler, I was in such a anti-mainstream stage. So I got the Creative Zen X-Fi 2 and it died after 1 year.
I got an iPod after that. Creative is just not up to par in terms of standards with Apple. If you ask me, it's so much more worth it to invest in an iPod that can last you for so much longer. But, I must say I love their earphones more. They're really good for money.
Creative: From Strength to Strength
Having used a number of Creative products through the years, from their electronic dictionaries to their sound cards and WoW headphones, I wouldn't have known that the company was from Singapore. Having this information definitely makes me feel more proud of Singaporean products now!
Before I was a tech geek, I only knew Creative for its MP3 players and electronic dictionaries, nothing special in my eyes then. However, after my interest in computers and technology developed, I was surprised to see their sound cards and headphones competing with brands such as ASUS, Steelseries and Logitech, to name a few.
I own their World of Warcraft gaming headphones and after 3 years of usage with no wear and tear other than the padding naturally peeling, I feel the price I paid is justified. Ambient noise is blocked out well and the sound quality is amazing. The headphones offer pumping bass and clarity when listening to tracks in between games. It detect even minute audio cues in Counter Strike and DotA 2, which would mean the difference between life and death.
With Creative being synonymous with top notch soundcards, who wouldn't be using one in their custom PC, especially audiophiles? In conclusion, I'm proud of Creative being a local brand and has definitely shown that Singapore is capable of producing a world class brand at that.
nothing much, really.
I think Creative Technology is best known for its educational materials – like educational software/products such as electronic dictionaries for translation. I remember the mandatory rule for us students to buy their electronic dictionary which could translate Chinese into English, provide the meaning and pronunciation.
Their products are not very commendable, not exactly of quality standards; but nevertheless still good enough for consumers to get by. Plus, it’s not very expensive; so I would recommend going for Creative Technology’s products if you are looking for something simple and reasonably priced. Creative Technology doesn’t exactly have ‘creative’ or novel products (hehheh).
I believe Creative has some serious competition, and it isn’t doing much to keep up with its market rivals; either that, or it prefers catering to a different brand of consumers. With bigger, more universal and global brands like Apple who have both the consumer market and physical means to propel them forward, Creative Technology is getting its spotlight stolen in the technology market.
Nonetheless, I have to give credit to them for coming thus far, and even maintaining their business till now. It is, after all, a Singaporean firm; with a mighty small consumer base to start from, future prospects are not exactly very welcoming, what’s more with all the foreign investors like Microsoft.
They aren't very reliable..
Their sound cards come with drivers that aren't updated. They also tend to stop working after a while. I'm not sure if I just got a lousy batch or product, but the general consensus from my friends is also that their products are not reliable. My friend has a headset he bought from them that had the mic not working in less than 3 months.
As a Singaporean firm, I applaud the milestones and strides they have made. But they need to bulk up on their core products and remove all the others that aren't making them as much money. Their quality control really has to improve as well.
I haven't had any experience with their music players, but I've been put off by their appearances. I'm not sure whether I would spend money on them when my Sansa Clip+ is still rocking with a 32gb microsd card.
Crunch better than Apple
I'm pretty big on music. Any music. The fact that I cannot survive a 10min journey on my bike without plugging in the earphones always seems to irk my friends, who never fail to comment on it when I tell people that I'm a safe rider. The desire to be lost in music has always been in me, and the medium for my portable music has evolved from the walkman to md to cd and then, to an mp3 player. That's where Creative comes in.
Back when my life was still full of possibilities rather than shit, I was looking for a mp3 player so that I could listen to my burgeoning mp3 collection on the move. The iPod was all the rage then, but I couldn't understand why it was so expensive when a Creative mp3 player which is arguably smaller and can do the same job, is less than half it's price. It's a no-brainer that I chose the local player over the Californian one.
I never regretted my decision. My creative player works like a charm and have served me faithfully even when I accidentally drowned it one time. Even today, I use it as a spare player on my travels simply because it can run on AAA-size batteries. Remember those cylindrical things? However, my love affair with Creative ended when handphones start having mp3 capability and mp3 players became obsolete. Sorry Creative, but no way am I carrying two separate devices in my pocket if I can help it.
Before the times of Ipod..
Creative was a really amazing brand many years ago which I was still in my teens, that means about 15 years back. Back then ipod and iphones were not the norm yet, and when you want to get a MP3 player, you hear Creative. Not just for players, even when it comes to the sound in the desktops or laptops, it was a one-up to get one of the creative soundblaster or audigy chips to be in there. All the desktops I owned, whether from retailer or DIY, would always be equipped with a Creative Sound Card, coupled together with Creative speakers.
The story of the big boss, Mr Sim, was also a well known name among Singaporeans as he was often an example of how a degree is not necessary the route to excellence or success. He is also known for his strength in hiring talents for his company.
But sadly, the buzz of Creative has already gone down. No doubt Creative are still producing sound cards and speakers, but it is no longer something that consumers wants and willing to pay additional for it as they are more choices available now. But it cannot be denied that they still produce one of the best sound around.
I guessed very few of you younger readers heard of Cubic CT, even those older readers, you may not remember the first products by Creative were actually computers.
Many years ago, my cousin had a Cubic CT computer and that was the envy of me. The computer had a good sound system at that time. It was able to pronounced Chinese words better than some of my classmates during those times. Those were the times before the rise of China and parents still thinking it was a waste of time to learn Chinese. That may be one of the reasons why the computer did not survive.
After that Creative went into sound cards and I was a big supporter of their sound cards. All my DIY computers over the years only had Creative sound cards. In recent years, their name had died down and they should try to create another killer product to revive their name.
Reasonable and satisfactory products
The first encounter I had with a CREATIVE product was the first electronic chinese dictionary that I used in primary school. Back then, such products were at the forefront of technology, and it was a delight to have all the functions, coordinated and activated from the main menu, at your fingertips. Creative products, in generally, are not known for their styles or designs, but rather, their functionality and durability. The chinese dictionary above is still in working condition and still can be operated smoothly now, more than 10 years after I first bought it.
I also had occasion to use its MP3 players, the beauty of these gadgets was that they are reliable and you can wake up a year or 2 later still feeling good about its services!
However, software-wise, the Creative style is lacking. It lacks appeal and can sometimes be sophisticated and difficult to use. Take Hans Vision, a software by Creative which I was already familiar with since primary school, I bought it simply to type in chinese using some of the old style alphabets, however, the input menu was so complex that I had a hard time finding what I was looking for.
Creative has seemingly disappeared from the electronics market these few years, I really hope it can make a comeback with a range of amazing products!
Completely lost the plot
I am all for supporting local technology. If anything, I use to brandish my creative Zen micro mp3 player while travelling overseas in the hope that it will catch the eye foreigners. But of late, I can’t help but find the products belonging to creative to be imaginative, boring and not CREATIVE at all.
I have since jumped onto the bandwagon and bought myself an iPod. But truth be told, I still find the audio quality of my old creative mp3 player and creative earphone to be superior to that of apple’s.
I hope that creative can somehow reinvent itself and excite the world like it used to. Should that day come, I’d be the first in line at their store.