Best and Cheapest Sound Bar Ever? – Creative Stage V2 Review
Creative has launched some fantastic pieces of hardware over the last number of years, highlighted by their SXFI lineup of headphones and earbuds – we’ve reviewed plenty of these devices, and they have always ranked high! Lately, Creative has been pushing quite a few premium products, but this time around we are reviewing a very affordable, outstanding under-monitor sound bar. Let’s not even bury the lead – this thing is fantastic!\
Besides collecting a fair bit of dust and not having as much flex-ability because of cable length, there isn’t a lot about the Stage V2 that I don’t like. It’s compact, produces a fantastic sound, and really pushes my video and gaming experiences like never before. And all at an affordable 149.99 in Canada. Whether hooked up to my PC, or directly into my TV, I was impressed with the results!
If you’ve been reading GamesReviews long enough, you know that outside our good friend Will, we aren’t the techiest group around. When we review hardware products, we talk more about our own personal experiences than about the technical aspects of the devices, and what they SHOULD be able to do on paper. It’s a simple philosophy, really: the average user of this product doesn’t care what the paper says. They care about the overall quality, and on that I can confirm…it is top notch.
The soundbar features on-device controls nestled nicely into the frame of the speaker, but also allows users to control the entire system with the included remote. The quality of the build is top notch, and when showing it off to friends, they assumed they were getting a fairly expensive product, when in actuality it was cheaper than many of the sound bars they were currently using.
Getting this thing setup couldn’t be easier either. Whether hooking straight into a PC, or up to your living room TV, it’s just a few quick cable connections – aided by the handy guide included with the package – and you are all set to go. While you can definitely tweak some settings, right out of the box, ti will perform perfectly fine!
This is an impressive system because it will definitely blow your current TV speakers – or perhaps sub-par PC speakers – out of the water. Will it sound better than a unit costing 1000+ or more? Likely not, and that’s not really what you should expect at this price. It’s not going to make your neighbours call the police during action scenes, but it will improve your current, systemless TV setup! And thats ultimately all that matters.
What I like most about the Stage V2 from Creative is the compact design. This will look very minimalistic when either placed on an entertainment stand or mounted below a TV. It’s not big or bulky, not unnecessarily long, and does protrude too far out, which is becoming much more noticeable as TVs are getting thinner and thinner.
For the price, you definitely won’t beat the Creative Stage V2. You can get one now for 149.99 CAD or 109.99 USD. It’s worth the investment.