Honestly, it feels like all the Creative products I’ve tried in the past year have just been really excellent for their price. The one we’ll be talking about today is the Creative Stage V2 soundbar that goes for just S$149.
You get pretty much everything in the box: the soundbar itself, a subwoofer that’s tall and slim, cables and a remote (you’ll have to provide the batteries yourself though). There are wall mount brackets on the back of the soundbar, so you can have it up on your wall if you prefer. The back also houses the ports for all the input sources: AUX, Bluetooth, Optical, USB-C and HDMI ARC.
The soundbar is surprisingly compact. But that’s not to say that it lacks power or anything though, this soundbar packs a punch. Music is loud and surprisingly detailed, even when playing over a Bluetooth connection. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. This soundbar also has Bluetooth 5.0, which means you get the added convenience of being able to connect your phone for music. It’s insane value for a soundbar that costs less than S$150.
Of course, the sound will be greatly dependent on your room’s setup, and whether you decide to use these in a bedroom, living room or study. I set the soundbar up in my room, which is approximately 3.5m by 3.4m, and it sounded pretty good in this enclosed space. If you’re using it in a bigger room and sitting further away, you might notice the subwoofer not performing as well.
The included remote is great too, with buttons to toggle surround sound, Creative’s Clear Dialog, switch between input sources and even adjust the bass and treble levels.
That being said, if you don’t have any batteries to use with the remote, there are physical buttons on the side of the soundbar too, the power button which also doubles up as a button to switch between inputs, volume up and down buttons and a Bluetooth button for manual pairing.
One thing about the design that I’m not particularly fond of is the glossy top. It’s a dust and fingerprint magnet; after just a week or so, there’s a thin layer of dust on top. Rooms with beds tend to be dustier, and I’m sure my decision to place it right next to my bed had some bearing on this, but I think a matte top would have alleviated it by a bit. If you regularly dust and clean your surfaces though, I think the glossy top won’t pose too big of a problem.
Another quibble I have is that the soundbar only shows two digits or characters. I understand the logic for numbers since most people won’t be using these at volume level 100, but for characters too? It means that when you’re switching between inputs, you get “AU” displayed on the soundbar instead of “AUX”, “UB” instead of “USB” and such.
It’s a bit confusing, but once you get used to it, you’ll know which abbreviation means what. It’s not a dealbreaker, but I would have preferred if Creative had made it so the full word was visible, or even just an additional character.
So who is this soundbar for? If you want a soundbar to use with your computer, or if you’re like me and you have a small TV or monitor set up in your room for your console or Nintendo Switch, this performs admirably, and for a really great price. If you’re looking to use this with your main TV, which most likely will be around 40 or 50 inches, I recommend looking for larger and better speakers that can really fill a big room.
More information and purchase options for the Creative Stage V2 (S$149) can be found on Creative’s website.
Written by Cheryl Tan