Something I get to see all too infrequently are Soundbars especially ones that come with a separate sub-woofer. Here the latest offering from Creative Labs a company best known for everything ‘sound related’ such as sound cards, headphones, earbuds and speakers. So when I was offered this I was happy to give it a good thorough testing.
click image to enlarge
First the main unit it has four push buttons on the front on/off, volume -, volume + and source along the 26.5cm length, the back mains power in, three HDMI in a row (two in and one out) then in a row optical, USB and sub-woofer connector in a central area along the 23.5cm length of the back, the unit is 8cm tall and 6.5cm deep.
The sub-woofer can be up to 100cm away from the main unit. It is 11cm wide, 24cm deep and 40cm tall with the speaker on the right side 18cm cm across.
Also in the box is a remote control, power leads for UK and Europe, an optical cable and a very large 75cm square double sided six column Quick Start Guide in eighteen languages. This explains everything needed to connect everything to a TV, a PC or a Games Console. It also has full instructions for the seventeen button remote control.
It can also be used for near field listening and for this a pair of feet to tilt the main unit upwards slightly.
This 2.1 unit now has Dolby Atmos built in to enhance the listening experience not just for TV use but over the whole spectrum of sound including speech. The link from Creative at the nd of this item has a video to explain this.
The Soundbar and sub-woofer combined have a maximum of 240W. At full power you could annoy your neighbors or even extract your own fillings.
It supports Bluetooth 5 for excellent streaming quality.
The remote has everything including near field controls covered.
The total weight of the main unit and sub-woofer is a tad over 5 kilos.
It is stated to work with Windows, MAC, iOS 11 and above, Android, X-box, PS4, PS5 and of course TV.
Sound quality with all the units I tested it with was excellent; apart from HDMI and Optical I also made good use of the Bluetooth ability.
I mentioned that it had two HDMI ports make sure you use it with the one marked ARC with your TV or you could face some problems.
I enjoyed my time using this system and it certainly improved the quality and quantity of sound when watching films both old and new something that TV is normally extremely poor at.
The Creative Stage 360 is available direct from Creative for £179.99