Creative Stage 2.1 Soundbar Review
As televisions became skinnier, the speakers inside became tinnier. That may suit many people, but I like the idea of some air being moved around for my sounds. And that brings us to the Stage from Creative. I like Creative, they make wonderful speakers but this one is a bit of a paradox. And while recommended you to buy it, I shall tell you why I believe it to be a bit of an oddity.
Giants in the industry have some, erm, giant sound bars that sound sensational. But they come with gigantic price tags, too. Prices like £1,349 for the Samsung N950 for example. You get a lot of speaker for that money, but it is at an eye-watering cost. Now let’s get back to the Creative Stage 2.1 system. It costs around £80 at the time of writing.
It’s small, but you can get it with a subwoofer. The remote doesn’t come with batteries, but that’s fine too. And that remote is tiny, but seems to work well.
As for the sound? Without the sub, don’t bother. With it, the Creative Stage sounds just fine. Is it better than your tinny TV speakers? Yep most probably, unless you have spent a fortune on that television set. In which case, you won’t be buying the Stage. See the Samsung device above.
The CreativeStage has a peak of 160W. There’s Bluetooth, optical, aux, and USB, so all good there, with some basic volume controls on its side and a power button. The source ID lights on the front can’t be turned off.
The bar itself is 550mm wide, 70mm tall and with a depth of 78mm. The sub stands 520mm tall, a skinny 115mm wide and 250m deep but it is wired, so needs to be close to the bar.
The remote has some preset sound profiles for things like movies, music and concert and even gaming modes, plus the more conventional bass and treble adjustments.
So that’s about it – it is very small making it ideal for things like PC monitors. We had one set up in the kitchen, but it was a bit too bulky taking up too much counter space. A desk is ideal along with a television unit – places where you don’t always need to utilise the flat surface for something else.
It also suits screens that sit forward of their stands, so the front of the soundbar can line up vertically with the screen. It looks a tad messy if it has to sit too far forward, but that’s any bar, not particular to the brilliant Creative Stage. Considering the price point, you get plenty of boom for your buck. A four figure soundbar will sound better, but for the rest of us, this Stage from Creative is a magnificent alternative.