Packing quite the audio punch is the Creative Stage 360, a 2.1 soundbar that comes with Dolby Atmos capabilities. It's a great soundbar for those looking to give their PCs a boost in the sound department, and thanks to Dolby Atmos support, will mean that games such as Cyberpunk 2077 feel even more immersive. It also works for TVs, so you can enjoy Dolby Atmos-enabled Netflix or Disney+ shows with plenty of bang.
- Dimensions: 565 x 75 x 88mm (soundbar), 115 x 422 x 250mm (subwoofer)
- 2x 2.25-inch x 3.85-inch Racetrack Driver (soundbar), 5.25-inch High Excursion Driver (subwoofer)
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, 2x HDMI 2.0, HDMI ARC, optical
As a PC soundbar, the Stage 360 is about the length of a 24-inch monitor, and fits under it nicely. The unit comes with three HDMI ports, with one reserved for ARC. There's also an optical port and Bluetooth. You will have to use HDMI to connect the audio to your computer, as this soundbar lacks a 3.5mm audio jack. For PCs, this usually means plugging it into your GPU; for Macs, you'll need the USB-C converter. The subwoofer is wired, but does not require a separate power source.
While on a Windows 10 device, you have to download the Dolby app to enable Atmos features. Also when hooked up to a PC, you may need to switch the audio type to “near-field” with the included remote. The near-field mode is for listening within a meter. If you're using the soundbar with your TV, switch it to wide-field. When using it as a TV soundbar, plug the HDMI cable to the HDMI ARC port instead.
Sound-wise, the Creative Stage isn't quite as full or as lush as say a 7.1 Dolby Atmos soundbar. But that's a given, since it's a 2.1 system. The two 60W RMS speakers do make up for it with a very strong bass, and clear separation. I love how the mids and highs sound, too. One of the cool things about Atmos is that you can hear sounds above you. This does in fact, work, but it's best when used with a TV. I couldn't quite make out the height channels when using it on a PC, but it could be my layout. Occasionally, though, something will align perfectly and I get startled at hearing something above me.
Retailing at S$329, the Creative Stage 360 is twice as expensive as the other Stage options. But when you factor in Dolby Atmos, the soundbar becomes one of the more affordable options around. While it isn't as awesome as say, the Creative SXFI Carrier, you'll be able to experience almost cinema-like sound without breaking the bank. Get it from Creative's online store.
Note: Review unit provided by Creative.
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