The Creative Stage SE joins the rank of other Creative Stage soundbars, but this time with a chonkier look. Priced at S$89, the Stage SE offers solid sound for your desktop, with a virtual surround mode to spice things up.
- 2ch audio (48W total system peak power)
- Bluetooth 5.3, USB Audio
- Full-range racetrack drivers
- Dimensions: 410 x 108 x 68mm
Unlike the older Stage models that I've tested, the Stage SE is a bit bigger. It will still fit under your monitor, but the legs don't extend out enough so it will sit on your monitor stand. But you can just put it further out. The soundbar has a shiny top, with a speaker mesh at the front and a volume dial at the right. I really like the dial, it's really easy to just reach over, and adjust. A button on the dial lets you switch between Bluetooth and wired. At the back are the USB-C port for connecting to your computer, a USB-A port for firmware upgrading, and the power adapter port.
There's no onboard battery unlike the Stage Air V2, but you really don't need it. The Stage SE is just going to be on my table most of the time, but you can easily move it around if required. The soundbar supports Bluetooth 5.3, but only for the SBC codec. Internally, there are two racetrack drivers with passive radiator for bass. It's similar to the Stage Air V2. As there are no other buttons on the soundbar, a bundled remote lets you adjust the tone, turn on surround, or the clear dialog feature.
Audio performance is good, with a surprisingly strong bass. Vocals shine, but mids are a bit of a mixed bag. While vocals do sound clear, instruments and background can feel a tad smeared for music. The bass is punchy without feeling overpowering. With surround turned on, there's some sense of height, but you won't feel it too often. It's pretty decent, to be honest. I do note that at 50% volume, the soundbar feels too quiet, so I'm usually sitting at around 80% to 90% volume.
At S$89, the Creative Stage SE is a great entry-level PC soundbar with big sound. There's a little bit of compromise on the audio, but for the price you're paying, I say it's darn fine. Get it from Creative.
Note: Review unit provided by Creative.
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