When I received a soundbar from one of the leading PC audio component manufacturers in India, I knew I was in for something good. Creative’s Stage V2 Soundbar promised to offer an even better output than its already good predecessor. But did it live up to its name? Here’s what I think.
Creative has taken an effort to make the Stage V2 soundbar even more compact, and it shows. Knocking off a considerable portion, it is now just 68 centimetres wide. That makes it eligible to fit in most spaces under TVs, regardless of the crampedness. It sports an all-black body with a metal grille at the front accompanied by the company logo on its left. Creative has also equipped Stage V2 with a wired subwoofer with a 5.25-inch driver. It is hardly 12 centimetres wide, making it slimmer than most of its competitors. Users can also wall-mount the soundbar with a pair of screws, though it could be inconvenient for some as all the input ports are at the back of the soundbar. Though they face sideways instead of facing the wall, they can be tricky to locate and slot in. Nevertheless, it is a manageable setup and is not difficult to the point of dissuasion.
The soundbar can be operated with a power button, volume control keys, and the Bluetooth button, all of which are placed on the soundbar’s right side. A white 7-segment LED display shows all the relevant data on the soundbar. Stage V2 also displays the volume, bass, and treble levels along with the input mode, among other things, which is quite nifty. The soundbar can also be operated via a full-function wireless remote that comes in the package.
Speaking of the input ports mentioned above, Creative has provided Bluetooth 5.0, a 3.5 mm Aux jack, Optical input, USB, and HDMI ARC. Surprisingly, Creative has opted for a Type-C USB instead of the standard USB-A. Though a Type-C to USB-A cable is added to the bundle, the USB-A port is a male connector, implying you cannot connect to a pen drive. However, considering its available connectivity options, I did not find that to be much of a hindrance.
The audio output is handled by two 2.25-inch drivers that deliver 40W RMS combined and take care of high and mid-range frequencies. I was impressed with the combined 80W RMS of power that the soundbar gives, including an additional 40W RMS from the 5.25-inch subwoofer.
One downside is that the speaker isn’t Dolby-certified which lowers its value-for-money parameter. Consequently, a price tag of Rs 9999 means it will have to be a well-thought-out investment. Nevertheless, Creative offers a solid package with Stage V2, and there are hardly any aspects to criticise it over.