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Cheap and cheerful computer soundbar – review geek


  • 1 – Absolute hot garbage
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm garbage
  • 3 – Heavily defective design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptable imperfectly
  • 6 – Good enough for that Sale
  • 7 – Great, but not the best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with a few footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money [19659004] 10 ̵
    1; Absolut Design Nirvana

Price: $ 40

  Creative Stage Air Soundbar

Creative Stage Air is an unusual mix of familiar features. At a reasonable price, you should not expect perfection, but it's easy to forgive a device that only pays you $ 40. So we got along with this pretty-looking soundbar.

What we like

  • It's cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Low-profile size

And what we do not

  • Sound quality might be better
  • A bit big for a portable Bluetooth Speakers
  • A Bit Small for a Soundbar

Small and Powerful? weighs two pounds, and you can easily carry it around with one hand. Behind it is the thought that it is also a social device. For example, you can easily take it to a friend's house or take it to a party with the built-in battery.

Sound output is not so important for a large gathering, but if you just want a bit more momentum when watching or listening to friends? It is very appealing. And for the intended purpose – enhancing the speaker experience when using your laptop or desktop computer – it offers a good show.

  Creative Stage Air
It's not much longer than a 13-inch MacBook Pro Jennifer Allen [19659016] You do not get much in the box for the price. There is the Soundbar itself, which measures only 16 x 3 x 2.75 inches, along with a micro USB and a 3.5mm cable. Both are just over half a foot long. So expect to buy longer cables separately if you want to do something more advanced than just plugging them under your PC monitor. B. under your TV.

It is predominantly made of plastic with a glossy finish and dull sides. It will not set the world ablaze with its looks, but it's subtle and easily blends into your other devices. There's a metal grille that covers two dynamic riders, as well as an oversized passive radiator. Predictably, the glossy finish loves fingerprinting, but hey, what technology does not?

  Creative Stage Air Side Buttons
Jennifer Allen

On one side are four rubberized buttons. Expect that you have to look closely at what each of them does, as the descriptions are a bit awkward to recognize. He also likes to put on dust. One of them is the power supply, the bluetooth connectivity and the volume control. It would be nice if the keys were a little easier to distinguish from each other, but when it came to volume control, I mostly used the device I connected them to. It's one of those things that would feel like a bigger problem if the Creative Stage Air cost more than it.

Connectivity options: not too shabby

  Creative Stage Air
Did we mention that she likes to suck? Dust? Jennifer Allen

The Creative Stage Air has three physical inputs. There is USB-A to connect a flash drive for instant playback. This is one of the things that seem useful, but quite limited. When you connect a USB drive, only all files are played in the order in which they appear on the flash drive. You can not skip, go back or control music playback with a companion app or similar. Although you can not expect much from a screenless device, some basic button functions would be helpful. If you just want to store and play a huge pile of music on a flash drive without worrying about anyone being in Bluetooth range, this is helpful.

Besides, the 3.5mm input is equipped with this very short input cable, but is useful to plug in a lot of things (even more so if you buy a longer cable). Then there is the micro-USB port, through which the battery can be charged. The battery capacity is 2200 mAh. With a maximum battery life of about 6 hours you can work for a while. If you increase the volume, you should expect the value to drop to about 4 hours.

As the word Air implies in the title, Creative Stage Air also works via Bluetooth. It's pretty normal and reassuringly easy. It took seconds to connect to my phone, and there is always the option to connect it to your computer this way. The downside for some is that it is Bluetooth 4.2 and works only with the SBC audio codec, which is not the best codec, but most users will not notice. If you know what that means, you'll probably spend a lot more on your speakers than the price of them. Mediocre sounds Creative Stage Air Jennifer Allen

Given the size and price associated with the Creative Stage Air, it will not set your ears on fire. It has two 5W drivers, so the output is not loud, but it works close up. Listening is pretty bass-heavy, but the passive emitter helps to make deeper notes feel better.

Do not expect high altitude or strong clarity. This is not a speaker to search for subtle nuances of a title. I tried it on a friend's album and I did not manage to get the quieter moments out of it. But everything that is loud and simple, like a professionally recorded pop or rock track, is enough. It's another moment when you appreciate the price and let go.

Unlike other speakers and headphones, there are no options to change or adjust, but on the other hand, this was never the first choice for audiophiles.

] Daily use: Steady

  Creative stage air and cables
Yes, these bundled cables are short. Jennifer Allen

The Creative Stage Air will not be the kind of device you buy to demonstrate your audio skills, but that's not a bad investment for those on a budget. Everyday I found it quite respectable for the time that I wanted to stream music quickly on my laptop or my iPhone. Occasional tests on my TV reminded me that my full-blown Sony soundbar was a better option, but it also costs three times the Creative Stage Air and comes with its own subwoofer.

Instead, the Creative Stage Air works best at short range. When you sit in front of your desktop or laptop, this one is the strongest, possibly explaining the super-short cables. This does not mean that I did not want to use it as a portable Bluetooth speaker when I moved around the house. In the summer I can see that it is useful if I want to listen to music in the garden, although it is a little too big for a normal portable Bluetooth speaker.

A little bit of everything

The Creative Stage Air is a difficult one to define. In an ideal world, it's too big for a standard portable Bluetooth speaker and not sturdy enough, but it's fine if you take it to your back yard or to a place where it can not easily be damaged. In an ideal world, it would be a more powerful soundbar, but it has a price that costs less than many headphones currently.

It's an uncomfortable middle ground between the traditional soundbar and portable Bluetooth speakers, but that does not mean it's not worth it for certain users. If you need an extra speaker to improve the sound quality of an old or small TV, this is ideal. If you are not an expert on sound and have a limited budget, you can easily enrich your desktop or laptop experience.

The Creative Stage Air is almost the perfect example of getting what you want to pay for, "but it's a little bit better. There is no reason why you should not pick one. If that is not the case, you can afford something better.

Here's what we like

  • It's cheap
  • Easy to use
  • Low-profile size

And what we do not

  • Sound quality might be better
  • A bit big for a portable Bluetooth speaker
  • A bit small for a soundbar

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