If are looking for some bang-for-buck speakers, Creative has introduced some bar speakers to be used on the desktop or the living room. Called the Stage and Stage Air, these sound bars are meant to be placed beneath the monitor or your Living Room TV
Creative Stage Air
Smaller of the two the Creative Air is built like the Bluetooth speakers we can get from the shops now. The difference is the shape that it is in that enables you to place it snugly beneath your monitor measuring just 410 x 78 x 70mm. With jet black shiny exterior it does give a bit of that minimalist, sophisticated look that will look good on an office desktop.
It has a USB-A so can just plug in a thumb drive full of MP3s to provide some background music or you can just connect it to your phone via the Bluetooth connection. An AUX port is provided should you want to go retro with it. Because it is battery operated, you can bring it to that year-end BBQ party to blast your Spotify list for a good 6 hours if you can live with its long shape.
The sound quality for the $59 Stage Air is definitely more cost-effective than some single-lettered branded Speakers. You can hear good treble, good mid for that throaty vocals and enough bass from the 20W peak speakers to bang your head with when Bohemian Rhapsody comes on air. Then again, I was half-expecting that the sound bar to give a bit more of that expansiveness but the sound is emanating only from the centre.
If you are looking for something that can give you a bit of the soundstage, a separate Left-Right speaker set up is always the best bet like how I did it with two Chario bookshelf speaker and the NAD D3020 desktop amplifier.
The Creative Air is certainly a good set of speakers for those who just want some nice BGM with their daily work.
What I am more impressed by is the Creative Stage, a sound bar set that comes with its own subwoofer. Just this alone the sound quality from the Stage has gotten a huge boost in the sub-bass department. It also has good treble and mid so watching movies with the speaker system is really a joy as compared to the speakers from the TV. It does have a bit of the expansive effect but certainly not a surround sound experience.
It looks the same as the Air, just longer at 550mm and in the centre, an LED indicator to tell you which input you are at. It is also pretty simple in terms of connection, with HDMI (ARC), AUX and Optical-in present at the back of the unit.
You can still connect the phone to the speaker via Bluetooth but you will need the controller to do so so make sure you don’t lose it anytime soon. My other complaint is there is no way to permanently off the speakers.
At a mere $119.99, you are asking for some bashing if you dare to complain about the price. Of course this won’t win some of high-SES sounding brands such as Bang&Olufsen, Sono, Focal and Bose. But I can safely say it beats some of the entry level Soundbars from Philips, Samsung and Sony that costs more.
Yes. I will be buying the review unit. A very Merry Christmas to me!
About Wilson Wong
Founder of the 10000+ members Singapore Photography Interest Network photography group, avid gadget lover and budget wanderluster. He also writes for Techgoondu.com a tech website for the non-techies about the latest trends in personal tech. His wish is to help people get the right stuff and enjoy life without cutting off limbs to do so.