Creative Technology has announced a brand-new budget soundbar; the Creative Stage V2 is a direct upgrade of the Creative Stage and Stage Air soundbars, with some new features to boot.
Unlike its predecessor, the Stage V2 uses Sound Blaster technology and it comes in a bigger size with the aim to deliver clearer, higher quality audio.
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Creative Stage V2 also comes with improved surround sound features and, according to the company, offers a more stable connection. If you thought the Creative Stage Air was a decent, no-nonsense soundbar, you might just be blown away by all the bells and whistles added with the Stage V2.
It's on sale for $109.99 / £99.99, which is a steal for an understated, yet high-spec soundbar to use with your PC or TV. That works out at around AU$180, though Australian pricing is yet to be announced.
High-spec, low price
In comparison, the previous model the Creative Stage is currently on sale for $79.99 / £79.99 / AU£179 and it doesn't boast as many extras, including the virtual surround-sound feature and "expanded soundstage" seen with the Stage V2.
In terms of price, the Creative Stage V2 sits between the cheapest Creative Stage option (the Stage Air), and the most expensive one, the Sound BlasterX Katana.
The Stage V2 also uses "Clear Dialog audio technology", which Creative promises will allow you "to hear each syllable clearly without cranking up the volume and distorting other sounds". This is because the spoken dialogue is extracted and amplified "without compromising the ambient effects".
Fitted with two custom-tuned mid-range drivers along with a powerful subwoofer, the Creative Stage V2 should easily fill your living room with rich audio.
The Creative Stage V2 also comes with a wide range of connectivity options – optical, AUX, Bluetooth and more. It can even plug into your PC to boost your gaming sessions and stream audio through a USB stick.
To complete the package, there's even a handy remote to tackle all the different settings and input sources, as well as being able to customize the bass, treble, surround and clear dialogue options.