The Katana SE gaming soundbar lets you hear your enemies before they see you

Sound Blaster Katana SE soundbar
(Image credit: Creative Technology)

Audio tech brand Creative Technology is back as it launches of its new, mid-range gaming soundbar: the Sound Blaster Katana SE.

Sporting two 2.1-inch (54 mm) tweeters and a couple of 4.3-inch (109 mm) mid-range drivers, the Katana SE is claimed to be able to fill a room with “powerful audio”. There’s no subwoofer meaning the bass coming out of this device won’t be the greatest in the world, but the Katana SE is outfitted with a ton of features to make up for the lack of a subwoofer.

What’s arguably the most notable of these features is support for Creative’s proprietary Super X-Fi technology delivering an “immersive audio experience through [a user’s] headphones”. This is made possible thanks to SXFI Battle Mode and Scout Mode

Battle Mode, which will only work with headphones on, is meant specifically for FPS (first-person shooter) titles as it’ll allow players to hear “the directionality of where [in-game] gunshots are coming from” plus their distance in order to pinpoint the source, "down to the millimeter", according to the company. Scout Mode, which the Katana SE can output through its drivers despite being “optimized for” headphone usage, is less specific as it enhances subtle audio cues in a game from footsteps to grass ruffling.

Whether or not it's in the running to be one of the best soundbars or best computer speakers, we'll have to see for ourselves if we get our hands on a test unit.

Katana SE front and top view

(Image credit: Creative Technology)

Notable features

In addition to all the gaming functionalities, Creative states the Katana SE is effective at replicating the movie theater experience thanks to its "Dolby Audio decoder” certification. When connected to either a PC, Mac computer, or PlayStation 5, the soundbar can output 5.1 surround sound over USB. It’s also possible to create your own sound profile via the Creative app on Windows if you want to fine tune the device’s configurations or customize the buttons on the remote control.

Other notable features include the Katana SE’s compact size measuring 25.6 x 4.3 x 3.1 inches (650 x 109 x 78 mm) allowing it to fit comfortably on most desks and its “versatile connectivity”. Besides the hardware mentioned like PCs and the PS5, the soundbar also supports Macs, the Xbox Series X, and mobile devices. And of course, it sports RGB lighting because what kind of PC gaming peripheral would it be if it didn’t have those rainbow lights somewhere.

The Sound Blaster Katana SE is currently available for purchase on Creative Technology’s website for $299.99/£299.99/AU$509.95.

$300 for a soundbar is a pretty decent price, but if you’re looking for other options, be sure to check out TechRadar’s collection of the best cheap soundbar deals for June 2023.

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.