Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2X soundbar review – Compact system, big sound

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REVIEW – As it turns out, this is the sound system we didn’t know we needed. My son and co-reviewer Mason picked this out after having a good experience with Creative speakers for a previous review. Our main TV already has a nice soundbar, and I have a portable speaker to use around the house, so I wasn’t sure we needed another one. Nonetheless, he set it up while we were out, and we came home to an immediate dance party in the kitchen. Bottom line, it’s a lot of fun!

What is it?

The Sound Blaster Katana V2X comes with a compact soundbar, sub-woofer, remote control, and several connectivity options. Plus it gives you a built-in light show.

What’s in the box?

  • Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2X soundbar
  • Subwoofer
  • AC  cable and adapter
  • Optical cable
  • USB  C to A cable
  • Remote Control
  • Instruction manual
  • 2 x Wall Mount Brackets
  • (Ours also came with a UK and European power cord.)

Hardware specs

  • Product Dimensions 3.74 x 23.6 x 2.44 inches
  • Item Weight 15.17 pounds
  • ASIN: B0BBVM8T1K
  • Item model number: MF8400
  • Manufacturer: Creative Labs
  • Country of Origin: China
  • Dimensions: Soundbar 600 x 95 x 62 mm / 23.6 x 3.74 x 2.44 inches; Subwoofer: 116 x 250 x 423 mm / 4.6 x 9.8 x 16.7 inches
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0, HDMI ARC, Optical-in, AUX-in, USB-C, SXFI-Out
  • Drivers 2 x 34 mm (1.3’’) mid-range drivers 2 x 19 mm (0.75’’) tweeters 1 x 165 mm (6.5’’) subwoofer driver
  • Power Output Up to 90W RMS (180W Peak)
  • Frequency Range 50—20,000 Hz
  • Cable length: Optical cable 1.5m / 4.92 ft; USB-C to USB-A cable: 1.2m (3.94 ft); Power cord 1.5 m / 4.92 ft
  • Operating temperature : 0-40 degrees C

Design and features

Setup

Mason said the Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2X soundbar was essentially plug-and-play. He put this together in minutes without any help.  It’s really a matter of plugging it in and pairing it with your device (click the pairing button and find it on your device’s Bluetooth). The LED display will let you know when it’s in pairing mode, connecting, and once it’s paired.

I should also note that you don’t need to connect with Bluetooth. For example, if you’re using this with your PC or gaming system, you may choose the USB-C, HDMI ARC, optical-in cable or AUX-in cable. The LED display also lets you know when it’s in TV mode (HDMI), USB audio mode, AUX-in or Optical-in mode.

In addition, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack on the front of the speaker, which makes for easy accessibility.

With the buttons on the Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2X soundbar, you can power on/off, pair with Bluetooth, adjust the volume, source (HDMI/USB/Optical/Bluetooth/Aux) or mode (Movie/Music/Effects off/Gaming). You can also turn the Super X-Fi on and off.

With the remote control, you can do all of these things, too. You can also adjust the brightness of the LED lights (Display button) or cycle through the color presets (RGB light button).  And you can use the arrow buttons to play, pause and skip tracks.

Performance

The sound quality of the Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2X soundbar is fantastic. It rivals bigger, fancier sound systems in quality. The audio is clear and powerful; the bass is solid and you can adjust it to your taste.

I  like that it’s relatively small, light and portable (15 pounds and 23.6 inches).

It’s also a nice-looking soundbar. And if you choose to keep it in a fixed spot, they’ve included mounting brackets.

We’ve listened to lots of music, as well as podcasts, and even my son’s band concert, which was exponentially better using the Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2X soundbar compared to hearing it from my phone or laptop speakers.

After keeping it in the kitchen for a couple of weeks, I began using it whenever I needed sound. My portable speaker got a nice long break. However, one day Mason relocated it to his room for gaming and watching movies. While I missed it in the kitchen, it really had a chance to shine during action movies and gaming.

(Note: Your family members may fight over this sound system!)

If you choose to download the app for this gadget, you’ll also have some additional options. However, it was a bit confusing at first to figure out which app to download.

We first downloaded the SXFI app, but it seemed more geared toward headphones, with its head-mapping features. Next, we tried downloading the Creative app to a PC, but even though our Bluetooth was paired, the app wouldn’t recognize the soundbar. Finally, we downloaded the Creative app to our phones and that did the trick!

Perhaps the coolest feature on the app is under Sound Mode where you can adjust the Equalizer for movies, specific types of music (classical, country, dance, hip-hop, jazz, etc.) and even specific video games (Call of Duty, Fortnite, Tom Clacy’s Rainbow Six Siege, and many more).

You can also adjust the mixer, including the subwoofer volume. And you can adjust the microphone settings.

The app also gives you several more options for the LEDs.

Overall, the app isn’t necessary for using the speakers but it’s fun to play with, and music/movie/gamer aficionados may find some custom options that you can’t adjust elsewhere.

What I like

  • Sound quality
  • Easy to set up and operate

What I’d change

  • Nothing

Final thoughts

The Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2X soundbar has excellent sound quality, fun lights, and is easy to set up and move.

Price: $279.99
Where to buy: Amazon or Creative website
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Creative.

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