Creative Stage review: Crazy-cheap sound bar is good for small TVs,

Computer speakers = awesome. $80 computer speaker = still pretty awesome. Correct?

Creative’s classic 2.1-channel system, Stage, begs to be different. This stylish sound bar offers a compelling mix of sound quality and features – including HDMI and a subwoofer – at an ultra-affordable price. It achieves something that Creative has attempted over the past 20 years: to surpass the PC and enter the living room.

In other words, it’s also great for smaller rooms and TVs if your budget is tight. Its sound will trump the built-in speakers of almost any TV.

That said, it’s better suited as a PC desktop or gaming system than a TV sound bar due to its smaller size. I found it hard to tell from left to right while sitting on the couch, and I only felt the full jolt of the little sub when placed on my feet. If you want to complement your TV sound and you have the space for it, Vizio SB3621 The platform is well worth the extra money.

stage is ready

sound bar like excellent Vizio SB362An-F6 Here’s the map for a sound bar under $100: It should have Bluetooth, an optical input, and an internal subwoofer.

The Creative Stage not only sets this map on fire but consumes the smoldering map. The sound bar includes both a separate subwoofer and a HDMI ARC Input.

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Sarah Tu/

Connections also expand to the mandatory Bluetooth wireless and an optical input, and Creative throws in a USB port for playing MP3s from an external drive. While it still betrays its desktop roots, the Stage is unlike similar multimedia systems in that it won’t function as a USB sound card—you’ll still need to use an auxiliary output from your computer.

It is a very compact system. The sound bar measures 21 inches across, but it doesn’t look out of place with a large screen, thanks to its industrial design of choice. And unlike Vizio’s Surefire Points, the Creative has a two-symbol display that makes it easy to select inputs.

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Sarah Tu/

The 40-watt subwoofer is small, like a sound bar; At 18 inches tall, it’s the size of a slimline desktop PC. You can’t expect wireless connectivity at this price point and it’s connected by an 8-foot cable that enables everyone to sit at your feet or by the TV.

The system comes with a comprehensive remote control, which includes four sound modes and sub-independent volume. In case you lose the remote, there’s a three-button panel on the side of the sound bar. If you tap the power button it changes the input.

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