Creative Sound BlasterX Katana
Sleek and powerful, this PC soundbar impresses.
This is a soundbar for pairing with a PC monitor that creates 2.1 audio — using a separate, wired subwoofer — and offers a whopping 75W of power.
The Katana has a robust build quality. Measuring 59cm long, it has two small feet, which create about a centimetre of clearance, giving it a pleasant floating look, and it’s angled slightly up towards you. Audio-wise, that’s an excellent design, while on each end, there’s a separate 7cm speaker grille that enables it to project sound slightly to the sides. Despite its heavyweight feel and 1.5kg bulk, it looks super-sleek, with a height of just 4.5cm, depth of 8cm, and a black, brushed aluminium finish. It also comes with an Aurora Reactive Lighting System, which is made of up 49 programmable LEDs that can display up to 16.8 million colours — perfect for creating ambient lighting.
Physically, the Sound BlasterX Katana is a little difficult to house on a desktop, as the subwoofer must be tethered to the soundbar using a relatively short 2m-long cable. On its rear, you’ll find a subwoofer connector alongside inputs for a mic, 3.5mm auxiliary input, digital optical audio input, USB and Micro USB.
The promised 7.1 virtual surround sound effects can scarcely be heard. The overwhelming impression is one of volume. The Katana handles game soundtracks and music well, with plenty of mid-range and bass, although treble detail is its defining characteristic.
It leaves you wanting less, not more, with its volume and bass levels potentially a little overwhelming when heard at close-range on a desktop.