Cre­ative Sound BlasterX Katana

Sleek and pow­er­ful, this PC sound­bar im­presses.

APC Australia - - Contents -

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.

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