In recent years, soundbars have conquered the home theater market. The advantages of the narrow sound bars are obvious: due to their compact form, they require little space and still generate a room-filling sound. In most cases even surround sound can be simulated, whereby the results of different systems differ in their quality. A further advantage is that, unlike a full-grown 5.1 system, no complex wiring is required for the rear surround speakers. The “WAF” (Wife Acceptance Factor) thus benefits immensely.
The company Creative now wants to bring the concept to the desk and is aimed primarily at fans of digital entertainment and professional “Steam-Sale” collectors. The LEDs on the underside are therefore as inevitable as the Amen in the church. Because of the estimated 300 € the Sound BlasterX Katana should offer more than RGB–Swag .
Weak Midrange, but Powerful Bass
In order to give the sound more power, a wired subwoofer is included in the scope of delivery in addition to the sound bar itself and an infrared remote control. This is also bitterly necessary, because without this support the sound is very thin and limited to the rather pointed highs. Unfortunately Creative chooses the sledgehammer method for the bass, so in the default setting the bass hums very strongly and drowned out the rest.
However, if the sound bar is connected to the PC via USB, the optional driver software can help. Unfortunately, not all problems can be solved so easily. Although the software offers many possibilities to adapt the sound to your own needs, the sound remains similar. The highs are a bit too high, the midrange remains too much in the background and the bass is imprecise but powerful. In this case, marketing departments like to choose the description “gaming-optimized sound”.
If the Sound BlasterX Katana would cost half the price, the sound would be absolutely fine. In the 300 € price range, however, it competes with candidates such as the “Companion 50” by Bose or the “Concept C” by Teufel. They don’t offer real surround sound either, but better stereo separation. The virtual surround sound of the Sound BlasterX Katana is also not very convincing. If this is activated in the software, only a slight reverb effect will occur.