Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 Review – If you have been using your TV speakers for console gaming or small desktop speakers on the PC, you are missing a lot. Sure, you might feel amused with the PS5 enhanced graphics and all – but without the support of great audio, you don’t know what you are missing out.
Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 is an upgrade to the original Sound Blaster Katana. It’s a tri-amplified, multi-channel, gaming soundbar with Creative Super X-Fi technology – or to put it simply, a compact soundbar with a dedicated subwoofer & remote control included.
Despite of the compact size (which is great), the sound is far from tinny and I’m really happy to have it as the primary sound system for our living room TV – both for movie watching and also playing games on the PlayStation 5 & Nintendo Switch.
Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 Review – Unboxing & Packaging Contents
Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 Review – Design & Features
The Sound Blaster Katana V2 has a sleek, matte black build (both the sound bar component and subwoofer) which will suit any kinds of TV or monitor. The new version also has more connectivity options and delivers 68% more power than the original Katana.
But if you don’t have the original Katana to compare it to (I’ve never owned the original Katana), that’s ok. Suffice to say, you should be pleased with both the aesthetics and performance of the Katana V2 here.
It’s fitted with 3/4” fabric dome tweeters and the amplifiers inside are controlled by Creative’s proprietary multicore DSP to drive each of the mid-range drivers, tweeters, and subwoofer driver individually. This degree of control allows Creative to optimise the sound performance and also makes it customisable to your preference, if you want to tweak them.
There is a cool, customisable, RGB lighting beneath the soundbar too if you are into this sort of thing.
I like how compact the soundbar unit is. At 62mm depth, it lies pretty flat on the desk and if you have your TV or monitor on a stand, the Katana V2 should still fit right below it without blocking any screen content. The dedicated subwoofer also has a good cable length and can be placed further from the TV or monitor.
Connectivity wise, there are lots of options here: HDMI ARC, USB-C, Optical, 3.5mm AUX, and Bluetooth. This versatility allows the Katana V2 to be hooked to literally anything inside your home – PCs, Macs, Gaming Consoles ( PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X and S, and Nintendo Switch), Mobile devices like phones and tablets, etc.
To switch between the connections, you can press the “Source” button on top of the soundbar or use the included remote. I personally like how Creative put physical controls on the soundbar itself, unlike their Stage V2. This makes it easy to reach without having to search for the remote. There are also buttons to change its Sound Mode, Volume, and SXFI (which needs to be setup via an app or connected to a PC).
Katana V2 won’t automatically switch to Bluetooth though even if your device is connected and playing sound, but a quick, Mode switch does the job.
The included remote contains every control you need for the Katana V2 and thankfully, works with Apple TV remote so I’ve been using just the Apple TV remote to change volume while we watch Netflix and other video contents.
Surprisingly, there are dual built-in beamforming microphones inside the soundbar so you can also make calls or join Zoom without needing a headset or desktop microphone to talk. Obviously, this works better if the Katana V2 is hooked to your PC as it is in closer distance to your mouth.
I haven’t tested how good the microphone is but it’s there and can be useful to those who don’t own a gaming headset or have their console set up in a smaller room.
Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 Review – Sound Experience
Our big TV in the living room was hooked with a full-blown audiophile bookshelf speakers from Focal and a dedicated subwoofer from AudioEngine. While they sound big and room-filling, we haven’t been cranking the volume up ever since we have a new member in the family. Plus, it’s hooked to a non-remote-control-supported Amazon Echo Link Amp which has been a nuisance because we can’t control the volume from the couch.
Thanks to the remote-control support on the Katana V2, we can use our Apple TV remote to control the soundbar volume from the couch. Plus, the Katana V2 also auto turns itself on when I start the Apple TV, or the PlayStation 5.
While in all honesty, the Katana V2 definitely can’t compete with the Focal Chora 806 and AudioEngine S8. When we switched, we felt the difference as the sound wasn’t as full and crispy as before. However, we got adjusted after a few days and happy to actually store our old bookshelf speakers and subwoofer away and replace them with the Katana V2. The space-saving of the Katana V2 and its versatility of supporting different modes are just the highlights of the day. It’s also more than enough for the size of our living room.
Sound wise, Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 is surprisingly loud and rich. While it seems to be marketed for gaming, I find it really, really good for movie watching as well. Note that our living room is 4m x 4.5m in size and the sound can can reach the four corners of the room easily. Those who have much bigger rooms might possibly want more but it’s hard without testing it myself.
If you are planning to just use the Katana V2 on the PC, you’ll find plenty of clarity, quality, and loudness from both the soundbar and the subwoofer unit. I realise that many people also hook their PS4 or PS5 to the same PC monitor via HDMI so this is a perfect setup.
Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 Review Conclusion
I did feel left out when I wasn’t able to review the original Katana, which got rave reviews around the net. And I’m glad that the Katana V2 is even better than the predecessor.
The soundbar has a compact design, multiple connectivity options, and most importantly, the audio quality you are craving for in a soundbar for both gaming and movie watching. Similarly, the subwoofer also has a compact, vertical design that saves space below or next to your desk.
Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 is the sound upgrade you don’t know you need for until you have it. It brings audio from your games and movies to life, and the best thing is that you’ll be able to connect it to any gaming and non-gaming devices you have at home.
It retails for AU$499.95 and available now for purchase at Creative Australia website, and many retailers around Australia.
Disclosure: Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 review sample was supplied for reviewing but all opinions are mine
Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 Review
A compact soundbar with dedicated subwoofer that offers multiple connectivity options and great audio quality we all know from Creative Sound Blaster
- Compact design (both the soundbar and subwoofer)
- Multiple connectivity options, including Bluetooth
- Has physical controls on the soundbar unit
- Remote control included, also works with Apple TV remote (through IR)
- Loud and great audio quality
- Customisation and specific sound modes for gaming through app or PC
- RGB lighting, for those who crave it
- Can’t stream Bluetooth at the same time, need to switch to Bluetooth mode first manually
- Price is a bit similar to high-end soundbars
- Probably not good enough for large rooms