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Geek Review: Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 Gaming Soundbar

Complete domination through immersion is what Creative started out with when it brought audio to computers all those years ago, and some things never change, as it is now looking at doing the same at an all new level through the Sound Blaster Katana V2 Gaming Soundbar.

The direct successor to the original Katana, which was released in 2016, is a whole other beast with improvements and upgrades, while retaining its compact chassis and huge audio capability.

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The multi-channel gaming soundbar delivers 68% more power to blast your tracks on with such clarity, it is able to reproduce natural and realistic sounds with the Dolby Audio decoder which serves up cinematic entertainment experiences at your desk or living room.

Not only is Creative’s newest Katana pretty to look at with its now reactive RGB lights and functions, it cuts deep into the finer details with SXFI BATTLE Mode and Scout Mode. These modes place emphasis on enemy footsteps, reloads, firearms and the directionality of your foes movements.

SXFI BATTLE Mode and Scout Mode are similar in many ways but the key difference is that BATTLE Mode can only be used with headphones, whereas you can enable Scout Mode with headphones and on your speakers too. After playing a few rounds of Vampire The Masquerade: Blood Hunt, Rainbow Six Siege and PUBG, it’s obvious that Creative wants to bring out sound quality and levels and an open experience, without the need for tools directing audio feed into the ear, and it succeeds because with this, you won’t need to game with headphones anymore. 

Other new features include a built-in microphone on the front of the soundbar, which makes sitting through video calls more comfortable to sit through without ear or headphones plugged in.

Left: The original Katana remote. Right: The Katana V2 remote.

The remote control has also been upgraded with 6 customisable buttons. This time around, Creative has even rolled out an all-new mobile app to connect via Bluetooth to the Katana V2, which you can use as an alternative to the remote and the desktop app.

The only small drawback for the new design would be the choice of using a black plastic display panel on the front of the soundbar, which is highly susceptible to fine scratches that appear after just a few wipes with a microfibre cloth. This is a similar issue with the PlayStation 5’s black plastic housing, which oddly, also uses a plastic that scratches easily.

For easy reference, here is a direct comparison of specifications and features between the original Katana and the Katana V2:

ModelSound Blaster Katana V2Sound BlasterX Katana
PriceUS$329 (S$479)U$299 (S$419)
Dimensions• Soundbar: 600 x 95 x 62 mm
• Subwoofer: 150 x 367 x 367 mm
• Soundbar: 600 x 79 x 60 mm
• Subwoofer: 130 x 299 x 333 mm
Connectivity• Bluetooth 5.0
• HDMI ARC
• Optical-in
• AUX-in
• USB-C
• SXFI-out
• Bluetooth 4.2
• Optical-in
• AUX-in
• USB-A
• USB Flashdrive
Drivers• 2x 63 mm (2.5″) mid-range drivers
• 2x 19 mm (¾”) tweeters
• 1x 165 mm (6.5″) subwoofer driver
• 2x 63 mm (2.5″) mid-range drivers
• 2x 34 mm (1.3″) tweeters
• 1x 133 mm (5.25″) subwoofer driver
Power OutputUp to 126W RMS (252W Peak)Up to 75W RMS (150W Peak)
Frequency Range50 – 20,000 Hz50 – 20,000 Hz
Sound Blaster Acoustic EngineYesYes
Programmable RGB LightingYes Yes
Mobile AppYesNo
Super X-Fi & SXFI BATTLE ModeYesNo
Customizable Buttons on RemoteYesNo
Built-in MicrophoneYesNo
Headphone JackYes (front)Yes (back)
Accessories1x Remote Control
1x Power Adapter
1x Optical Cable
1x USB-C to USB-A Cable
2x Wall Mount Brackets
1x Remote Control
1x Power Adapter
2x Micro USB Cable
2x Wall Mount Brackets
Top: The original Katana. Bottom: The Katana V2.

The Katana V2 is certainly a welcoming addition to the Creative family. Its loud and crisp audio makes it perfect for every situation from hardcore gaming to enduring long conference calls. With its sleek design and solid build quality, it saves space without compromising on the quality of sound. Take our word for it, the Katana V2 can slice up anything you throw at it.

The various connections found on the back of the Katana V2.

If you are currently in the market for a solid speaker system for your desktop gaming rig, or even your living room TV, the Katana V2 is a no-brainer. If you currently own the original Katana, the V2 is definitely worth the upgrade, especially when it’s priced only a mere US$30 more, 5 years after its original release.

The Sound Blaster Katana V2 is now available for sale via Creative’s online store at S$479 (US$329) and includes free shipping worldwide.

GEEK REVIEW SCORE

Summary

With its sleek design and solid build quality, it saves space without compromising on the quality of sound. Take our word for it, the Katana V2 can slice up anything you throw at it.

Overall
9.4/10
9.4/10
  • Aesthetics - 9/10
    9/10
  • Build Quality - 9/10
    9/10
  • Performance - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Value - 10/10
    10/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 9.5/10
    9.5/10


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