For cost efficient Bluetooth speakers that work as well as the high-end ones, we’ve always had excellent experiences with products from Creative Labs. Thing is, their Sound Blaster X Katana isn’t just your typical Bluetooth speaker, and it’s definitely more than that.
The Creative Sound Blaster X Katana is designed specifically for gamers, and it’s to be the very first under monitor speaker system for those planning to upgrade their setup. Even if you don’t consider yourself as a huge gaming enthusiast, you’ll still be in for a treat with the device. Plus, even if you don’t have a PC, the system should not affect how the things would sound.
Today, we’re given the chance to check out and try the Sound Blaster X Katana from Creative; and considering that it’s quite on the pricier side, let’s see if its performance & features of the speaker are excellent, and if this device is something worth investing in.
Creative Sound Blaster X Katana Review – What’s in the Box?
When we finally received our Creative Sound Blaster X Katana, as we expected, it came in a rather huge box. Of course, the package houses a soundbar and subwoofer, so you’d definitely need enough room to carry all these. Creative ensured to have 100% protective packaging to guarantee that the device and accessories are all protected while in transit.
Let’s first talk of the package’s exterior: in front, you’ll see a couple of the device’s primary specifications, as well as features like the Aurora Reactive RGB lights. At the back of the box, you’ll see a brief breakdown of the primary features which you’ll realize that there are a lot.
After checking out the outer portion of the box, we can now check out the items included inside. Aside from the Creative Sound Blaster X Katana itself, you will find two USB cables, international power cables, wall mount brackets, documentation for installation & warranty, as well as a remote control.
Creative Sound Blaster X Katana Review
The Creative Sound Blaster X Katana is a speaker meant for desks. Measuring just two feet long and a mere three inches for its height, the speaker’s slim profile fits perfectly beneath your monitor whether it’s on a movable arm or stand.
Aside from the speaker’s relatively tiny size, it still has that standard soundbar design where nice black grills are found right at the front. It is also housed in a nice brushed aluminum chassis; plus, its LED panel in front gives you basic control over the Sound Blaster X Katana plus a total of five buttons spanning right at the top.
These include the Volume Down & Up, Power, Source, and the SBX that courses between different preset profiles.
Close to these is the Sound Blaster X logo which really stands out since it gives off a game-centric appeal on the device that sports a sleek and high-end exterior. If it’s something that you think you won’t really like, don’t worry since the logo is just at the top towards the rear, and you’ll rarely notice this.
On the back part, you’ll find all the necessary inputs to link everything together. This part also notes the standout feature of the device which Creative refers to as the Aurora Reactive Lighting System.
All of the outputs of this device can be found along the back; generally, it’s just a regular layout depending on the setup. From left to right, you’ll see the power input, 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, mic in, subwoofer connector, optical input, aux in, plus the USB input if you have audio stored in your flash drive.
You can also choose to play music from a playlist via the Sound Blaster Connect desktop application. Just remember that this is only available on PC.
The remote control that is included in the package makes use of infrared and features different functional buttons for mute, bass level control, power / standby, SBX modes, show soundbar display, volume up / down, toggle LED lighting, and the previous / play or pause / next buttons. Additionally, it also comes with individual source buttons for PC, Bluetooth, USB, optical, and AUX.
The Sound Blaster X Katana has a 2.1 system configuration and sports the Bluetooth 4.2 version. Its Bluetooth profile is the wireless stereo Bluetooth A2DP and also supports AAC and SBC codecs.
Connector types that are available include Bluetooth, USB Flash Drive, AUX in, headset out, mic in, USB audio, and optical in. The speaker also includes an infrared remote control which makes controlling the device easier. This Sound Blaster X Katana comes in black and features a tri-amplified design.
For its dimensions (H x W x D), the Sound Blaster X Katana’s soundbar is 60 x 600 x 79 millimeters and weighs 1.5 kilograms. It is also 2 x 34 millimeters (Tweeters), 2 x 63.5 millimeters for the mid-bass drivers, 1 x 133.35 millimeters for the long throw driver. Its subwoofer measures 333 x 130 x 299 millimeters while it weighs a total of 4 kilograms.
Sleek Audio System to Place under your Monitor
Since the Sound Blaster X Katana features a slim profile, you can effortlessly tuck it right under your monitor and TV. It is shorter than 60 millimeters and is impressive in both form and function. The Sound Blaster X Katana is perfect for every setup, including multi-monitor gaming whether you use PC or console. The sturdy chassis is perfectly designed with an aluminum brushed panel. Its build minimizes vibrations that reduce the clarity of sounds.
Aurora Reactive Lighting System
The Sound Blaster X Katana is integrated with the Aurora Reactive Lighting System. Its base is lined with forty-nine LED lights that you can customize from edge to edge. Just like the hamon of the real Japanese sword, this LED system features 16.8 million colors that you can customize from one edge to another. With this, you can create your own unique profile to step up your movie and gaming experience.
Five Efficient Drivers
The five drivers that are present on the Sound Blaster X Katana are individually powered by an amplifier that is controlled by a DSP. This allows the amplifier to deliver audio with improved precision, making your listening sessions more enjoyable than ever.
High-Quality 24-bit Audio to Deliver an Immersive Gaming Experience
Aside from increasing the power of the tri-amplified design, the Sound Blaster X Katana features the company’s proprietor award-winning multi-core DSP that produces 24-bit audio that is clear, high-quality, realistic and can also fill the room. The decoder is certified Dolby Digital which ensure that it delivers 5.1 surround sound.
The Sound Blaster X Katana uses a tri-amplified design. Its total output is 75 RMS / 150W Peak Power which makes it provide clear, well-balanced, and high-definition audio that also has deep resonating bass. The multi-core DSP or Digital Signal Processor control the amplifiers in the tri-amplified design.
Crystal Clear and Crips Audio for PS4 Devices via USB
When using your Sony PS4, PS4 Slim, or PS4 Pro, you can enjoy cinematic audio via USB. Aside from audio performance, in-game communication is also improved with voice-morphing and noise-reduction technologies. These improvements are made by the integrated advanced Sound Blaster processor of the Sound Blaster X Katana.
Using the Product
The Sound Blaster X Katana gaming speaker is a great device that produces high-quality audio when listening to music and during gaming. It was really clear, clean, crisp, and loud enough that we were able to hear sounds in games that we never really noticed before.
It really gives you an edge and great advantage by helping you hear opponents that are close by. With that, the results of using the Sound Blaster X Katana is similar to wearing a pair of headphones.
The speaker is made for gaming, but it can also be utilized for PC use as well. The speakers are compatible and can work with any kind of gaming system or console that makes use of analog or optical. However, the company claims that the PlayStation also supports the device’s USB DAC too which we think is really cool.
When it comes to the connectivity, you’ll be given a total of four options: USB, optical, Bluetooth, or 3.5-millimeter analog. If your PC is already integrated with a high-end sound card, then you might want to opt for the optical option; yet for the most part, it’s best that you use the USB option. This is because it leverages the soundbar’s built-in 24-bit DAC; so in other words, it comes with an HQ USB sound card that is integrated. For a lot of users, whether for laptops or desktops, the Sound Blaster X Katana from Creative should be a huge enhancement over their current onboard sounds.
When we used the USB connection, it really does give you that added capacity to utilize the headset and mic ports. These are generally important unless when utilizing the other connection choices. In addition to this, using the USB will let you utilize the remote control to play, change tracks, as well as pause. If you’re someone who’s using iTunes on Mac or Windows, the remote control of the Sound Blaster X Katana will allow you to control media via your computer, including the system volume. This is definitely of great value thus, makes the soundbar even better.
All in all, we really loved how the Sound Blaster X Katana worked, and it didn’t give us any issues when it came to us trying it for games, music, and more. So with that, we’re giving Creative two thumbs up for this efficient and HQ-sounding device.
The software for the Sound Blaster X Katana is supported on Windows and MAC platform. It isn’t really necessary to use, but is highly recommended once you install the Sound Blaster Connect software to get the best audio profiles that can be customized. The settings include microphone noise, LED lighting effects, as well as voice processing effects.
The GUI is increasingly similar to that of the Sound Blaster iRoar GO; however, there really isn’t any support for the Sound Blaster Connect mobile app yet. This software from Creative allows you to have full control on the SBX effects, equalizer, as well as the Dolby Audio options. It also lets a variety of voice morph effects, as well as mic noise reduction. This will be necessary when you’ll be utilizing a headset with the Sound Blaster X Katana.
Its lighting effects look highly impressive since it makes use of a collection of 45 RGB LEDs to produce the necessary effects.
The Creative Sound Blaster X Katana is a great device when it comes to performance. Yet it’s not just that since it also helps save a lot of space. If you’re someone with a small-sized desktop, an extremely wide monitor that has an aspect ratio of 21:9, and with no more additional space to separate left & right speakers, then the Sound Blaster X Katana is definitely something we’d recommend.
This speaker is an excellent device specifically for gamers, but it’s also an outstanding speaker for regular users as well. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the couch facing the TV or on the desktop, the speaker produces quality, clean, and crisp killer sounds that will surely give you enhanced audio enjoyment.
We were really surprised by how powerful and loud the sound output was. So basically, this speaker is not just all about looks, but is all about quality and excellence as well. Though it is still quite a pricey investment if you’re planning to use it strictly for gaming; but if you’ll also utilize the speaker for your own setup for music and movies, then it’s definitely even more worth it.
So if you’re looking for a really good speaker to upgrade your audio game, then the Creative Sound Blaster X Katana might just be the device for you.