Before we begin our testing of Creative's Stage SE sound bar, let's take a look at its specifications.
Specifications of the Stage SE
About the Stage SE
The Stage SE from Creative is a small soundbar that is designed to be placed under a computer monitor. However, it can also be used with many different devices, such as consoles and mobile phones. It has two 12W drivers and a peak power of 48W.
The box contains the soundbar, a USB-A to USB-C cable and some manuals.
The Stage SE has a classic and neutral design. It is made of shiny materials and has the Creative logo at the top. The right side has volume and input controls.
At the back, there is a USB-C port for the computer and a power plug. The Stage Air V2 does not require an external power supply.
The package also includes a remote control that allows you to change the soundbar settings, such as activating surround sound, increasing dialogue, adjusting tone and controlling the volume.
Testing - Sound, Use and Comfort
It's time for the test. I'm going to do the same test as I did with the previous soundbars and headsets. I'll go through the usual with music, games, and movies.
When it comes to music, I made sure that the surround sound and dialogue were turned off. The soundbar can play loud enough for my needs at the computer. It manages to come up with quite a few nuances in the sound, but it is also clear that it doesn't have an additional bass and must rely on itself, which can make the sound a bit heavy for music.
When it comes to gaming, the Stage SE can nicely boost the sound compared to ordinary adventure games, providing a decent experience. However, if you're playing FPS, where you want to have the small details, it falls short. It can quickly become difficult to locate the enemy, where footsteps just become background noise, and I experienced several times that the enemy shot at me without me having heard them.
For movies, the Stage SE lacks an external bass, which means it doesn't get enough depth to experience the film. With a superhero movie on, where there were lots of explosions, I felt a bit flat. The dialogue itself was fine, and especially with the "dialogue" function activated.
I also tried out Youtube, where I found Stage SE worked really well, with various tutorials and other quiet videos with a lot of talk.
The Stage SE from Creative has a price tag of DKK 596, which is at the low and more budget-friendly end of the scale.
If you want to read more about the Stage SE from Creative, you can click on the banner above.
The Creative Stage SE is a great option for those who need better audio than their screen can provide, but don't want to use a headset. It is suitable for daily activities such as YouTube, Twitch, Teams, Zoom and more, and can also be used for music and movies, although it lacks an external subwoofer and can't produce surround sound. It is small enough to fit under most screens, and can be connected to different consoles and phones via cable or Bluetooth. It does not require any software, and its price is quite reasonable. The dialogue was clear and distinct.
Not so good