Creative Stage SE upsizes their basic under monitor speaker with new upgrades
Creative's most basic under-monitor speaker option, Statge Air, has seen a long shelf life since 2018 and even though it was refreshed in 2022 with its V2 brother, it has, for the most part, been the same offering that ensures you have a simple speaker to boost your audio output notably over any notebook or monitor can muster.
Perhaps noting that we weren't impressed much by the Stage Air V2, Creative now has now launched an updated Stage SE model. Still maintaining a very similar size to the Stage Air V2, the new Stage SE foregoes the Air's built-in battery and instead updates its audio delivery capability to house newer racetrack drivers and a passive radiator to handle more than double the peak power output to 48W. It also updates the old physical controls to a newer, more accessible volume knob control at the speaker's side, plus it now ships with an IR remote to operate it easily anywhere you're seated.
From a DSP enhancement perspective, the Creative Stage SE adopts some Sound Blaster technologies that first debuted on the pricier Stage V2 soundbar such as Clear Dialog,which enhances the vocals to hear speech clearly without compromising on the background audio effects, while Surround technology widens the sounds stage when consuming media with spatial information encoded on any type of audio source, including your favourite video streaming service. The latter is useful since the Stage SE is just a singular compact bar that's meant to be placed under your monitor. A brand new Tone Adjustment function on the Stage SE allows you to switch between warmer and brighter audio reproduction at the touch of a button. This is why the provisioned remote is handy for managing the audio output to your exact preference.
Of course, all these enhancements mean the Stage SE is pricer than its older counterparts and commands a price ofS$89. That's 40% more expensive than the current going price of the Stage Air V2without any new Bluetooth codec functionality advances nor a built-in microphone to ease conferencing needs. Audio input source, besides Bluetooth, is only via USBType-C input. There's no aux3.5mm jack input, micinput, or headphones output.Though the Stage SE will be more powerful and has an updated design with better controls and newer technology, it has a lot of competition from within Creative such as its first Stage soundbar with subwooferthat's far more powerful or the new Creative Pebble Pro 2.0 speakers.
For those who're still interested in pursuing the latest and most compact Bluetooth-capableunder-monitor speaker option, the Creative Stage SE is probably still the companion you need. You can get it at Creative's Online Storefor S$89, but you might want to wait for the next sale if you're not in a hurry.
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