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  • Soon Kai Hong

Creative Stage SE Review: THIS SOUNDBAR IS JUST S$89

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

This costs just S$89 or around US$67, and at that price point, this is a pretty solid offering from Creative. Hey guys, we have the new Creative Stage SE soundbar with us today, and this is an uber-cheap soundbar that works great under your computer monitor even though there are some small issues, but for the price? Hard to fault it.


So, let’s talk design first. It’s a really simple soundbar, with two full-range drivers along with a passive radiator facing forward. There’s no up-firing or side-firing drivers, although there is a large knob and button on the right end of the soundbar which allows for easy volume control and switching between USB and Bluetooth mode. Most of the soundbar is covered in a glossy plastic, which is the first small issue. It’s a fingerprint magnet, for one, and for two, this will show scuffs and scratches very easily. I placed this under a monitor stand, so it was relatively well protected, but still.

Second issue, this soundbar doesn’t come with any feet, which means it’s basically blasting music at the level of your table. And this isn’t a good thing, because with speakers, you typically want them around head level for the best experience. My advice here would be to get something to tilt the soundbar upwards so it’s firing at an angle that reaches closer to your ears rather than at your chest level.

All The Jazz

Inside the box, you get the soundbar and the remote, which is the only way you can access features like Surround and the Clear Dialogue modes. As the name suggests, Surround turns on Creative’s own technology to expand the soundstage while Clear Dialogue isolates voices and boosts them, which comes in useful for movies or when playing RPGs. The remote does run on triple A batteries, so yeah. No subwoofer included here, although I’d have been very surprised if a $89 soundbar came with a subwoofer. For that, you’ll have to go up to the Creative Stage or Stage V2 if you absolutely want a sub.

As for connectivity, the soundbar can be connected to a computer via the USB cable included, which ends in a USB-A plug, or via Bluetooth, which this supports Bluetooth 5.3. Unfortunately, no AUX input here. But, these speakers get up to 48W of peak power output.

The S$89 Sound

And as for sound, well, these sound much better than the price tag suggests, as is the case with most Creative products. There’s plenty of bass, and I even found my table vibrating on occasion, partially also due to the fact there’s no feet provided with the soundbar to dampen the vibrations. Not a big deal, but yes. While there is presence for sure, I do have to say that this isn’t ideal for music listening. The bass lacks detail and tightness, resulting in bass heavy songs being a bit boomy at times.

Mids-wise, they’re okay, but still not very detailed for music. You get some detail here with guitar plucks, percussion and the likes but it feels rather flat overall. Vocals are a tad bit forward, although not as crisp and clear as I like.

As for treble, well, it’s rather subdued with a lack of energy when it comes to flutes and strings.

Gaming Is Where It's At

But that’s for music, and honestly, I don’t think these are meant for music in the first place. These do perform much better when you use them with other content like movies and videos, or with games. With content that’s not too complex or layered, these are just fine. You get the heft of explosions and gunshots in shows, speech is clear and audible and for this price point, it performs great. I played Hogwarts Legacy with this and there’s a lot of dialogue in that game. All good. Granted, soundstage isn’t that great out of the box, but there’s the Surround option if you prefer.

If you’re looking for an affordable soundbar to complement your computer set up, it’s harder to find something that works as well as this and as affordable. Just, don’t use it for music much. Stick to movies and games and you’ll have a much better experience.

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