It has one shortcoming for a ‘soundbar’ – no HDMI port or it would have aced it but hey, at $80 that is not going to happen.
It is BT 4.2, SBC codec and as 20W peak (that’s about 2 x 5W
Class D amps). The bass comes from an oversized 9cm x 6cm passive radiator and the
rest from 2 x 2.25” (57mm) speakers.
The housing is piano black ABS with a rubberised end control panel (On/off, volume up/down) and signal selection – 3.5mm Aux-in, USB-A or BT). USB-A supports FAT16/32 and auto-plays MP3 (up to 192kbps) in a FIFO order (not shuttle).
Inside is a 2200mAh, 6-hour battery, but real use depends on volume levels. At maximum volume, we got just over 3 hours, at 70% just under 5 hours and at 60dB it aced 6 hours.
Recharge time using a 5V/2A USB-charger (not included) was just over two hours. As its micro-USB there is no point pouring in more amps. You can continue playing while charging and there is an auto-shutoff after six hours if not used.
Who would use it?
Well for starters me! I intend to use it when I need a small portable soundbar when watching on my lappy. That is when its not at the office making up for the terrible sound that eminates from those pathetic monitor speakers.
So it is for anyone with a monitor that lacks good speakers. Although at 410 x 70 x 78mm x 910g it could find uses as a low-cost 2.0 BT soundbar in an apartment.
We put the Creative Space Air through its paces:
Volume: 82dB (loud) with low levels of harmonic distortion.
Frequency response: This is quite amazing for a small 2.0 bar
speaker. It claims 80Hz to 20Khz, and it lives up to that.
Deep Bass: 20-40Hz – none
Middle Bass: 40-100Hz – strongly building
High Bass: 100 to 200Hz – flat
Low-mid: 200-400Hz – flat
Mid: 400-1000Hz – flat
High-mid: 1-2kHz – flat
Low-treble: 2-4kHz – flat
Treble:4-6kHz – flat
High Treble: 6-10kHz – flat with decline (to reduce
harshness at this kHz)
Dog whistle: 10-20 – peaks and flat to 18kHz
You don’t get that frequency response from a cheap soundbar
let alone a BT speaker. It is easy listening for movies and music – let alone a
Windows, iOS, Android or Mac system beep!
And because it is flat (good) it means you have a blank
canvas to change it if you have a software equaliser. But to be precise – it is
not audiophile standard and how it sounds directly relates to the quality of
the source material.
GadgetGuy’s take – Creative Stage Air is a useful monitor
Good volume, great flat sound signature and a lot more oomph
than a typical BT speaker.
It is well made, looks the part in piano black and a black
perforated sound grill. You will be spoiled after listening to it. But then it
is from Creative, and it knows sound!
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating5 Votes
Looks like a soundbar – not a tricked-up BT speaker
Great sound signature with lots of bass and volume