Price (RRP): $80
The Creative Stage Air addresses a neglected part of the market – monitors or lappys with crappy speakers.
And at under $80 the Creative Stage Air does a great job – more so than an average BT speaker because it is made to give a semblance of left/right stereo separation.
What is a Creative Stage Air?
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
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
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 soundbar
Good volume, great flat sound signature and a lot more oomph than a typical BT speaker.