News Categories

Creative Stage SE upsizes their basic under monitor speaker with new upgrades

By Vijay Anand - on 23 Feb 2023, 8:43pm

Creative Stage SE upsizes their basic under monitor speaker with new upgrades

An under-monitor speaker like the Creative Stage SE can fit easily into your current workspace without any clutter. (Image source: Creative)

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.

A close-up look at the new Creative Stage SE, its updated physical controls and a glimpse into the dual racetrack drivers and passive radiator behind the grille. (Image Source: Creative)

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 of S$89. That's 40% more expensive than the current going price of the Stage Air V2 without any new Bluetooth codec functionality advances nor a built-in microphone to ease conferencing needs. Audio input source, besides Bluetooth, is only via USB Type-C input. There's no aux 3.5mm jack input, mic input, 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 subwoofer that's far more powerful or the new Creative Pebble Pro 2.0 speakers

The new Creative Stage SE has to be powered by your mains power, unlike the Stage Air which has the option of operating wirelessly for a while. (Image Source: Creative)

For those who're still interested in pursuing the latest and most compact Bluetooth-capable under-monitor speaker option, the Creative Stage SE is probably still the companion you need. You can get it at Creative's Online Store for S$89, but you might want to wait for the next sale if you're not in a hurry.

Join HWZ's Telegram channel here and catch all the latest tech news!
Our articles may contain affiliate links. If you buy through these links, we may earn a small commission.