Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 Review (Page 1 of 4)

Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 Review

By: Jonathan Kwan
May 20, 2022

"Do you want to visit [our high school] with me and my sister sometime next week?" my friend texted me recently. I thought it was a funny invitation, because she basically assumed I am available on weekdays, and I am pretty sure she knows I work a regular full-time office job. Coincidentally, I was actually available to hang out, because I already took that week off work -- my paid time off was nearing maximum accrual -- even though I did not tell her beforehand. I have no idea why she never thought I would have to go to work, but regardless of which, everything worked out and we all ended up having a good time in not only visiting our high school, but also grabbing lunch and going to the mall together to look at random things. As it can be seen, it is often better to attempt than to never try, and the results may surprise you. Back in 2017, I reviewed the Creative Sound BlasterX Katana, which I said was a "well-designed and well-constructed soundbar", but "[lacked] the sound quality to back its price". Fast forward five years, and we have the Katana V2. This is the company's second attempt at the Katana series, keeping the tri-amplified design, but added 68% more power, improved the tweeter and subwoofer, put in the Super X-Fi UltraDSP chip, and even has a built-in microphone. Is this a good attempt with results that will surprise us? I got both products sitting side-by-side here at APH Networks, so let us see if the Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 is really better than the original Katana.

Our review unit of the Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2 came in a large brown corrugated cardboard box from the company's logistics partner in Compton, California. Everything arrived in excellent condition to us here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada via UPS Standard for our review today. The shipping box was made to be an exact fit for the retail box inside.

Creative sent us a retail package of the Sound Blaster Katana V2 for our review today. The large retail box could have easily doubled as a shipping box by itself, which features a carrying handle at the top to make carrying a little easier. The box art consists of a primarily black background with orange highlights on the side. Prominently shown is the soundbar itself with a RGB LED underglow lighting activated, followed by a photo of the included subwoofer and remote control behind. The Sound Blaster and Katana V2 branding can be found at the top left corner, followed by the product description of "Tri-Amplified Multi-Channel Gaming Soundbar with Super X-Fi Technology". An array of icons for highlighting the soundbar's 5.1 virtual surround, HDMI ARC, USB audio, Bluetooth 5.0, 16.8 million color RGB LEDs, Super X-Fi headphone holography, Acoustic Engine, and Dolby Audio is just below the middle. A diagram with more feature highlights can be found at the back, with specifications and a content list on the sides of the box.

Before we move on, let us take a look at the features and specifications of the Creative Sound Blaster Katana V2, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:

- Soundbar: 600 x 95 x 62 mm / 23.6 x 3.74 x 2.44 inches
- Subwoofer: 150 x 367 x 367 mm / 5.9 x 14.4 x 14.4 inches
- Soundbar: 1.52 kg / 3.35 lb
- Subwoofer: 6.4 kg / 14.1 lb
Operating Temperature: 0—40°C
Power Output:
- Soundbar: 66W RMS
- Total System Power: Up to 126W RMS (Peak: 252W)
Frequency Response: 0–20,000 Hz
Bluetooth Operating Frequency: 402–2480 MHz
Operating Range for Bluetooth Devices: Up to 10 meters / 33 ft (Measured in open space. Walls and structures may affect range of device.)
Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profile: A2DP (Wireless Stereo Bluetooth)
Supported Codecs: SBC
Connector Type: AUX-in, Headset out, Optical-in, USB-C, DC-in, SXFI-out (USB-A), Subwoofer-out, HDMI ARC

System Requirements
For Wireless Streaming:
- Compatible Bluetooth devices that support the Stereo Bluetooth Profile (A2DP)
For Wireless Control:
- Compatible Bluetooth devices that support the Bluetooth Remote Control (AVRCP)
For 5.1 Surround Audio Playback over USB:
- Windows PC
For Dolby Audio 5.1 Audio Playback:
- Dolby Audio (Dolby Digital) source connected to Optical-in and HDMI-ARC
For High-resolution 24-bit 96kHz Audio Playback:
- PC via USB Connection
For Creative application:
- macOS 10.15 Catalina and above
- Microsoft Windows 10 32-bit or 64-bit
- iOS 11.0 or later
- Android 7.0 and above

1-year Limited Hardware Warranty

Everything was neatly placed inside upon opening the box at the top. There were two more boxes inside. Clipped between a collection of foam brackets, wrapped in white foam sheets, or contained in plastic bags where appropriate, the following items are included out of the box:

- Soundbar
- Subwoofer
- Remote Control
- Power Adapter
- Optical Cable
- USB-C to USB-A Cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Wall Mount Brackets

Note that two AAA batteries required for the remote control is not included. Interestingly, the power adapter came with three different cables each with its own AC plug. I personally do not plan to travel with this soundbar internationally, but I guess the extra cables cannot hurt, haha.

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis
4. Conclusion