For living rooms, it used to be a big push for multi-speaker configurations with a big receiver. For some people, this is still the goal, especially for surround sound. But recently there has been a trend where people have been moving to soundbars. They take up a lot less space while still being an audio improvement over your TVs speakers and they better fit with today’s ultra-thin TVs. There are some downsides though and performance can be a little limited. Well, Sound Blaster came out with the Sound BlasterX Katana and they don’t even like to put it in the same category as a traditional sound bar. They call it an Under Monitor Audio System aka a UMAS. This is because beyond having speakers under your monitor it has a built-in 224 bit DAC, a Dolby Digital 5.1 Decoder, and 5 drivers all with their own amps. With my wife getting a new desk, we started to look at her options and the Katana from Sound Blaster looked to be a good fit to keep the desktop footprint low by using unused space under her monitors. So today I’m going to check the Katana’s out and see just how they perform.

Product Name: Sound BlasterX Katana

Review Sample Provided by: Creative Labs

Written by: Wes

Pictures by: Wes

Amazon Link: HERE

 

Specifications

System Configuration

2.1 system

Dimensions (H x W x D)

Soundbar: 60.0 x 600.0 x 79.0 mm (2.4 x 23.6 x 3.1 inches), Subwoofer: 333 x 130 x 299 mm (5.1 x 11.8 x 13.1 inches)

Weight

Soundbar: 1.5kg (3.3 lbs), Subwoofer: 4kg (8.8 lbs)

Bluetooth® Version

Bluetooth 4.2

Bluetooth Profile

A2DP (Wireless Stereo Bluetooth)

Supported Codecs

AAC, SBC

Connector Type

Bluetooth, AUX-in, Optical-in, USB FlashDrive, USB Audio, Mic-in, Headset out

Color

Black

Remote Control

Infrared

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 7.1 Virtual Surround Audio Playback:

Windows PC

For Digital 5.1 Audio Playback:

Optical-in

For High-resolution 24-bit 96kHz Audio Playback:

For PC via USB Connection

For Playback via USB Flash Drive:

Up to 128GB formatted in FAT16/32/exFAT.

Common audio formats such as MP3, WMA, FLAC and WAV.

(MP3 and WMA up to 320kbps and FLAC up to 1.3Mbps).

For Sound Blaster Connect:

For Windows® OS

Intel Core™2 Duo processor 2.2 GHz, AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual Core or equivalent processor

Microsoft® Windows 10, Microsoft Windows 8.1 32-bit or 64-bit

1GB RAM

600MB of free hard disk space

Available USB 2.0 or 3.0 port

Internet connection (optional)

For Direct Connection to AUX-in Jack:

Analog audio devices with a 3.5mm output

Package Contents

1 x Sound BlasterX Katana Soundbar

1 x Sound BlasterX Katana Subwoofer

1 x Power Adapter

1 x USB Cable

1 x IR remote (battery included)

2 x Wall Mount Brackets

Warranty & Technical Support leaflet

Quick Start Guide

Safety & Regulatory leaflet

Warranty

1-year Limited Hardware Warranty

 

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