Photos and Features
So excluding cables, the Sound BlasterX Katana consists of a small remote, a subwoofer and the main speaker unit. Size wise the sub is mid-sized but it is tall with a smaller footprint, something that really attracted me to the setup because of the amount of space subs tend to take under your desk. The main unit is going to run across your desk up under your monitor and if you have just one monitor it will stick out on both ends. Both are all blacked out with the exception of the Sound BlasterX logo on the front of the sub.
With the measuring tape out we can get a better feel for the overall size. The main unit comes in at about 23 and a half inches and 2 and a half inches tall. This isn’t as wide as a home theater soundbar but it is just about the perfect size to fit on most desks. In our case my wife runs two monitors so we could even go wider, but for anyone running a single monitor, especially an ultrawide or a 27 inch or wider monitor it should fit well. Then like I said the sub has a very small footprint but you do have to keep in mind its height depending on where you plan on putting it. You also don’t want to put it with the left speaker grill up against anything. It is 13 inches tall, 5 inches wide and almost a foot deep. For comparison, this is about half the size of the powered sub at my desk.
The top of the main unit also has the Sound BlasterX branding on it just above the control panel. The left button is the power button and it has a LED ring around it to show the status, it also doubles as the Bluetooth button so you can hold it and search for the Katana on your phone to connect. There are up and down buttons that mainly handle volume but also help you navigate the menu then there is a source button. The SBX button turns on Sound BlasterX audio effects. Overall this is a similar setup to the Sound Blaster X7 that I use on my own desk only without a volume knob.
For speakers, the whole setup has a total of five. Up on top are 1.5-inch up firing midbass drivers. You can see them because of the metal grills on the top. Then for tweeters, there are two 1.3 inch drivers that face forward out the front all the way at the end where the corners angle slightly. The grill for the front runs all the way from one side to the other. The mids also have exhaust ports behind the front grill as well.
On the underside, there are two feet down at the ends that keep the entire device up off f your desk and then in the middle is where all of the connections are. The picture below is upside down because that is how we get the best view. The power plug is all the way over on the right then next to it is the output to the included non-powered sub. From there you have a microphone in port and a headset plug for hooking your headphones up to the Katana right on your desk. It has its own DAC, so this is most likely going to sound better than running your headphones on your onboard audio. There is then a 2.5mm jack auxiliary input and an optical input. Then there are two USB ports. The full-sized USB port is for hooking a flash drive up and playing MP3s directly from it and the micro USB port is where you hook your PC up to the Katana.
Normally I’m not a big fan of the size of subwoofers for the office. Unlike in your living room, it is a lot harder to tuck them away behind something or to keep them out of the way. With the Katana, however, Sound Blaster went thinner and taller with the design and with that the sub takes up a lot less room up under your desk while still having the same amount of internal space. The sub has a single 5.25-inch driver in an MDF cabinet with the front firing port. The driver is on the left side and has a large fabric grill over it so you will still have to be careful not to kick it if you have it under your desk but at least you will have a little room still. On the back, there is just a single wire with an RCA connection coming out to hook the sub up to the main unit so it is simple to hook up as well.
The Katana also comes with a small remote control for additional control over everything. There are just a few buttons on the top of the Katana but with the remote, you have direct buttons for things like mute. You can control the LED lighting and you even have direct buttons to switch between the different audio sources. This is also the only way you can control music with the play/pause and skip buttons if you hook up a USB drive with MP3s on it.