In recent years, the field of portable audio has gained tremendous momentum. This is primarily due to the popularity of mobile devices. Today it is difficult to find a person who does not have a smartphone in his pocket, and who does not have a tablet or laptop waiting for him at home. Naturally, few people want to “tie” their gadget to the acoustics with wires in order to watch a movie or listen to music. This is where all kinds of portable speakers come to the rescue.
And today we will look at a similar device from Creative – Creative Stage Air. This is not exactly a portable speaker, the manufacturer is positioning its device as a wireless soundbar. In fact, the device is a kind of hybrid of an ordinary portable speaker and a soundbar we are used to and takes their best qualities from both devices. From the first – compactness and the possibility of autonomous operation, from the second – design and sound quality.
Type – soundbar
Sound – stereo
Power – 10 W (2 x 5 W)
Power – battery, 2200 mAh
Interfaces – Bluetooth, AUX, USB-A
Body material – plastic
Dimensions (W x H x D) – 410 x 70 x 78 mm
Weight – 910 g
Packaging and delivery set
The device is delivered in a box made of thick cardboard with the manufacturer’s corporate design. The packaging is decorated in white and orange colors and has good informational content. There is an image of the device itself, a short list of technical characteristics, and also lists its main advantages.
Inside, the soundbar is secured with two polyethylene foam pads. The quality of the packaging is good, you don’t have to worry about the safety of the device during transportation.
The delivery set is minimal. In addition to the device itself, we will find in the box:
3.5mm / 3.5mm cord;
Quick start guide.
There is no charger. Fortunately, there should be no problems with this. Any charger from a smartphone or tablet will come to the rescue.
Outwardly, Creative Stage Air really looks more like a soundbar: an oblong shape, a stylish design with a metal grille on the front side and an abundance of gloss. The fact that we have a portable device is only hinted at by its small dimensions in comparison with the usual soundbars. The device has received the most strict and restrained appearance, which will allow it to easily fit into any interior, and its small dimensions do not take up much space on the desktop.
The main body material is glossy black plastic. The top, bottom and back sides are made of it. The abundance of gloss also hints to us that this is not your usual portable speaker that you can carry around everywhere. The case requires careful handling and careful maintenance. Otherwise, it will quickly become covered with small scratches, which will significantly spoil the appearance. The sides are made of matte plastic. The build quality is excellent. All parts fit well, gaps are minimal. There are no squeaks when squeezed. Nothing rattles inside.
The only decorative element can be considered the manufacturer’s logo at the bottom of the front side.
There are four control buttons on the right side. They serve to turn on / off, adjust the volume and pairing via Bluetooth. The buttons are made of soft-touch rubberized material and recessed into the body. Pressing is moderately hard, it feels good tactilely. There is no accidental activation upon touch.
All connectors are located at the back (AUX, USB-A, micro USB for recharging). There is also a sticker indicating the manufacturer and some characteristics.
For better stability and prevention of parasitic vibrations when working from below, there are two rubber feet.
Connection and use
Creative Stage Air supports both wired and wireless connections. Wired is done using an AUX cable. The bundled cable copes well with this task, but has a short length, which in some cases may not be enough. There is no particular problem with this. Finding a suitable cable length will not be difficult. In addition, they have a very low cost.
The wireless connection is via Bluetooth. Therefore, the soundbar can be easily connected to any mobile device, eliminating wires. It’s worth noting here that the sound quality degrades slightly when connected wirelessly. It’s no secret that VT cuts frequencies. In addition, a simple SBC codec is used here.
There is also the ability to connect an external media. The device supports most of the popular formats. These include FLAC, WAV and MP3.
So, there are two connection options (wired and wireless), a built-in player, the ability to work independently, a stylish expensive design and a compact size. Stage Air really combines the advantages of two devices and is a kind of hybrid of a portable speaker and soundbar, taking good qualities from both.
The dimensions of the soundbar have been selected in the best way. The device feels great on the table as a “monitor” speaker or paired with a laptop. It takes up very little space and, thanks to its stylish and discreet design, fits perfectly into any interior.
The possibility of autonomous work allows you to sit on the couch with a laptop and a speaker and while away the evening watching a movie with maximum convenience and without wires. By the way, the autonomy of the soundbar is at a decent level. One charge is enough for 6-7 hours of listening at medium volume.
Let’s move on to the sound quality. Judging by the price / quality ratio, the soundbar demonstrates just excellent results. Despite its small size, the sound is notable for its good balance and detail. Low frequencies are also present, which surprisingly have good attack and density. But it is impossible to compare the device with the “bass” portable speakers popular among young people. The sound here is much more balanced and “correct”, without a bias towards pseudo-low frequencies and sacrifices from the middle.
The mids and highs are also in place. Minor treble problems occur only at maximum volume. In this case, slight distortions and wheezing appear.
The volume margin itself is sufficient and there is no need to set the maximum level. The soundbar easily handles the scoring of movies and games. Good detailing of the sound also affects here. Even in saturated scenes, porridge does not turn out, and the voices of the characters are clearly audible against the background of all kinds of effects.
The speaker is also suitable for music. Both popular and light compositions sound good. But when listening to dance and club music, you still feel a slight lack of low frequencies. Heavy compositions sound decent. All instruments are distinguishable, the drum section does not merge. The vocals are heard clearly.
In conclusion, the Creative Stage Air is a really good compact soundbar for home use. It can be a great alternative not only to laptop speakers, but also to many simple desktop speakers for your computer. At its low cost, the device demonstrates high quality balanced sound and boasts a stylish appearance and compact size, which can be a decisive factor in favor of Stage Air.