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Old 07-09-2017, 12:59 AM   #1
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Post My honest opinion about Creative Katana/FAQ | Alternatives to Katana soundbar



Firstly let me apologize regarding the Creative Katana review/thread
that I created.
http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/ho...d-5550584.html

I really hate the fact that some actually realized that Katana does
have some flaws especially the mid range. Since Katana driver
is 2.5" thus for mid-range it won't beat speakers with bigger
drivers like Klipsch Promedia 2.1.

However the irony of that thread was that whatever I post
was regulated by Creative.
At first I didn't actually
recommend it since you can get other better options
out there.

Katana is good but it was designed specifically for gaming thus
even in my testing like music it doesn't really stand out especially
the mid-range.

I feel really bad when people starts to question the mid-range of Katana
that is why I want to clear the air despite it have been 6 months now.
When I try to share that mid-range/music was lacking, I got a call
from Creative staff to remove this comment as well as any other opinion/comments that I made they don't like.

The other finding that I found out was that the surround environment render wasn't that wide and positional wasn't that accurate.
That is why some question about 7.1 environment whether the small driver can even render such environment properly or not.

This finding was also ask by the staff to take it down.
Thus I really feel bad for you guys who because of Creative intervention in that thread that is why to me I sort of mislead you guys to buy it.

I really don't know what you guys will think of Creative and their Katana once I cleared the air.
Blame me if you want but at that time I feel like someone pointing a gun at my head.

Have tried my best not to mislead or promote something that isn't an all-rounder.
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:00 AM   #2
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My honest Opinion/Review about Creative Katana (Unedited
by anyone including Creative)


Creative Katana is a under monitor solution type of speaker.



I don't you to be bored with the specs and etc.
Let's get straight into testing:

Music
Katana Music performance, the mid-range isn't that good despite
it's bass is very strong. Katana mid-range is 2.5" thus musically
it doesn't stand out that good unlike speakers with bigger mid-range
like Klipsch.

In the other thread, I have post some music. You can hear the mid-range
is rather muffled.
You can use the SB control software and change the EQ to Acoustics.

However for music, you are better off with a Bookshelf speaker or other 2.1 speakers.

Movies

Now for movies it is tricky to test especially on PC.
Since for PC, there is no hardware Dolby Digital decoding.
If you connect USB to Katana and play movies that have Dolby Digital soundtrack it will not be in Dolby.
The only way is have a Creative soundcard that can output Dolby Digital like
Dolby Digital Live but it is software decoding.
Playing movies on Katana with Dolby surround format, this is where the Katana starts to shine.

Games
Games wise again not easy to test.
If you are playing PC games, Katana should do fine.
If Katana were to act as a soundbar for PS3/4/Xbox.

The environment and audio positional isn't that as great as
with HTS soundbar. I played Batman Arkham Origins on PS3
on Dolby Digital surround format.

On my own soundbar, I can hear/feel the environment especially
enemies talking around me. On the Katana, it is different.
I can only hear what is in front or near my character.

Anything that is too far away I can't hear it unlike my own soundbar.
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:00 AM   #3
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Creative Katana A Good choice or what other choices out there.

To be honest, when buying a speaker for PC.
Best is to get a speaker that is all-rounder, in the sense.
It can do well in Music, movies, games and etc.

If only one or two field only than it is better off buying other speakers.
Creative Katana is a good UMS for PC especially for gaming.
However just take note of the 2.5" small driver thus mid-range
doesn't stand out.

I have yet to check with Dolby labs whether is Creative Katana
really certified Dolby audio product or not. The environment render
is not very good for console games in Dolby surround.

Sound from a distance or far away you won't be able to hear it clearly.
It can be the reason that Katana is using software decoding but not
hardware decoding.

This I could also check with Dolby labs since usually products certified Dolby should be able to render Dolby surround properly.
Creative have done a decent job to create the Katana but
to me coming from HTS it is far from prefect.

Not to mention most soundbars these days have wireless subwoofer whereas for Katana sub is wired and the cable is rather short.
Either way for PC use, Katana should do fine but just take note of it's shortcomign.

Katana alternatives (For PC use only)

Alternative to Katana there are few for PC, for TV use please get a proper HTS soundbar instead.

Aego 3 Soundbar and the standard version




https://www.whathifi.com/acoustic-en...oundbar/review

Distributor Audio Basic Adelphi #04-27, SRP $450 if I remember correctly.
(*Only sold at the distributor place, Challenger and etc. don't carry.)
This one I tested, at least the main advantage over Katana.
Is that is it fuss-free, just plug and play.

There is BT, optical and 3.5mm input. However only Stereo no Dolby Digital support. Good enough for PC.
Mid-range stands out more than Katana, not to mention for the standard version.

If you space them a part wider, you can have a very wide soundstage.

Klispch Promedia 2.1 Bluetooth
Distributor Tat Chuan Acoustics #01-17



$399, can be found almost everywhere Challenger, Harvey Norman and etc.
Due to it's big mid-range driver, the mid-range stands out more than the Katana.

Not to mention there is Horn tweeter for high frequencies cues.
This version doesn't have THX and the power rating have drop.
However in my testing it perform and sound better than the previous THX version.

Not to mention the THX version have crossover frequency issues.
In which the bass can be off or too loud.

These two that I can think of, another choice which is much cheaper
is Logitech Z623/Z625.



Edifier and Swan I have not played with before thus I can't comment on it.
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Old 07-09-2017, 01:00 AM   #4
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Final Words from me

Next time if I do any min-review/write up.
I will make sure there is no intervention from the company/vendor.
Yes there are many reviews out there but they
also have the same principle which is pay you to write
a good recommendation for our product.

For my case, I did it on my own accord. There is no money involved,
heck I didn't get anything. Since they force me to put a good word
for their product, it only benefit them but not me.

Thus for my no more Creative speakers expect soundcard and
the upcoming mixer. Don't wish such thing to happened again.
Neither ultimately I don't want to mislead or bluff people.

A word of advice from me, if you feel Katana is not performing
up to your standards. Please seek a refund and get other speakers
that i mentioned.



I hope this clarifies everything and I sincerely apologizes.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:02 AM   #5
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Firstly let me apologize regarding the Creative Katana review/thread
that I created.
http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/ho...d-5550584.html

I really hate the fact that some actually realized that Katana does
have some flaws especially the mid range. Since Katana driver
is 2.5" thus for mid-range it won't beat speakers with bigger
drivers like Klipsch Promedia 2.1.

However the irony of that thread was that whatever I post
was regulated by Creative.
At first I didn't actually
recommend it since you can get other better options
out there.

Katana is good but it was designed specifically for gaming thus
even in my testing like music it doesn't really stand out especially
the mid-range.

I feel really bad when people starts to question the mid-range of Katana
that is why I want to clear the air despite it have been 6 months now.
When I try to share that mid-range/music was lacking, I got a call
from Creative staff to remove this comment as well as any other opinion/comments that I made they don't like.

The other finding that I found out was that the surround environment render wasn't that wide and positional wasn't that accurate.
That is why some question about 7.1 environment whether the small driver can even render such environment properly or not.

This finding was also ask by the staff to take it down.
Thus I really feel bad for you guys who because of Creative intervention in that thread that is why to me I sort of mislead you guys to buy it.

I really don't know what you guys will think of Creative and their Katana once I cleared the air.
Blame me if you want but at that time I feel like someone pointing a gun at my head.

Have tried my best not to mislead or promote something that isn't an all-rounder.
If what you say is true, then this is very serious and also a very poor showing by Creative.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:57 AM   #6
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Wonder if this will get merged into the main thread again.


Lol, don't worry, we already know you are a Creative and Sony salesman.

Besides, from the responses I've gotten in that thread, there seems to be a good number of Katana owners who are happy with their purchase. Would be rude to tell them they're wrong.

I just hope this isn't just a change of affiliation before reviewing Edifier speakers.


However the irony of that thread was that whatever I post
was regulated by Creative.
If what you say is true, then this is very serious and also a very poor showing by Creative.
This is more often the case than not. Pretty much all reviews that only talk about one product without comparing it against others, I assume this is happening, be it unwillingly or not (Like, to suck up to the company, or "my baby's the best" effect for people who own the product).

Besides, it is courtesy to consult the company on any issues that you find and work things out before writing them down. If the issue is real and unresolvable, then you can choose to be honest. Plus, what can they do to you? Stop sending you speakers to review?

And finally, if you only managed to access the company's intellectual property after signing an NDA, then it is ethics and law to abide by that. If you are unable to speak of the product favorably under this condition, then don't say anything at all.

I won't hold it against Creative, since this is a common practice, and even more blatant in the hyped audiophile market. The fact that there are no good websites/reviewers with a review of the product yet many not-so-famous/not-so-good websites/blogs/YouTubers have received review samples, suggests either content control or just simply not sending the review samples to the bigshots altogether. Nobody, neither the companies nor the reviewers, is to be blamed here, this is just how things work. Websites like What Hi-Fi and 6moons continue to exist, because readers continue to read and like them, companies like them, and they also like themselves.

I really hate the fact that some actually realized that Katana does
have some flaws especially the mid range. Since Katana driver
is 2.5" thus for mid-range it won't beat speakers with bigger
drivers like Klipsch Promedia 2.1.
Promedia 2.1 is 3-inch, Audioengine A2 is 2.75-inch, 2.5-inch isn't that far away. And Aego 3's satellite isn't any bigger since the entire satellite is only 3-inch width. Besides, Sound Blaster Roar is also 2.5-inch for its biggest woofer.

I really don't know what you guys will think of Creative and their Katana once I cleared the air.
Pretty much no change? People form their own opinions after listening anyway.
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Old 07-09-2017, 12:54 PM   #7
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Wonder if this will get merged into the main thread again.


Lol, don't worry, we already know you are a Creative and Sony salesman.
How come chiu know? I only know he ish professional Creative basher...

Besides, from the responses I've gotten in that thread, there seems to be a good number of Katana owners who are happy with their purchase. Would be rude to tell them they're wrong.

I just hope this isn't just a change of affiliation before reviewing Edifier speakers.





This is more often the case than not. Pretty much all reviews that only talk about one product without comparing it against others, I assume this is happening, be it unwillingly or not (Like, to suck up to the company, or "my baby's the best" effect for people who own the product).

Besides, it is courtesy to consult the company on any issues that you find and work things out before writing them down. If the issue is real and unresolvable, then you can choose to be honest. Plus, what can they do to you? Stop sending you speakers to review?

And finally, if you only managed to access the company's intellectual property after signing an NDA, then it is ethics and law to abide by that. If you are unable to speak of the product favorably under this condition, then don't say anything at all.

I won't hold it against Creative, since this is a common practice, and even more blatant in the hyped audiophile market. The fact that there are no good websites/reviewers with a review of the product yet many not-so-famous/not-so-good websites/blogs/YouTubers have received review samples, suggests either content control or just simply not sending the review samples to the bigshots altogether. Nobody, neither the companies nor the reviewers, is to be blamed here, this is just how things work. Websites like What Hi-Fi and 6moons continue to exist, because readers continue to read and like them, companies like them, and they also like themselves.



Promedia 2.1 is 3-inch, Audioengine A2 is 2.75-inch, 2.5-inch isn't that far away. And Aego 3's satellite isn't any bigger since the entire satellite is only 3-inch width. Besides, Sound Blaster Roar is also 2.5-inch for its biggest woofer.



Pretty much no change? People form their own opinions after listening anyway.
Rast time he went on and on in EDMW day in day out bashing Creative non stop.

A lot of the review sites are doing paid reviews, or simply collaboration with manufacturers to get site views. Should take most with a pinch of salt.
At the very least, a good site will give proper measurement readings, double blind listening tests, double blind comparison tests, and buy the equipment themselves instead of asking for review samples, such that they can make whatever comments they wanted with no restrictions morally or legally.

Anyway sound bar and 2.1 speakers are of made different purpose so not sure why he brought up the comparison.
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:50 PM   #8
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Regardless of which the true is that that thread was not my truthful opinion
since it was shot down by Creative.
I played with so many different Soundbar how would not know what to
look out for as well how to test.

And no I am not a Sony/Creative sales person especially Creative.
Think it this if you proclaim that I am from Creative sales.
Why would I want to write my honest opinion.

To many may think I am bashing Creative which I may agreed.
But one fact that I think most agree that Creative products
product quality are not that fantastic.

Their audio products are good but are they durable?
@petetherock, sorry for wasting your bandwidth.
If you want to lock either thread, I won't stop you.

Or if you lock both thread, you have my permissible.
After this, I am not touching/writing anything about Creative products
but only soundcard.

@wwenze, point taken. You are like a consultant/experience audio engineer/technician here. Anyone need technician information or
advice you the guy to go to.

I more like you say a sales guy, technician terms I am not strong.
I don't come from engineering field of studies but business.
If you ask me what are recommendation, how to negotiate
with distributors/vendors I am the guy.

I hope this clears the air OK.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:00 PM   #9
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Precisely. Totally different needs altogether.

I'm not sure why he brought out all that justification above. Katana or any sound bar can never compete with a proper 2.1, bookshelf speakers or full fledged AVR setup at their respective price points.

It's just a suitable all-rounder in that form factor and price point. Can't expect much else.

Anyway sound bar and 2.1 speakers are of made different purpose so not sure why he brought up the comparison.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:05 PM   #10
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Precisely. Totally different needs altogether.

I'm not sure why he brought out all that justification above. Katana or any sound bar can never compete with a proper 2.1, bookshelf speakers or full fledged AVR setup at their respective price points.

It's just a suitable all-rounder in that form factor and price point. Can't expect much else.
I hope everyone understand that my reason of clarification of the Katana thread.
Is just basically don't anyone notice that I didn't even talk about
Katana shortcoming/weakness just the good points.

Etiher way Dr. Vijay, if you wish to delete/lock this thread.
I leave the decision up to you.
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Old 21-03-2018, 10:54 AM   #11
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not trying to deliberately bring up this thread, but I've been considering getting the Creative Katana for months and came across this thread, and it's a helpful read.

When I first came across Creative Katana, it was at Challenger (they were playing some MTVs). I must say I was actually impressed enough to try to find more info about it.
However, I felt something strange during my subsequent visits to the same store to listen to the soundbar.... it seemed something was missing though I couldn't pinpoint exactly what was wrong.
Then I realize it's the mid-range... and this thread confirmed it.

With that said though, at the price point, Creative Katana is really hard to beat. It's really difficult to find an alternative priced at $299 (on Q100 after $50 voucher discount).
One thing Creative always have is features... compact, lots of input and output ports.
Sound quality-wise, while somewhat lacking for the mid-range, is probably insignificant to me considering im just using a Mini-X capsule speaker connected to Creative E3 DAC to save space

Unfortunately, the only thing that is stopping me from buying it , is that the sub-woofer is wired. Really wish it's wireless.


For the alternatives, well..

1. the Aego 3 has wired sub-woofer too, so no-go for me. No USB input may be a consideration.

2. Sony CT-180: affordable, but at around 1m (typical soundbar length), it's too long for me.

2. Sony HT-MT300 is 10cm shorter than the Katana (great for me). Since i want to put it on my computer desk, and the speaker itself is not angled and does not have any "legs", will the keyboard directly in front of the speaker block, or affect, the intended sound?

3. Polk MagniFi Mini 2.1-Channel Soundbar looks really good too. The most compact even though it comes with 2x 05" tweeters + 4x 2.25" mid-range drivers, it's just 34cm long (Katana is 60cm).
And it also comes with wireless sub-woofer.
Not sure about the price and availability in SG though...
coming from Polk, I guess not gonna be cheap :X

Last edited by Asure7; 21-03-2018 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 21-03-2018, 03:49 PM   #12
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not trying to deliberately bring up this thread, but I've been considering getting the Creative Katana for months and came across this thread, and it's a helpful read.

When I first came across Creative Katana, it was at Challenger (they were playing some MTVs). I must say I was actually impressed enough to try to find more info about it.
However, I felt something strange during my subsequent visits to the same store to listen to the soundbar.... it seemed something was missing though I couldn't pinpoint exactly what was wrong.
Then I realize it's the mid-range... and this thread confirmed it.

With that said though, at the price point, Creative Katana is really hard to beat. It's really difficult to find an alternative priced at $299 (on Q100 after $50 voucher discount).
One thing Creative always have is features... compact, lots of input and output ports.
Sound quality-wise, while somewhat lacking for the mid-range, is probably insignificant to me considering im just using a Mini-X capsule speaker connected to Creative E3 DAC to save space

Unfortunately, the only thing that is stopping me from buying it , is that the sub-woofer is wired. Really wish it's wireless.


For the alternatives, well..

1. the Aego 3 has wired sub-woofer too, so no-go for me. No USB input may be a consideration.

2. Sony CT-180: affordable, but at around 1m (typical soundbar length), it's too long for me.

2. Sony HT-MT300 is 10cm shorter than the Katana (great for me). Since i want to put it on my computer desk, and the speaker itself is not angled and does not have any "legs", will the keyboard directly in front of the speaker block, or affect, the intended sound?

3. Polk MagniFi Mini 2.1-Channel Soundbar looks really good too. The most compact even though it comes with 2x 05" tweeters + 4x 2.25" mid-range drivers, it's just 34cm long (Katana is 60cm).
And it also comes with wireless sub-woofer.
Not sure about the price and availability in SG though...
coming from Polk, I guess not gonna be cheap :X
The issue with Katana is it's tiny driver and it's design solely
for gaming.
Music and etc. are not very good, yes Creative argue with me
that user can just tweak and turn on Music mode for music
listening.

I mean come on, some users just want something that
can just plug and play. Where need to change settings.
If you are looking for wireless subwoofer, there are but
those usually are for TV not really for PC.

Have you consider soundbase? Meaning just a soundbar
without subwoofer.
Or studio monitor speakers.
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Old 24-03-2018, 09:01 PM   #13
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i don't think Katana's driver size is the problem leh... there are many others with similar size driver. Polk's MagniFi Mini mid-driver size is even smaller than Katana's.
The problem is probably with the DSP, algorithm and whatnot.

If the "solution" is simply to switch between music/movie modes, I'm still ok with that (is that what u meant?).
But if you mean the user still has to tweak equalizers, then it's definitely a no-no.

Just to clarify, there is no need for any power source for Katana's subwoofer right? Just a cable from the soundbar to the subwoofer.
If that's the case, then being wired may no longer be a problem, since a "wireless" subwoofer still needs a wire to the power outlet anyway.
The only problem then will be the length of that wire, which i heard is pretty short.

Did think of soundbase... but seems quite expensive :/
studio monitor speakers .. not enough space on my desk. too tall will block my view of monitor.
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Old 24-03-2018, 09:08 PM   #14
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Would it be advisable for me to use something like Sony HT-MT300 for a PC though... too overkill?
I'm sitting just about one arm away from my monitor...

Bose Solo 5 may be good too... no need space for a subwoofer

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Old 24-03-2018, 10:55 PM   #15
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Would it be advisable for me to use something like Sony HT-MT300 for a PC though... too overkill?
I'm sitting just about one arm away from my monitor...

Bose Solo 5 may be good too... no need space for a subwoofer
Aego 3? (Not the soundbar one)
The sub you can tuck one side no issue.
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