Artistic has a robust basis in house audio, and its newest soundbar is a testomony to its efforts on this space during the last three years. The primary-gen Katana had loads going for it and was designed to be a funds possibility tailor-made for players, and the Katana V2 follows in the same vein, selecting up a couple of new options that enable it to face out a bit of bit extra.
For starters, the Katana V2 places out much more sound, and it has Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, Artistic’s glorious SXFI virtualization tech, and new gaming-focused options. Artistic says that it integrated concepts from the $1,000 SXFI Service and used it right here to make the Katana V2 a a lot better total product. I used the Katana V2 for over three months, and I’m assured in saying that that is the very best soundbar you may discover at present for gaming — notably for beneath $500.
Artistic Katana V2: Pricing and availability
Artistic unveiled the Katana V2 on the finish of 2021, and the soundbar made its debut in international markets beginning January 2022. It initially launched for $330, however it’s now promoting on Amazon within the U.S. for $380, a $50 improve.
The soundbar can also be out there in different international locations the place Artistic has an official presence. It retails for £299 ($373) within the UK, €330 ($348) in Germany, and the equal of $370 in most components of Asia. Artistic provides a regular one-year guarantee with the soundbar.
Artistic Katana V2: What you may love
The Katana V2 has a clear design that belies its value, with the soundbar that includes an all-black brushed metallic design that does not name out an excessive amount of consideration to itself. Construct high quality is on par with soundbars that value thrice as a lot, and you will find an LCD panel on the entrance, which is similar to the one on the SXFI Service.
The display provides you see what enter is at the moment chosen, and you will find a 3.5mm jack subsequent to it, very best for plugging in a headset. The soundbar is normal out of plastic, however you may discover metallic grilles protecting the entrance and the tweeters which can be positioned on the prime. You additionally get buttons on the prime for powering the machine on or off, pairing Bluetooth gadgets, altering the supply, mode, toggling SXFI virtualization, and adjusting quantity.
Whereas the buttons on the machine are nifty, you may be utilizing the distant to regulate the Katana V2, and Artistic did an important job with the bundled distant. It has an ergonomic design and allows you to management all of the options on the soundbar, together with switching between the varied modes, adjusting the subwoofer’s bass, and there are six buttons which can be user-configurable.
My favourite design function on the Katana V2 needs to be the RGB lightbar that runs throughout the underside part of the soundbar. I examined the Katana V2 with my gaming rig, however I used it predominantly as a multimedia soundbar, pairing it with Xgimi’s Aura UST projector within the bed room. No matter the place you are utilizing the soundbar, the RGB lighting makes a whole lot of distinction — in case you’re into that form of factor.
When you’re not a fan of RGB lighting, you’ll be able to swap between different colours — the lightbar has seven sections that may be managed individually — or simply use the music sync mode to alter colours based mostly on music enjoying from the soundbar. Alternatively, you’ll be able to flip off the lightbar altogether.
The scale of the Katana V2 is one thing that Artistic paid a whole lot of consideration to; the 600mm width of the soundbar is designed to make sure it could actually slot beneath a 27-inch gaming monitor. It’s taller at 62mm, with the explanation for the elevated peak being the built-in RGB lightbar on the backside. That mentioned, you should not have any points becoming it in entrance of a monitor or TV.
Artistic went with a brand new design for the material dome tweeter that permits it to ship extra detailed sound, with the Katana V2 that includes two 3/4-inch tweeters and two 2.5-inch mid-range drivers. The devoted subwoofer homes a 6.5-inch driver, and it will get loud. Artistic mentioned that the subwoofer makes use of a bigger cone to ship far more sound, however that it tailor-made the design to supply a extra detailed sound signature consistent with the Service.
What does that translate to in real-world use? Properly, the Katana V2 could be one of many best-sounding choices at this value level, and never only for gaming. The sound high quality is elegant, with the subwoofer delivering rumbling bass that provides a whole lot of dimension to video games and flicks, and the mid-range drivers and tweeters do a superb job as properly.
The soundbar simply delivers room-filling sound and goes as much as 250W of whole energy, and the sound constancy is among the many greatest I’ve heard from any sub-$500 soundbar. This is not a Dolby Atmos soundbar just like the Service, however it does a improbable job with directionality nonetheless.
You additionally get SXFI virtualization, and it’s phenomenal — it’s designed to be used with headsets related over USB-C and provides a whole lot of dimension to the sound. On condition that the Katana V2 is catered towards players, Artistic added two options to the soundbar that leverage SXFI : Scout Mode makes use of in-game virtualization to allow you to hear sounds which can be additional away, and it really works exceedingly properly.
However my favourite function right here is Battle Mode; this function lets you higher perceive directionality so you’ll be able to determine the place your enemies are in titles like Valorant. I wasn’t bought on these options at first, however they do make a tangible distinction throughout gaming. Artistic mentioned that it labored loads on how audio cues are triggered in video games to fine-tune the options.
Since you’ll probably use a headset most of the time for gaming, Artistic added a 3.5mm jack on the entrance of the Katana V2. This makes it simple to change between a headset and the soundbar’s built-in drivers, and on that observe, Artistic did an important job tweaking the sound signature of the Katana V2 for gaming. There’s even a built-in mic right here, and whereas it will get the job accomplished, you’d ideally need to use a devoted possibility.
Because the Katana V2 carriers Sound Blaster branding, you may discover a huge array of customizability. There are three sound modes out of the field — Films, Music, and Gaming — and also you get full EQ customization, so you’ll be able to alter the sound to your liking. There’s additionally a digital 5.1 encompass sound mode, and it labored loads higher than I believed it could at projecting sound.
As for connectivity, you may discover no scarcity of choices on the Katana V2. There’s Bluetooth 5.0, HDMI ARC, USB-C, aux in, optical in, and SXFI out. You possibly can simply join the soundbar to a TV or projector because of HDMI ARC, and in case you’re utilizing it with a monitor for gaming, USB-C is right for pairing it along with your gaming machine.
Artistic Katana V2: What wants work
Actually, there’s not a complete lot improper with the Katana V2. The one annoyance was Bluetooth connectivity; it is not as simple as toggling Bluetooth in your cellphone and connecting to the soundbar. You may need to undergo Artistic’s cellular app to manually pair your cellphone with the soundbar, and Artistic may have made it a bit of simpler.
The addition of Wi-Fi would have made it a extra feature-rich soundbar, however apart from that, I haven’t got any points with the product as such.
Artistic Katana V2: The competitors
When you’re in search of a soundbar predominantly for gaming, there are a couple of selections out there. The Razer Leviathan is an efficient possibility to think about, and whereas it would not come near the audio constancy that you just get with the Katana V2, it takes up even much less room and retails for simply $190. It’s a good different in case you’re available in the market for a funds gaming soundbar.
And if you’d like an built-in possibility that has all of the fundamentals lined, it’s best to check out the Yamaha YAS-209. This $350 soundbar is among the best-sounding choices available in the market, and it comes with a wi-fi sub and loads of connectivity. It isn’t very best for gaming on a desk, however in case you’re utilizing a PS5 and want one thing that pairs along with your TV, it’s a good total alternative.
Artistic Katana V2: Do you have to purchase it?
You can purchase this if:
- You desire a soundbar that does not take up an excessive amount of room
- You want glorious sound and a devoted sub with highly effective bass
- You need EQ customization and loads of connectivity choices
- You are in search of a soundbar for gaming that works simply as properly for multimedia
You should not purchase this if:
Artistic nailed the temporary with the Katana V2. The soundbar has a chic design, delivers unimaginable sound, and has all of the connectivity choices you need in a soundbar on this class. Then there’s RGB lighting, distinctive gaming options, and the power to make use of Artistic’s SXFI virtualization tech with a headset.
In brief, the Katana V2 is among the most feature-packed soundbars out there proper now, and it is a wonderful alternative not only for gaming, but in addition TV exhibits and flicks. I used to be prepared to present this a rating of 4.5 out of 5 based mostly solely on the RGB lighting, and I am glad that it sounds nice and has a boatload of different options.
There is not actually something lacking right here, and the sound high quality mixed with the connectivity choices make this probably the greatest funds soundbars you should purchase at present.
Artistic Sound Blaster Katana V2
The Katana V2 ticks all the suitable bins for a gaming soundbar. It has RGB lighting, distinctive options that provide you with an edge whereas gaming, stellar sound high quality for video games, motion pictures, and TV exhibits, and a smooth design. To sum it up, this is among the greatest soundbars for beneath $500.