No matter whether you’re a Windows or PC user, rely on a desktop or a stationary laptop, the fact is that you probably use your ‘work station’ for way more than work. For most of us, Netflix and Hulu have made the computer a centerpiece of our entertainment center, while the computer will always be superior for many types of games.
And even if you’re the sort who has a big television and mostly uses a console, you could probably use a decent set of speakers just for streaming music the many on-demand services out there like Spotify and Pandora.
The Creative Sound BlasterX Kratos S5 isn’t just another speaker system though- it’s a 2.1 desktop setup with built-in customizable lighting, called the ‘Aurora Reactive lighting system’.
We’ve seen plenty of other computer accessories add color-changing LEDs, from keyboard to mice, but this is one of the first of its kind. In the box, you get dual four-inch satellite drivers and a separate 6.5-inch subwoofer. For full support, you’ll want to connect using the USB cable, compatible with both PC and Macs, delivering 24-bit/96KHz digital audio.
There’s no optical cable input, but you probably won’t miss it. We liked the volume control pod with its headphone connector; at this price point, it’s rare to get such a hefty knob with a solid tactile feel.
You will need to install some software to really take control- their BlasterX program offers complete command over the lighting (with presets or the ability to choose your own glow) plus EQ settings that let you adjust various sound options like simulated surround, bass level, and even enhance dialogue.
You might know Creative best for their long-running line of sound cards, but it’s nice to see them entering new categories, as with their Katana gaming soundbar that we checked out a couple of months ago or their Bluetooth wireless family.
It’s even better to see them improve on existing and long-time categories, adding a nifty feature that some gamers will certainly appreciate.
Available online and in stores for around $$119-129, the Creative Sound BlasterX Kratos S5 is an incredible bargain- well worth the price tag even if you don’t need the special effects, but a great bonus for anyone who enjoys some flair with their sound.