First looks: Creative Sound BlasterX series gaming audio

If you're looking for high-quality gaming audio, or you're just interested in any possible advantage you can get while gaming, take a look at Creative's latest Sound BlasterX series of professional grade gaming gear. The entire range will be launching later this year, but Creative will be taking pre-orders at Comex 2015 (which starts on Thursday this week).

Creative Sound BlasterX H7

Creative Sound BlasterX H7
Creative Sound BlasterX H7

The flagship of the Sound BlasterX series is the H7 – a pair of over-the-ear headphones designed for long hours of gaming. The Sound BlasterX H7 comes with massive 50mm FullSpectrum drivers and 7.1 surround sound support, and a detachable noise-cancelling microphone for clear and powerful audio when communicating with your team. It is also lightweight and flexible despite its reinforced stainless steel headband and aluminum earcup brackets.

This pair supports both analog audio jack connectivity for the purists, as well as USB connectivity for 7.1 surround sound and high definition support for lossless audio (up to 24-bit/96kHz). It doesn’t lack aesthetically either, with its ‘X’ logo being back-lit with a customizable pulsating effect when in use.

The Creative Sound BlasterX H7 will be available locally on November 2015 for US$159 (~S$225)

Creative Sound BlasterX H5

Creative Sound BlasterX H5 (front) with the H3.
Creative Sound BlasterX H5 (front) with the H3.

If you liked what the H7 offered, there’s also the Sound BlasterX H5. It’s quite similar to the H7, utilizing the same 50mm drivers, high-quality chassis of reinforced steel and aluminum for durability and comfort, and that important detachable microphone.

The Creative Sound BlasterX logo with its metallic frame.
The Creative Sound BlasterX logo with its metallic frame.

Where the H5 differs is that its a bit more spartan, lacking all the bells and whistles found on the H7. There’s no 7.1 surround sound support and audio is analog-only with no USB connectivity. It also uses Creative's BlasterX Acoustic Engine Lite sound engine profile, (the H7 comes with the Full variant). This software lets you program four pre-set gaming audio profiles.

The Creative Sound BlasterX H5 will retail by end-September 2015 for US$129 (~S$182) in Singapore, but Creative will be offering a special offer for the H5 at Comex (see below for full details).

Creative Sound BlasterX H3

No-frills H3 in its ABS plastic chassis.
No-frills H3 in its ABS plastic chassis.

These entry-level gaming headsets come in an over-the-ear format like the H7 and H5, but with an exterior made of ABS plastic and with audio delivered through smaller 40mm drivers. Like the H5, the H3 uses the BlasterX Acoustic Engine Lite for gaming sound profiles.

Creative has not confirmed the final retail price and availability of the Sound BlasterX H3, but expect it to be quite a bit cheaper than the H5.

Creative Sound BlasterX G5

External sound card for gaming, the Creative Sound BlasterX G5.
External sound card for gaming, the Creative Sound BlasterX G5.

Extending beyond headphones, the Sound Blaster X series also includes an external sound card and headphone amplifier. The Sound BlasterX G5 has a playback of 24-bit/192kHz and a dedicated SB-Axx1 audio processor, making it capable of changing basic stereo sounds into advantageous 3D positional surround sound (SBX) on your headset.

G5 with the volume control knob and line-out for audio, with line-in for mic.
G5 with the volume control knob and line-out for audio, with line-in for mic.
Used a precious USB port to connect the G5 to your setup? The external sound card is considerate enough to provide that one extra slot it uses on its body.
Used a precious USB port to connect the G5 to your setup? The external sound card is considerate enough to provide that one extra slot it uses on its body.

The Sound BlasterX G5 also supports multi-channel content, delivering true 7.1 audio for ultra-realistic surround sound. It can drive in-ears as low as 2.2ohms and studio-grade headphones of up to 600ohms, and it comes with unique controls such as a volume knob, dedicated SBX, and Scout mode for quick audio tweaks while in-game.

Unique audio controls for better grasp of the audio while in-game.
Unique audio controls for better grasp of the audio while in-game.

The Creative Sound BlasterX G5 will retail by November 2015 at US$149 (~S$211) in Singapore.

Creative Sound BlasterX P5

Creative Sound Blaster P5 in-ear model for the ultra-portable gamer.
Creative Sound Blaster P5 in-ear model for the ultra-portable gamer.

If you prefer in-ears, there’s the P5 gaming headset. It packs a pair of 7mm FullSpectrum drivers and comes with an omni-directional inline microphone that’s specially aligned to pick up your voice. The P5 is built with a balanced sound signature in mind that helps you avoid the hearing fatigue that is often associated with bass-heavy headsets.

Port tubes at the opposite end of the in-ear headset grants a balanced sound signature for audio accuracy while in-game.
Port tubes at the opposite end of the in-ear headset grants a balanced sound signature for audio accuracy while in-game.

The P5s are built with port tubes, and the unique design lends itself to clean bass and clear trebles. In turn, this allows you to perceive cues, depth and location more accurately while in game. It comes with noise isolation properties to eliminate distractions as well. Like the H5 and H3, the P5 is compatible with the BlasterX Acoustic Engine Lite sound profile program.

Specially designed omni-directional inline microphone that is directed at the speaker's mouth for better audio reception.
Specially designed omni-directional inline microphone that is directed at the speaker's mouth for better audio reception.

The Creative Sound BlasterX P5 will retail by end-October 2015 at US$69 (S$99) through Creative’s online store.

Comex 2015 Special

Creative Sound BlasterX H5 and the G5 external sound card (front).
Creative Sound BlasterX H5 and the G5 external sound card (front).

In conjunction with Comex 2015 held at Suntec from 3 to 6 September 2015 in Suntec, Creative has a unique deal for people purchasing the Creative Sound BlasterX H5. By pre-ordering the analog headset at S$199, buyers can choose to receive a free set of Creative Outlier, or the chance to purchase the Sound BlasterX E5 portable headphone amplifier at only S$99. This deal is exclusive to buyers who are visiting the Creative booth at Comex 2015. For more information, you visit the Creative website here.

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