Making the good sound better.
Creative’s Sound BlasterX G5 is part of the company’s new line of devices aimed at gamers. But as this external sound card can help you get the best surround sound option on your games, it can also work as a headphone amp that’s compatible with your PC, Mac, PS4. Xbox One, even your iPhone and Android device.
The aim of the Sound BlasterX G5 is to help transform your audio into a virtual 7.1 channel setup, much like how it would sound if you have actual speakers placed around you. The Sound BlasterX G5 fits right in the palm of your hand, and should be portable enough to be carried anywhere.
The device includes various ports including optical line and out, USB in, microUSB and two 3.5 mm audio jacks used for the audio and microphone. There are also hardware buttons that let you switch between three audio profiles, another that lets you swap between low and high gain outputs and lastly a button for ‘Scout Mode’. There is also a physical knob for adjusting the volume.
Setup is fairly easy, and I’ve managed to connect the Sound BlasterX G5 to my PC, Mac, PS4 and Xbox. Just for the sake of it I’ve also connected it to a Samsung Galaxy S8 and an iPhone 7 Plus. I’ve utilized my Bose QuietComfort 35 as my primary headphone along with a Razer Leviathan 5.1 for listening to surround sound.
Also note that connecting the amp to a PC using USB would require you to download the drivers which aren’t included in the package but don’t worry, a quick search online would do the trick.
On normal music and movies, using the Sound BlasterX G5 barely made any difference. Bu probably the biggest difference you’ll notice is when you start playing games. Surround sound is more emphasized without distortion even at high volumes. But in terms of sound output – I hardly noticed any change.
For 699 AED the Creative Sound BlasterX G5 cost is more on the premium side and with the same audio output unfortunately we’re not quite convinced about its performance.
UPDATE: We were kindly asked by Creative to re-asses the performance of the Sound BlasterX G5, pointing out the performance issues we’ve encountered did not match their own test results.
We happily obliged to re-asses the Sound BlasterX G5’s performance, adding more earphones like the Westone W30 and the 1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones to the mix.
The Sound BlasterX G5 still performed excellently in games – and it went to perform above average with the new devices. Testing it through an optical audio output from a CD player, the Sound BlasterX G5 managed to deliver a big improvement on sound which resonated through the high-end earphones we’ve paired it with.
These results have convinced us to raise the final rating from a 3 to a 4, citing significant improvement in sound.