Headphones / Audio

Creative Sound BlasterX G5 Portable Sound Card Review

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When the people at Creative asked us to take a look at their Sound Blaster G5 portable sound card and headphone amp, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.  As enthusiasts, we always strive for the best of the best with our systems. Whether it’s graphics cards, processors, peripherals or even audio equipment, it’s always a constant stream of upgrades to keep up with the rest of the community. But what about those of us who travel a lot, and don’t want to leave our enthusiast lifestyle at home. Sure, you can get a high-end gaming or workstation laptop to bring with you. Something like a high-end ROG gaming laptop will be more than capable of handling your gaming and even editing needs. However, if you’re an audiophile, the onboard audio may not be up to your standards.  In the past, we reviewed the Sound BlasterX AE-5 internal sound card. However, I was personally very impressed with the quality of the AE-5. But that won’t help with a laptop.

This is where the Sound Blaster G5 some in. Not only does Sound Blaster G5 have support for the Sound BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro, but its also plug and play. This means you can use the software, but you don’t have to. This allows the Sound Blaster G5 to be far more versatile than the AE-5 or any other PCIe add-in sound card. But is the sound quality as good as the AE-5? If you read that review, you’d know that before using the AE-5, I was convinced that onboard audio was as good as using an add-in sound card. I couldn’t have been more wrong.  So, what are the benefits of using the G5 over any other sounds card or even onboard audio? We tested the Sound Blaster G5 in an array of mostly subjective tests. Now keep in mind that audio products are very subjective. So what sounds good to me, may not sound good to you. With that, let’s see how it did.

 

Review Sample Provided by: Creative
Product Name/Link to Website: Sound Blaster G5 portable sound card
Product was given in exchange for work done to produce this review.

SPECIFICATIONS

Audio Technology

SB-Axx1™

Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)

120dB (DAC)

Connectivity Options (Main)

Micro USB Line / Optical Out:
1 x 3.5mm jack
Line / Optical In:
1 x 3.5mm jack
4-pole Headphone-out with Mic:
1 x 3.5mm jack
Dedicated Mic In :
1 x 3.5mm jack

Max Channel Output

Stereo

Audio Technologies

Scout Mode

Supported Operating Systems

Windows® 7, Windows® 8, Windows Vista®, Windows® 8.1, Windows® 10, Mac OS X v10.8 and above

Audio Fidelity

Up to 24-bit / 192kHz

Included Accessories

Micro USB cable, Mini TOSLINK Cable

Dimensions

110 x 74 x 22 mm (4.3″ x 2.9″ x 0.9″)

ASIO

Playback & Recording

Platform

USB 2.0, USB 3.0

Recommended Usage

Gaming

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Windows

  • Intel® Core™2 Duo or AMD® equivalent processor (2.8 GHz or faster recommended)
  • Intel, AMD or 100% compatible motherboard
  • Microsoft® Windows 10 32/64 bit, Windows 8.1/8.0 32/64 bit, Windows 7 32/64 bit, Windows Vista™ 32/64 bit SP1 or higher
  • 1GB RAM
  • >600MB of free hard disk space
  • Available USB 2.0/3.0 port (High Speed recommended with driver)

Macintosh

  • Macintosh running Mac OS X 10. 8 or higher
  • 1GB RAM
  • >600MB of free hard disk space
  • Available USB 2.0/3.0 port

BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro Software for Windows

  • Intel® Core™2 Duo or AMD® equivalent processor (2.8 GHz or faster recommended)
  • Intel, AMD or 100% compatible motherboard
  • Microsoft® Windows 10 32/64 bit, Windows 8.1/8.0 32/64 bit, Windows 7 32/64 bit, Windows Vista™ 32/64 bit SP1 or higher
  • 1GB RAM
  • >600MB of free hard disk space

PACKAGE CONTENTS

  • Sound BlasterX G5
  • Quick Start Leaflet
  • Warranty Leaflet
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Mini TOSLINK cable

View Windows® 10
Software Availability Chart

WARRANTY

1-year Limited Hardware Warranty

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Paul Malfy

I started building computers in 1994. I studied journalism and computer science in college. I love gaming but hardware is my true passion. Especially video cards.

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