Creative Labs continues its war to dominate the gaming audio market with the new Sound BlasterX line of gaming headsets. Ranging from the lower-end H3 headset going all the way to the high-end H7 7.1 channel surround sound headset, there is something for everyone in the Sound BlasterX line-up. We got the chance to take a look at the almost-top tier level headset, the Sound BlasterX H5. The Sound BlasterX H5 gaming headset features a stainless steel and black style that exudes classy aggression. The headset is capable of taking a lot of wear and coming back for more every time, thanks to its steel headband. I was actually shocked at just how flexible the steel headband is. You can twist it almost all the way around and the steel just bounces right back to shape. It also features faux leather ear cups that, while making my ears sweat slightly after long periods of use, provide ample comfort and a quiet gameplay session.
Its boom microphone did a terrific job of carrying my voice to my comrades while we played Arma 3 and Romero’s Aftermath, and I was told from my cohorts that the mic seemed successful in filtering out a lot of the background noise floating around my office space. In fact, it sounded better to them than the dedicated desktop microphone I usually use for Skype calls, etc. It should be noted that the boom microphone is removable in case you do not require it.
Setting up the Sound BlasterX H5 for use is very simple – it comes with a 3.5mm splitter and also uses a 4 port 3.5mm plug. This allows you to plug the headset into your smartphone, PC, and even a PS4 game console! You also have the option of downloading and installing the Creative Labs Sound BlasterX Acoustic Engine Lite software that allows you to tweak your sound to your specifications. For the purposes of my review, I did not do this as I already have a Creative Labs software suite running thanks to my sound card.
The sound quality coming out of the Sound BlasterX H5 was excellent, and I could just as easily listen to my favorite songs while wearing this headset as I could taking on OPFOR in Arma 3. I heard no issues with high or low-end sounds while listening to my tunes and was happy it seemed to marry so well with my Creative Labs sound card. I could take advantage of most of my sound card’s options, such as the Crystalizer and Scout modes with no issue whatsoever. Its 50mm “FullSpectrum” neodymium drivers are up to the task and the ear cups are closed just enough to block out a decent amount of outside noise while still allowing you to hear some of whats going on around you.
Finally, I love that the Sound BlasterX H5 features a nylon, braided cable. This was all the rage a few years ago but has since petered out among peripheral makers. I loved this feature on headsets and am glad Creative Labs is bringing it back for the H5.
Overall, the Creative Labs Sound BlasterX H5 pro gaming headset is exactly what you would hope to get out of an analog, pro gaming headset. They have great sound quality, great construction, and a reliable microphone that actually filters out some background noise. It’s only real drawback is the $129.99 price point but headsets are getting more expensive these days. At least with the Sound BlasterX H5, you know your $129.99 is going towards a high quality product.