PC & Console Peripherals

Creative Sound BlasterX G6 USB Sound Card Review: The Portable Allrounder?

Users of headphones or headsets with a jack connection may know the problem: The on-board sound card of the mainboard produces background noise, colleagues in Teamspeak and Discord only hear noise or the sound is much too quiet. An alternative sound card can solve all these problems. But not everyone has space on the motherboard or the possibility to change the sound card in the laptop or console.

With the Sound BlasterX G6 the well-known manufacturer Creative offers a successor to the USB sound card Sound BlasterX G5. The G6 can be connected not only to stationary PCs, but also to laptops and consoles. With an integrated headphone amplifier and many other features, a good sound quality should be ensured. But is that true? We want to find out in our test.

Scope of Delivery

The Sound BlasterX G6 comes in a lightweight foam padded package. In addition to the sound card, the following is also included in the scope of delivery:

  • 1x optical cable
  • 1x micro-USB cable
  • Quick Start Brochure
  • Guarantee booklet

Technical Details and Features

The technical details of the Sound BlasterX G6 are listed in the following table:

Product name: Creative Sound BlasterX G6
DSP Processor SB-Axx1™
Channels Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound
DAC
  • dynamic range: 130 dB
  • THD + N: 0.0002 %
Interface USB
Sampling rates
  • DSP playback:
    • 16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0kHz
    • 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0kHz
    • 32-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0kHz
  • Direct Mode Playback:
    • 16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 176.4, 192.0, 352.8, 384.0 kHz
    • 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 176.4, 192.0, 352.8, 384.0 kHz
    • 32-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 176.4, 192.0, 352.8, 384.0 kHz
  • doP:
    • 24-bit / 176.4, 352.4 kHz
  • Microphone input:
    • 16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 176.4, 192.0 kHz
    • 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 176.4, 192.0 kHz
    • 32-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 176.4, 192.0 kHz
  • Line-In, Optical-In:
    • 16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 176.4, 192.0 kHz
    • 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 176.4, 192.0 kHz
    • 32-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 176.4, 192.0 kHz
Headphones Amp
  • Assisted headphone impedance: 16 – 600 Ω
  • high gain: 150 – 600 Ω (+14dB)
  • Low gain: 16 – 149 Ω (+0dB)
Connections
  • 1 x 3.5mm Line-In/mini TOSLINK Input Combo Jack
  • 1 x 3.5mm Line Out/mini TOSLINK output combo connector
  • 1 x 3.5mm headphone/headset jack
  • 1 x 3.5mm Ext. mic input connector
  • 1 x microUSB connector for PC/Mac
Special features various software features, RGB lighting, rubberized floor
Price € 129.99 *

The most striking technical features compared to its predecessor are the workmanship of 32 bit/384 kHz DAC data, the integrated Xamp (headphone amplifier) and the higher audio quality of 130 to 120 dB DNR. The Sound BlasterX G6 does not yet rely on USB type C, but on micro USB.

Connections and Exterior

Externally, almost nothing has changed compared to the predecessor. Furthermore there are jacks for headphones and microphone on the front as well as an illuminated volume control. The four-pin headphone output can also be used for a headset. Cool feature: If the volume control is pressed for 2 seconds, the control changes from output (illuminated in blue) to input mode (illuminated in red). Now you can change the volume of the microphone, for example.

The power supply via Micro-USB is located on the rear side. When the sound card is connected to a PC or PS4, this port is also used to transfer data. In addition, there is a line and mini Toslink combination socket (input & output) at the rear. The USB port of the predecessor G5 is no longer required.

On the right side of the Sound BlasterX G6 is a switch for scout and direct mode, an SBX switch to switch between sound profiles and a gain switch to adjust the headphone amplifier. Three LEDs indicate different states.

The rubberized and therefore non-slip underside is also available on the G6.

There are no other connections on the sound card. For the majority of users of this sound card, however, this should be irrelevant.

Software and RGB

If the Sound BlasterX G6 USB sound card is operated on a Windows computer, the Sound Blaster Connect software can be used. With this software different settings can be made.

  • Sound Profiles/Sound: Already defined profiles exist for various games and media types. All these can be further refined.
  • Voice: Here you can adjust the volume of the microphone. In addition, the voice can be adjusted via “Voice Morph”.
  • Configuration: Elementary settings of the audio setup.
  • Settings: Language settings and updates.

In addition to the above settings, the illumination of the Sound BlasterX G6 can also be adjusted or completely deactivated via the software. However, the adjustment of the illumination refers only to the illuminated X, not to the volume control. Too bad – its adaptation would enhance the lighting even more.

Using the G6 on other devices does not require the Sound Blaster Connect software. On a MacBook, the external sound card was recognized directly without any problems. Also the short operation on an Xbox One S was carried out without problems.

Sound Quality

Now we come to the most important part of the review: The quality of the sound. Therefore the Sound BlasterX G6 is operated with a Beyerdynamic DT880 with 250 Ohm*. The microphone is a Modmic v5*.

G6 and headphones
G6 and headphones

To assess the sound quality, the Creative USB sound card is compared with an Asus Xonar Essence STX and an on-board sound card (Realtek ALC887). Please note: the comparison of sound quality is a subjective perception and can be perceived differently by every person.

In our test, the setup of several pieces from different genres on Spotify was tested to the highest quality (320 kb/s). In addition, the day-to-day operation of the games was tested. The Sound BlasterX G6 delivers a better sound quality in every respect than the inexpensive 10 € sound card. In a direct comparison with the internal Asus Xonar Essence STX, almost no difference could be found. All in all, Creative’s external USB solution was a great choice.

The Sound BlasterX G6 is also convincing when it comes to recording quality: the recordings sound different than with the Essence STX, but neither worse nor better.

Conclusion

The Sound BlasterX G6 USB sound card from Creative is a winner in our test. Technically, the G6 takes a step forward in many respects compared to its predecessor. The equipment should be sufficient for most users and the workmanship is error-free. The Sound Blaster Connect software offers many settings to adjust the sound to your personal needs. In our test setup, the sound quality was convincing.

Only the price can be regarded as an actual point of criticism. For € 129.99 * the USB soundcard is available. However, the market for USB sound cards is not large and the functionality of the Sound BlasterX G6 is virtually unique. For owners of a G5 the change to the new generation is not worthwhile. However, if you’re using a slightly higher quality headphone with an onboard sound card, you should take a closer look at the Creative Sound BlasterX G6 to improve its sound quality.

Creative Sound BlasterX G6

Workmanship
Sound
Recording
Features
Value for Money

Convincing USB sound card

Portable and very good USB sound card with good sound quality.

Sound BlasterX G6 7.1 HD Externe Gaming-DAC- und USB-Soundkarte mit Xamp-Kopfhörerverstärker für PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch und PC price comparison


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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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