We’ve had a lot of fun recently when testing Creatives Sound BlasterX range of products. They have generally been very impressive with the E5 being a particular highlight. A product which was built well, feature packed and most importantly it enhanced our audio experience from mobile devices significantly. Today we dip back into the X range with Creatives high end headset in our Sound BlasterX H7 Review.
Sound BlasterX H7 Review – Packaging and Bundle
The H7 arrives in a plastic dome shaped box with the headset tied in place and the bundled items beneath. Those items are some product documentation, a 4 pole, 3.5mm cable (80cm), USB cable (1.5m) and mic.
Sound BlasterX H7 Review – The Headset
The H7 uses a mix of soft touch, brushed metal effect and leatherette with a predominantly black design. Across the memory foam padded headband (steel reinforced) we get a Sound BlasterX logo and the earcups use a closed design. The weight of the headset is 364g.
The outside of the earcups feature the X logo, backed by a red LED which can be set to use effects such as pulsing along with our audio/music. Inside each earcup is a 50mm driver which Creative tilt to minimize resonance within the earcups a feature which is designed to provide extra clarity across the frequencies and better sound separation. Creative list the sensitivity as 118dB/Mw with impedance of 32 ohms and frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz.
The detachable mic used by Creative sits at the end of a flexible boom and it is a unidirectional noise reduction condenser model. Frequency response is 100Hz to 15kHz with an impedance of <2.2k ohms. Sensitivity is rated at -40dB
So far the H7 is pretty similar to the H5 however that changes when we look down the 40cm braided cable which extends from the left ear cup. There we find that it ends in a control pod which allows us to mute the mic, control the main volume and answer calls or play/pause depending on what we are doing. At the end of the pod is a 3.5mm socket for the bundled cable and connection to mobile, Xbox One or if we want a standard audio experience, PC. The advanced connector is however the USB which allows us to use PS4 or PC and take advantage of the advanced features via the built in 24bit, 96Khz DAC.
Sound BlasterX H7 Review – Software
There are two software options for the H7 when connected via USB, in the first screenshot above we can see the more “basic” X Plus Configurator. This allows us to easily select profiles for key eSports games and assign the sound signature which will be used if plugging the device into a system without any driver (e.g. at an event).
The other option is BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro.
As well as controlling items such as the LED lighting, BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro lets us tweak our sound in a wide range of ways, whether that be simple options such as moving from Stereo to virtual 7.1 or more advanced settings such as enabling Scout mode (designed to help us hear enemies more clearly) or enabling profiles suited to game genres or media types.
Sound BlasterX H7 Review – Conclusion
Back when we reviewed the H5 we noted that as far as build quality and design were concerned it was a very impressive headset. As the H7 uses essentially the same design, the same hold true here. Every part of the device feels quality and we noted no issues with assembly. There is loads of flex in the headband and more than enough movement in the tilt of the cups. It is also a lightweight headset which remains comfortable over time. As before the removable mic is a bonus which makes the H7 ideal for listening to music on the move, as we don’t have a massive mic boom pointing out of our head. Multi-platform compatibility (PC, Xbox, PS4, mobile and tablet) is a real plus too.
For PC users Creative also offer their enhanced audio control panel with additional options over the H5. All the key configuration options we would need are there, plus some which are a bit more fun like the ability to alter our voice sound. The profiles are plentiful and there is a nice range of demo options to let us hear how our changes will impact the experience. We also like that Creative offer the cut down software option for those who want a more simple life.
On the audio quality front we were impressed again. The H7 offers a very balanced sound, not favouring any particular frequency when connected via 3.5mm cable. Using USB the experience is of course significantly different. Experience very much depends on the settings chosen in the app however we found that the built in profiles were all decent. For gaming we noticed the benefits of Scout and virtual 7.1 modes in placing our competitors and the voice comms were a decent quality according to our teammates. Movie mode was decent, plenty of bass when needed and when we moved to music the H7 handled a wide range of genres with ease. Again a balanced sound with plenty of detail present.
Summary: Great compatibility, excellent sound quality and good build. An impressive headset with excellent configuration options.