Audio/Peripherals Reviews Soundcards

Creative Sound Blaster GC7 Review – The principle is good, the finish weakens

With the Sound Blaster GC7, Creative is primarily targeting streamers and gamers whose focus is on combining the best possible immersion with easy and convenient communication. So it’s more of an acoustic  two-way street rather than a tonal one-way street for sound-loving nitpickers. I am fair enough to consider this principle and also the offered features accordingly and not only from the point of view of a pure audio lover or audiophile. That would definitely do an injustice to the concept.

Nevertheless, you have to question some things and also become aware of what you are actually buying for 150 euros. The Soundblaster GC7 has been around for a long time and there are many (euphoric) reviews about it. Especially the mostly unfiltered adapted PR content in many reviews almost provoked me to test the part once. Since I also own a colourful gaming table, I simply banished the GC7 to it and confronted it with various challenges and my rather extensive headset and headphone collection.

I’m not a streamer, but I have a communicative emergency often enough and use even the idle time in games often enough to discuss one thing or another with colleagues and clients on the side. Multitasking and as complex as parking, taking care of the kids and calming down the wife at the same time. And to put it first: despite all the criticism that might come up in the course of the article: that’s exactly what the Soundlaster GC7 was designed for, and that’s exactly what it can do. We’ll talk about the rest in a minute. First I have to unpack my new acquisition.

Scope of delivery, unboxing and technical data

You get what you need, not more, but also not less. The GC7 as a device comes together in the box with a USB-C to USB-A cable for power and data transfer to PC or console, a 3.5mm jack cable and a fairly short optical cable (SPDIF). A printed quick start guide is also available, the rest including software download can be found on the Creative homepage. You can also use the GC7 without software, but of course you will miss some features.

What does not work at all, shows the next picture after the unboxing, which I always do with white textile gloves. And yes, the box was original sealed and retail. In other words, what you get as a customer. If there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s dust and fingerprints on new devices. The one that was packaged here has definitely not been refurbished (I used a microscope to look for such marks on the seals), but it was preserved that way from the factory. So for the further pictures I cleaned the part first. It does not detract from the function, but beautiful is different.

At the bottom you can still find the usual traces to manufacturer and certifications. The 2.5 watts of maximum power consumption (500 mA at 5 volts) shown here are rather an approximate value and due to the USB 2.0, in reality it was much less. But this raises the question of how potent the headphone amplifier can still be. These restrictions are actually unnecessary, because every PC has a 1A connection by now. At least.

The good piece was obviously already a bit older, because the first thing was a necessary firmware update. But that went quickly and smoothly, just as one would wish. Plus point and done.

I have summarized the technical data in tabular form here:

Product specifications  
Model number:
SB1850
Color:
Black
Interface / Power Supply:
USB Type-C/USB Bus powered
DSP:
Super X-FI Ultra DSP and SB-Axx1™
Product dimension: [L x B x H]
(174 x 116.3 x 44.5)mm
Product Weight:
280g
Audio processing:
  • Sound Blaster Acoustic Engine
  • Super X-Fi
  • SXFI Battle Mode
  • Scout Fashion
DAC:
  • Type: AKM AK4377AECB
  • DnR: 125dB
GameVoice Mix:
  • Windows
  • macOS
  • PS4 (requires optical output)
  • PS5
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE):
For the control of mobile apps
Wireless Type:
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
RF Output Power:
4 dBm
Operating range RF :
2402 – 2480 MHz
Operating temperature:
0 – 40°C
Entrance:
5V 500 mA
Headphone output impedance:
10 Ohm
Microphone type:
Mono (All microphones)
Microphone input Power input:
With Auto Gain Control (AGC) = 30 + 9 dB; With Auto Gain Control disabled = 10 + 9 dB
Microphone impedance:
2K Ohm
Line-out frequency response:
10 Hz to 22 kHz (48k only due to firmware processing)
Power consumption (USB):
~480 mA max
Headphone output:
  • 32 ohms (Low Gain, 51 mW)
  • 150 ohms (High Gain, 41 mW; Low Gain, 16 mW)
  • 300 ohms (High Gain, 26 mW)
Input frequency response:
10 Hz to 22 kHz (48k only due to firmware processing)
Maximum input level for line-in:
19.03 dBm
Line-In Impedance:
> 10K Ohm
Playback resolution:
  • Speaker: 16/24bit, 48kHz/96kHz/192kHz
  • Headset: 16/24bit, 48kHz
  • Console mode: 48kHz
Recording resolution:
  • Microphone: 16/24bit, 48kHz/96kHz/192kHz
  • Line: 16/24bit, 48kHz/96kHz/192kHz
  • Optical In: 16/24bit, 48kHz/96kHz/192kHz
Interface:
  • USB Type-C Connector
  • 1 x Power switch
  • 1 x 3.5mm 4 pole stereo unbalanced headphone / headset output
  • 1 x 3.5mm 3 pole mono external microphone input
  • 1 x 3.5mm 4 pole mobile mix input
  • 1 x 3.5mm stream out/line out
  • 1 x Toslink input
  • 1 x Toslink output
Controls:
  • Master volume control
  • Game Voice Mix slider
  • SXFI Switch
  • Surround switch
  • Bass switch
  • Treble switch
  • Mic switch
  • Rotary control
  • Mic mute switch
  • Power switch
  • Platform Mode Switch
  • Gain switch
Software:
  • iOS (Creative App and SXFI App)
  • Android (Creative App and SXFI App)
  • Windows OS (Creative App)
  • macOS (Creative App)
Minimum system requirements:
Windows® OS

  • Intel Core i3 or AMD® Ryzen equivalent processor.
  • Intel, AMD or 100% compatible motherboard
  • Microsoft ® Windows 10 64-bit
  • 1 GB RAM
  • > 600 MB free hard disk space
  • USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 connection

macOS®

  • macOS® 10.14 or higher
  • 1 GB RAM
  • USB 2.0/USB 3.0 port

PS4

  • Firmware version 5.0 or later
  • Available USB port (for chat audio output)
  • Available optical out connector (for game audio output)

Nintendo Switch

  • Switch OS 5.0 or later
  • Available 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Available port (in docking mode)
  • Voice communication is title dependent

PS5®

  • Firmware version 20.02-2.26.00-00.00.0.1 or later
  • Available USB port

Creative Sound Blaster GC7

AlternateLieferbar in 11 Tagen149,99 €*Stand: 25.07.21 01:51
*Alle Preise inkl. gesetzl. MwSt zzgl. Versandkosten und ggf. Nachnahmegebühren, wenn nicht anders beschriebenmit freundlicher Unterstützung von www.geizhals.de

 

 

Danke für die Spende



Du fandest, der Beitrag war interessant und möchtest uns unterstützen? Klasse!

Hier erfährst Du, wie: Hier spenden.

Hier kannst Du per PayPal spenden.

About the author

Igor Wallossek

Editor-in-chief and name-giver of igor'sLAB as the content successor of Tom's Hardware Germany, whose license was returned in June 2019 in order to better meet the qualitative demands of web content and challenges of new media such as YouTube with its own channel.

Computer nerd since 1983, audio freak since 1979 and pretty much open to anything with a plug or battery for over 50 years.

Follow Igor:
YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter

Werbung

Werbung