Audio Headsets Reviews

The same: Creative SoundBlasterX H5 Tournament Edition in headset test

Introduction and scope of delivery If you want to stand out clearly from the previous (sound card) product portfolio, but don't want to do without introduced names and brands, just buy an X and put it in the back. From Sound... Microphone measurement and sound check First, we measure the real frequency range of the microphone to meet readers' feedback. For this we use our measuring room again, but we virtually reverse the process. Of course, a real rez...

Introduction and scope of delivery

If you want to stand out clearly from the previous (sound card) product portfolio, but don't want to do without introduced names and brands, just buy an X and put it in the back. Sound Blaster then simply turns Sound BlasterX and finishes. Well, not quite yet, because the H5 has also been around before.

To add to the new product, the product name like Chantal-Cheyenne simply extends your hair with grippy extensions and the nation's new bomber is ready. With Creative Sound BlasterX H5 Tournament Edition you then force every CMS to your knees, because headlines as a word monster are hard to trend and the editor also in the stomach.

But what is new? A modified tooling, including other drivers, is designed to eliminate vulnerabilities, fine-tune the sound and probably save some money. So we'll take a close look and listen to what the changed model has to reveal to us (or maybe not).

In addition to the actual headphones, there is again a pluggable microphone and the connection cable with control unit, which ends in a smartphone-compatible 3.5mm multifunction jack. In addition, as with the H5, you get another jack extension cable, which is the combi-jack, as we do it, for example. for mobile devices, replaced again by two separate 3.5mm plugs, which can then be separated into the microphone input or headphone output of the PC.

Optics and haptics

The patented suspension of the earcups and the handle is the real highlight of the construction. As far as we know, only a few companies use this patent, which is certainly also due to the contract manufacturer, who has simply converted a rather neutral and very light headphones into headsets with thoughtful tooling. The small changes to the previous model have to be looked at with the magnifying glass.

The increased quality standards can then be seen again in the material mix, because especially the very stable aluminium parts in combination with higher-quality plastic are visually and haptically a redemption from the usual headset uniform porridge. Again, we tried to twist and bend the headset by force – for nothing, that holds. This may not be a construction for eternity, but at least for half. At least.


No matter how large the head circumference or the unusual head shape also fail – once adjusted, the headset sits perfectly as ordered and made to measure. We have very rarely tested such an unobtrusive yet not too loose-fitting headset, which can score so well in the long-term comfort, although as an over-ear version it completely includes everything.

The upholstery in imitation leather is extremely soft and the processed foam inside adapts to the anatomy of the wearer. However, we cannot estimate the extent to which the PU leather imitation remains stable for the long term without cracks.

With the slightly obliquely employed drivers, Creative calls this "tilt-driver implementation", one then at least gets so far towards the anatomy that one tries to better adapt the radiation direction to the ear canal. This means that the resulting airspace between the driver and the ear can be further optimised. From our point of view, it is no longer possible to understand whether the desired resonance avoidance has been achieved precisely by this, because we have not been able to hear any disturbing resonances at all.

The joint solution can convince on the whole and is even very comparable with the implementation of various Beyerdynamic products. Incidentally, this striking similarity also continues inside the handle during the adjustment and the embossed pressure points for the positions. Headsets like the Qpad QH 90 are similarly designed, which is certainly no coincidence.

A good seat is already half the rent, the rest can be achieved by the really low weight of the headset. On the positive side, one must also mention the very soft head cushion integrated in the handle, but that due to the lightness you do not even have to take advantage. In direct comparison to the previous model, there are no differences here.

Refreshing design meets really good workmanship. This is rarer in the 70-euro class than you might think, even if other products can also score with quality and new ideas. Here you just put one more on it. This airiness and the low contact pressure are somewhat at the expense of the usual bass thunderstorm, but woe betide if they are released! But more on that.

Functionality and connection

The control unit built into the cable houses a volume control and the microphone switch. The positioning is close enough to the head, so that the handle never goes into the void. It is also positive that Creative has dispensed with a USB sound solution and is relying on the conventional 3.5mm jack without any acoustic improvement in the audio strand.

This makes it worthwhile to connect to a good headphone amplifier, which is almost always superior to many onboard solutions and above all enables higher levels with lower distortions. Especially the level strength makes many onboard solutions quickly to the bottleneck, while the actual DACs are now quite usable.

The additional function button on the side helps to answer phone calls or in the media player when a suitable smartphone is connected. The analog volume control is ok, but not perfect (initial range).

Drivers and Teardown

Of course, we also screwed the headset apart, because we also want to see what is hidden inside. We can see that, in the case of this new edition, the ODM is using appropriate internal attenuation, which we very much welcome. All optional openings in the housing cover around the driver are glued and are therefore not used. No sounding is also a solution and sometimes even the best.

The soldering quality on the boards and the driver is fine, as is the selection of the sockets used. The injection moulding of the shells made of ABS is dissolved cleanly and all relevant areas have also been deburred. You don't have to win a beauty prize inside.


The microphone with ball characteristics no longer has pop protection and is plug-in or removable, which quickly transforms the headset into an ultra-light and very comfortable headphones, with which you can also enjoy music and, of course, vice versa.

The noise cancellation works passably and without pumps, only at high peaks the microphone weakens a bit. The speech intelligibility is very good, especially since the microphone can also be optimally positioned thanks to the very flexible gooseneck. But more about the measurement results and the final assessment of voice input.

The connectors for microphone and headphone cable are clear and tight enough to prevent accidental slipping out of the plugs.


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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.

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