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Review and Measurements of Sound BlasterX G6

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Guys, I know I sound terribly confused but I really am.

I visited a friend of mine who still owns a Creative X7 and he was curious to hear how my new HD 660S paired with my G6 sounded like.

He has now upgraded to a very expensive combo (Sennheiser HD 880S and HDV 820 amp, just to give you some info about what his ears are used to now).

He tried the 660S both on my G6 and his X7 with music and he said he the X7 sounded defintely better according to him.

I've never been a music listener and my ears are not well "trained" so I honestly couldn't find any noticeable difference but I'm incline to trust his judgement since he's more knowledgeable than me on the subject.

Now I can still return my G6 and switch to an X7 but I want to be sure it's would be a meaningful upgrade. The cost difference is quite negligible because the X7 is now on sale at 229 € and I bought the G6 at 160 €, but full priced X7 is 399 €, which means - at least wrt price, X7 is a much higher tier product than the G6 at more than double the cost.

Specs wise I don't know though. X7 is much older as a product and while it's quality is probably higher, it probably doesn't have good support anymore. It doesn't have Connect like G6 for example but its own software if I understood correctly.

What would you suggest doing? Does switching make any sense or not?

As I said in my previous post I'd like to fully experience what my 660S are capable of and I'm afraid a 160 € product like the G6 doesn't make them proper justice... With a budget of 400 € I could afford even an AE-9 but I really don't know what would be best for me.
 

Jimbob54

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Guys, I know I sound terribly confused but I really am.

I visited a friend of mine who still owns a Creative X7 and he was curious to hear how my new HD 660S paired with my G6 sounded like.

He has now upgraded to a very expensive combo (Sennheiser HD 880S and HDV 820 amp, just to give you some info about what his ears are used to now).

He tried the 660S both on my G6 and his X7 with music and he said he the X7 sounded defintely better according to him.

I've never been a music listener and my ears are not well "trained" so I honestly couldn't find any noticeable difference but I'm incline to trust his judgement since he's more knowledgeable than me on the subject.

Now I can still return my G6 and switch to an X7 but I want to be sure it's would be a meaningful upgrade. The cost difference is quite negligible because the X7 is now on sale at 229 € and I bought the G6 at 160 €, but full priced X7 is 399 €, which means - at least wrt price, X7 is a much higher tier product than the G6 at more than double the cost.

Specs wise I don't know though. X7 is much older as a product and while it's quality is probably higher, it probably doesn't have good support anymore. It doesn't have Connect like G6 for example but its own software if I understood correctly.

What would you suggest doing? Does switching make any sense or not?

As I said in my previous post I'd like to fully experience what my 660S are capable of and I'm afraid a 160 € product like the G6 doesn't make them proper justice... With a budget of 400 € I could afford even an AE-9 but I really don't know what would be best for me.
Keep the g6 for gaming and get a Schiit Heresy for $100.
 

Robbo99999

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Guys, I know I sound terribly confused but I really am.

I visited a friend of mine who still owns a Creative X7 and he was curious to hear how my new HD 660S paired with my G6 sounded like.

He has now upgraded to a very expensive combo (Sennheiser HD 880S and HDV 820 amp, just to give you some info about what his ears are used to now).

He tried the 660S both on my G6 and his X7 with music and he said he the X7 sounded defintely better according to him.

I've never been a music listener and my ears are not well "trained" so I honestly couldn't find any noticeable difference but I'm incline to trust his judgement since he's more knowledgeable than me on the subject.

Now I can still return my G6 and switch to an X7 but I want to be sure it's would be a meaningful upgrade. The cost difference is quite negligible because the X7 is now on sale at 229 € and I bought the G6 at 160 €, but full priced X7 is 399 €, which means - at least wrt price, X7 is a much higher tier product than the G6 at more than double the cost.

Specs wise I don't know though. X7 is much older as a product and while it's quality is probably higher, it probably doesn't have good support anymore. It doesn't have Connect like G6 for example but its own software if I understood correctly.

What would you suggest doing? Does switching make any sense or not?

As I said in my previous post I'd like to fully experience what my 660S are capable of and I'm afraid a 160 € product like the G6 doesn't make them proper justice... With a budget of 400 € I could afford even an AE-9 but I really don't know what would be best for me.
It's possible the X7 might be able to drive your headphones a little easier as it's rated all the way up to 600ohm, but like you said it's an old product, and it's also not had the scrutiny of being reviewed by Amir on this website, so it's more of an unknown quantity in terms of it's true DAC and headphone amp performance. If you're not happy with the sound quality from your G6 I suggest you do what I did....buy a JDS Labs Atom headphone amp, and connect that to your G6 via Line Out. JDS Labs Atom headphone amp was reviewed on this site by Amir, and it's stunning and will have absolutely no problems driving your headphones. Here's the link to the review: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ents-of-new-jds-labs-atom-headphone-amp.5262/. You also get to keep the virtual 7.1 surround sound function, G6 can pass that through the Line Out if you check the relevant 'check box'.

So I suggest you go down that route, that will be better sound quality than the X7. Just make sure you keep SoundblasterX G6 at no more than 79% volume to avoid any distortion....once you've done that it measures amoungst the best DACS.
 
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Can anyone find any serious reviews of the creative G3? Seems a relatively new product, and given the G6 has quite a good following it would be interesting to see how well (or otherwise) it stacks up!
 

Jimbob54

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I currently own this Sound BlasterX G6. My question is, will it pair up, specification wise, with a set of Audeze Mobius Gaming Headphones

Audeze Mobius (Gaming) Headphones, Frequency response: 10Hz - 50kHz
They dont give many specs that actually matter- 10 hz- 50hz is pretty meaningless . Impedance and sensitvity are what matter most.

My question is why not just run them as intended, wired by USB to your PC or wireless bluetooth? They have amps built in.
 

iSarge

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They dont give many specs that actually matter- 10 hz- 50hz is pretty meaningless . Impedance and sensitvity are what matter most.

My question is why not just run them as intended, wired by USB to your PC or wireless bluetooth? They have amps built in.
Speaking honestly, I appreciate your frank response. I'm gonna have to give what you're saying some thought. Sure would be nice to be wireless via bluetooth. I'm a little bit picky about being wired to my PC because I play a particular game which is reaction time based (CS:GO), so I gotta consider that also. Although, my low rank in CS:GO probly would not be affected by wireless. Maybe I'll lose the G6 - time will tell.
 

Jimbob54

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Speaking honestly, I appreciate your frank response. I'm gonna have to give what you're saying some thought. Sure would be nice to be wireless via bluetooth. I'm a little bit picky about being wired to my PC because I play a particular game which is reaction time based (CS:GO), so I gotta consider that also. Although, my low rank in CS:GO probly would not be affected by wireless. Maybe I'll lose the G6 - time will tell.
Actually, the mobius got me interested so I have been digging. I might be wrong but I think everything goes via the built in amps, even analog in to the 3.5mm. No passive mode. Goes into an Analog Digital Converter then through the DAC and amps onboard. So the G6 would be doing nothing other than possibly overamping the signal in and introducing distortion etc which would then be double amped inside the cans.
 

iSarge

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Actually, the mobius got me interested so I have been digging. I might be wrong but I think everything goes via the built in amps, even analog in to the 3.5mm. No passive mode. Goes into an Analog Digital Converter then through the DAC and amps onboard. So the G6 would be doing nothing other than possibly overamping the signal in and introducing distortion etc which would then be double amped inside the cans.
if you will permit me another neophyte question: what is there in the Audeze mobius specification list that tells me the headphones have an amp built in? at least, i think that is what you're trying to communicate to me, that the mobius headphones have a built in amp. or anyone can respond if @Jimbob54 is not available.
 

Jimbob54

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if you will permit me another neophyte question: what is there in the Audeze mobius specification list that tells me the headphones have an amp built in? at least, i think that is what you're trying to communicate to me, that the mobius headphones have a built in amp. or anyone can respond if @Jimbob54 is not available.
Therein lies their problem to be honest. "no extra software or hardware required" says the blurb on audeze website. But the reviews on other sites make it clear. There is heavy tech in those cups. That nearly always need powering

They are aiming for all in one immersive gaming with no need for anything but a USB out of your pc. And maybe the related app.
 

Jimbob54

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Therein lies their problem to be honest. "no extra software or hardware required" says the blurb on audeze website. But the reviews on other sites make it clear. There is heavy tech in those cups. That nearly always need powering

They are aiming for all in one immersive gaming with no need for anything but a USB out of your pc. And maybe the related app.
Oh, and the simple fact that anything Bluetooth (or anything else without wires) cannot magic sound from nothing. Every digital input needs both something to convert it to analog and to make it audible. Even if that's the same chip
 

Jimbob54

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Oh, and the simple fact that anything Bluetooth (or anything else without wires) cannot magic sound from nothing. Every digital input needs both something to convert it to analog and to make it audible. Even if that's the same chip
So any Bose /Sony etc wireless/BT headphones are (in wireless mode at least) active. DAC and amps built in. Some of these allow you to bypass the interval electrics entirely when you connect a wire to an amp. Some don't.

Seemingly the mobius don't. But I've never owned or used. Just what I've read in reviews.
 

freezer2k

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Is the Sound BlasterX G5 a good alternative?

There's a good deal on it and availability is better.
 
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Robbo99999

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Is the Sound BlasterX G5 a good alternative?

There's a good deal on it and availability is better.
For gaming it should be just as good as the G6 as I think it uses the same processing chip for that (SB-Axx1). Theoretically it could sound worse for audiophile use as it has 10dB worse SINAD and it doesn't have the Xamp headphone 'specification'. Also the G5 has not been reviewed by Amir on this website, so it's more of an unknown quantity in terms of it's real performance. You know what you're gonna get with the G6. If music sound quality is not so high up on the list of priorities to you then I'd just get the G5, otherwise get the G6......and if you don't need a gaming DAC then definitely buy neither and buy a Topping E30 DAC instead, lol!

EDIT: hell, if music quality is not on your list of priorities just get the G1! I've got the G1 which I got before the G6 and the virtual surround sound on that is excellent...I only bought it because it was cheap and I wanted to test out if I liked Creative's version of surround sound...once I was happy with that I took the plunge for the G6 for better overall sound quality. The G1 does actually sound surpirisingly OK for music (with lots of power to drive headphones) but not if it's a priority for you.
 
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I have the G6 with a Schiit Heresy headphone amp and can confirm that it works great as long as you set windows volume to 78. It can also drive powered speakers or a power amplifier if you need that. The G6 works great without the Creative software and driver in Windows 10.
 
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Is it possible to use the optical out with a 5,1 speakers system. I still have a logitech z5500 that I would like to use with my laptop
 

ReaderZ

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I have the G6 with a Schiit Heresy headphone amp and can confirm that it works great as long as you set windows volume to 78. It can also drive powered speakers or a power amplifier if you need that. The G6 works great without the Creative software and driver in Windows 10.
Without the driver it's just a 2.0 DAC with very limited connection, there are many that's cheaper and have much much higher performance, without the DSP, the product is a terrible value even if it works.
 
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Hey all. Been lurking here for awhile, reading the reviews and the 14 page thread. It's been very helpful. I've been trying to decide between the AE-5 and the G6 (both reviewed on this site). For the AE-5, I would be buying the plus version with Dolby and DTS.

In 2008 I purchased an Asus Xonar STX. It died last week. I used it for 12 years with no issues, driver or otherwise (although I did download the unified drivers in 2015 or so). I've matched it with many headphones, and it always sounded great.

Going back to onboard sound is awful, and I need a new card. I use Sennheiser HD599 SE headphones. They are very easy to drive at 50 ohms. I'm about a 50/50 split of gaming and music. I will only use my new card on my PC. It will never move, whether it's internal or external. I use Flac files for music. I don't play shooters, just rpg's and the like. I never use a microphone. I use headphones 99.9% of the time. I use $5.00 logitech 2.0 speakers if I want to show my wife a cat video or something, but that's less than 0.1% of my usage. I will never use the RBG lighting if I get the AE-5.

I live in small town Canada, so my options are limited. In most threads, I see people recommending Schiit stacks and other dac/amp combos, but I don't have access to these. The AE-5 and G6 are each $200 here. Ordering a Schiit Modi and Magni would cost me almost $400, with the exchange rate, shipping, and customs duties. Please keep this in mind if you respond to this. I've been posting "AE-5 vs G6" on forums, and keep getting "just buy this or that seperate dac and amp for the same price", but it's always double the price and people don't seem to get it. Buying used is also difficult. I've been watching the 'swap' forums, but have only seen a few decent products. For example, a used Schiit Modi 2 for $200. I've also looked at the Sennheiser gsx1000, but it's $300 here. So please, I'm only trying to decide between the AE-5 and G6.

Sorry for the long intro, now to the questions. I really need a pro and con list to help me out. On an audiophile scale of 1-10, I'm about a 3. I want clear, great sounding music, that's as loud as I can handle, and good immersive surround sound in games. I know both of these cards will be a huge improvement over onboard sound, but what about compared to the Asus Xonar STX I've been using for 12 years? I've never heard any static or 'noise', despite this card being internal. Is this issue overblown? Most people will dismiss any interior card right away due to the EMI in a computer case, should this be a major part of my decision? Which dac is better? I know the AE-5 uses the Sabre brand, which is great, but it feels like comparing apples to oranges with the G6's dac. From what I understand, they both use the same dual headphone amp, is this true? What about drivers? I've read lots of issues with the G6 drivers, but not as many with the AE-5. Is there really a difference? Will one be supported longer than the other? I run windows 10 and update it when an update is released. Which card will handle these windows updates better? My mobo is the Aorus x370 K7. It has a feature called 'Dac-up 2'. From the company website:
"USB DAC-UP 2 continues to provide clean, isolated and low-noise power while adding the ability to compensate for voltage drop."
Will this be beneficial with the G6? Will it make a difference?

Thank you for any answers you guys may have. This is the best thread I've found discussing the G6, and I would love to hear your thoughts.

TL;DR - AE-5 vs G6 for 50/50 music and gaming. Only on pc. Using Sennheiser HD 599 SE headphones.
 

Tup3x

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I don't have any issues with my AE-5. Latest drivers work great. I can't hear any interference.
 
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I don't have any issues with my AE-5. Latest drivers work great. I can't hear any interference.
Thanks for the reply. That's awesome to hear. I get the feeling that the interior vs exterior sound card issue is blown out of proportion. I've just heard so many 'audiophiles' dismiss interior cards completely due to this issue, that it makes me wonder. I never had an issue with my STX either. But with my onboard sound, if I plug into the front jacks on my case, I get bad interference, but I know this is normal for that scenario. I assume the AE-5 has great shielding, like my STX did, and your comment reinforces this for me.
 
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