Sound BlasterX H7 review: A USB 7.1 gaming headset with impressive sound

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Gaming / Gaming Hardware / Reviews / Top Picks
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The Sound BlasterX H7 gaming headset works best with a PC and the BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro Software, but sounds great on consoles as well.

We’re back with another BlasterX review to follow up our Sound BlasterX G5 amplifier review from the other day. This time, our Sound BlasterX H7 review takes a look at a USB 7.1 gaming headset that is compatible with the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Specifications

The Sound BlasterX H7 Professional USB 7.1 Gaming Headset has the following features and specifications:

  • 50mm Full Spectrum custom tuned drivers
  • Lightweight and ergonomic with leatherette memory foam ear cushions for the ultimate comfort during long gaming sessions
  • Can be connected in Analog and USB
  • Built-in 24 / 96kHz USB DAC for high definition digital audio immersive gaming
  • Connection: USB, 3.5mm Stereo Input
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 118dB/mW
  • Impedance: 32 ohms
  • Audio Drivers: 50mm FullSpectrum
  • Scout Mode
  • Weight: 364g
  • Microphone Type: Detachable, Unidirectional Noise-reduction Condenser
  • Microphone Frequency Response: 100Hz ~ 15kHz
  • Microphone Impedance: <2.2k ohms
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -40dB @ 1kHz
  • Software: BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro (Fully Customisable)
  • Supported Operating Systems:
    • Mac OS X v10.8 and above
    • Windows® 10
    • Windows® 8.1
    • Windows® 8
    • Windows® 7
    • Windows® Vista
  • Supported Gaming Consoles:
    • PlayStation® 4 via 3.5mm 4-pole audio cable or USB connection
    • Xbox One™ via 3.5mm 4-pole audio cable (With Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter)
  • In-line Remote Control Function: Call Pick-up, Playback Play/Pause, Volume Adjustment, Microphone Mute
  • 1-year Limited Hardware Warranty

What’s in the Box

  • Sound BlasterX H7 Headset
  • Tethered cable including inline control (0.4m/1.3ft)
  • USB Type A to Micro-B USB braided cable (1.5m/5ft)
  • 3.5mm 4-pole to 4-pole jack braided cable (0.8m/2.6ft)
  • Quick Start Leaflet
  • Crystalline capsule carry case
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Sound BlasterX H7 contents.

Design

The Sound BlasterX H7 Professional USB 7.1 Gaming Headset has a pretty sleek design in my opinion. The headband is nice and thick, without being overly firm and is wrapped in a leatherette finish with the Sound BlasterX logo stamped across the top. The earcups are attached to the headband with a black reinforced steel arm on swivel points so the earcups tilt in and out towards (or away from) your ears. The earcups also twist slightly, and the arms are adjustable and offer approximately 1 1/2″ of travel up and down offering 12 levels of height adjustment. Between the tilting, twisting, and adjustability, the BlasterX H7’s provide a comfortable fit.

 

The outside of the earcups are finished with a black aluminum plate that has the Sound BlasterX logo etched into it, along with a series of circles. When the headset is connected via USB, the X lights up and slowly pulses in red. You can manually adjust the intensity or pulsation of the X, or even have it set to pulse along with the music you’re listening to. The outside edge of the aluminum plate has a thin silver bezel, and overall these touches give it a pretty classy design.

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Sound BlasterX H7 earcup outer detail.

The earcup cushions are constructed with memory foam, and are also wrapped in the same leatherette finish as the headband. The memory foam padding is more than ample for a comfortable fit, especially for extended use.

The left earcup has a non-detachable braided cord 13 1/2″ in length coming out of the back of it which ends with the inline remote control. The inline remote control is rectangular in shape, and has the Sound BlasterX logo on the front, as well as a slider button to disable/enable the microphone. The side of the remote control houses the volume dial, as well as the play/pause answer/hang up call button if you’re using it with a smartphone or other device that allows you to control music from the remote. Finally, the bottom of the remote control has a Micro-USB and 3.5mm audio jack.

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Sound BlasterX H7 inline remote control top view.

If you’re using the BlasterX H7 headset with a computer or the PlayStation 4, you can utilize the braided USB cable. When used with a computer, using the USB connection allows you to take advantage of the BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro software (more on that below in the software section). If you are using it with an Xbox One or other device that has a 3.5mm audio jack, you can use the included braided 3.5mm audio cable instead. The USB cable is roughly 5′ long, while the 3.5mm audio cable is just over 2 1/2′ long.

The detachable microphone also attaches to the bottom of the left earcup, simply insert the 3.5mm pole into the jack and it snaps into place easily. The microphone is attached to a bendable arm, and has a removable foam cover over the end.

The BlasterX H7 gaming headset isn’t the lightest I’ve used, but it’s far from the heaviest and remains fairly comfortable for extended gaming and listening sessions.

Sound

As previously mentioned, the Sound BlasterX H7 gaming headset can be connected in both analog (3.5mm jack) and USB mode. While the headset does sound great when connected with the 3.5mm jack as tested on the Xbox One, Nexus 6P (for listening to music), and a computer, you really want to connect with USB where possible and take advantage of the BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro software (discussed below in the software section).

The BlasterX H7’s have a pretty decent range, from bass all the way up to the higher tones. When enhanced with the software, you really do get a fuller gaming experience, from driving in games like Forza Horizon 3 to hunting down opponents in Call of Duty and even just the general environment in adventure games like Rise of the Tomb Raider. Music sounds fantastic as well (from classical, hip hop, and EDM to rock), and you can definitely tweak the equalizer and other acoustic engine options over USB or with an equalizer if your app includes one.

Microphone/Voice Quality

The microphone quality on the Sound BlasterX H7 is pretty decent. When in a party other members indicated that they could hear me with no issues. One person did mention that my voice was a bit loud when tested on the Xbox One, almost as if there was a little bit too much microphone boost. It wasn’t overbearing, but we were testing a number of headsets at once and he felt it was worth mentioning.

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Sound BlasterX H7 with microphone.

Software

I talked a bit about the BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro software in my BlasterX G5 review, so if you’ve read that this first section will sound familiar. The BlasterX H7 also takes advantage of the X-Plus Configurator as well which I’ll touch on after.

BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro

The BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro software is straightforward as well. When your Sound Blaster G5 is connected to your computer, you can select a preset and test how it sounds while playing a first person shooter, watching a movie, or listening to music. Each preset — of which there are 17 including FPS, Music, Driving Simulation, and even game specific ones like Dota 2 or Call of Duty Series — adjusts the Surround, Crystalizer, Bass, Smart Volume, and Dialog Plus options of the Acoustic Engine.

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BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro software profile screen.

The main profile tab is also where you can set your three audio profiles for quick activation, and you can even fine tune each preset or customize your own by using the Acoustic Engine tab. An Equalizer tab is also present, offering even more tweaking and fine tuning, and there is also a tab for Scout Mode and Voice FX which lets you customize your voice to everything from an Alien Brute to a Scrappy Kid and even from male to female or vice versa.

Finally, the Advanced Settings tab lets you choose and configure if you want Stereo, Virtual 5.1 Surround, or Virtual 7.1 Surround. You can also toggle Direct Mode, SPDIF-Out Direct, and Headphone Surround for Line/Optical Out. Last but not least, you can also adjust your monitoring, recording, playback, and balance levels in the Advance Settings > Mixer tab.

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BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro software Advanced Settings screen.

X-Plus Configurator

The X-Plus Configurator software on the other hand is what I refer to as “BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro Lite” with one crucial difference. It allows you to select from a number of presets and upload them to your BlasterX H7 gaming headset. The presets however are a bit limited, and at this time they include Battlefield series, Call of Duty series, Counter-Strike Global Offensive, Generic, Generic (PlayStation 4), and Overwatch. It is super simple to use: select your desired configuration and click the upload button while the headset is connected to your computer.

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X-Plus Configurator software screenshot.

Which Software Should You Use?

If you’re gaming on your PC, I’d stick with the BlasterX Acoustic Engine Pro software. If you’re using the headset for console gaming, I’d upload your desired preset with the X-Plus Configurator software and take it from there. To be honest though, I didn’t really notice that much difference with the different profiles on my Xbox One, perhaps it’s a bit different on the PlayStation 4 when connected over USB.

Price/Value

With an MSRP of $159.99USD, the price of the Sound BlasterX H7 is currently $129.99 on both the Creative website and over at Amazon. The lower price is definitely more in line with what I would spend on a gaming headset, and given the sound and build quality it’s a great price for these headphones.

Wrap-up

If you’re looking for a versatile gaming headset that you can use with your PC and console, you’ll definitely want to consider the Sound BlasterX H7 Professional USB 7.1 Gaming Headset. It’s not hard to see why we chose to award this as one of our Top Picks of 2016.

Sound BlasterX H7
4.8 Out of 5
Nailed It
Comfortable, great build quality, braided cables, great sound. Software works great for augmenting the 7.1 surround sound.
Needs Work
X-Plus Configurator software could use more preset selections for loading into headphones. Had one comment that the microphone was a bit loud on the Xbox One.
Bottom Line
If you're looking for a versatile gaming headset that you can use with your PC and console, you'll definitely want to consider the Sound BlasterX H7 Professional USB 7.1 Gaming Headset.
Design5.00
Sound5.00
Microphone/Voice Quality4.75
Software4.50
Price/Value4.50
*We were sent a review sample of the Sound BlasterX H7 gaming headset for the purposes of this review.
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