Creative used to be the go-to company back in the day (and yes I’m dating myself here) for computer speakers — heck I still have my Creative Sound Blaster 5.1 surround speakers around here somewhere. As more companies entered the market, there were plenty of choices at various price points for computer users to choose from. Creative is definitely making a comeback, and we’ve been more than impressed with the Creative speakers and headphones we’ve reviewed here in the past year at Techaeris. While Creative has branched out, their Sound BlasterX lineup headset and speaker line are geared towards gamers.
The company has branched out from just providing audio solutions for gamers, and have introduced the Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 mechanical gaming keyboard and the Sound BlasterX Siege M04 gaming mouse. These new peripherals are definitely new territory for the company and have decent specs on paper.
“We’re extremely excited to be introducing two brand new high-performance gaming-grade peripherals into the Sound BlasterX Pro-Gaming line. We’ve been here from the very beginning of PC gaming, and for three decades, Sound Blaster has broken boundaries with audio innovation and technologies. Our audio products have always provided a competitive edge for gamers in perceiving what’s going on around them in the game. But whether on the battlefield or race track, winning the game not only requires you to PERCEIVE precisely, but also to REACT quickly and EXECUTE actions effectively. So, we asked ourselves, why stop at just audio?” said Long Chye Low, General Manager of Creative.
Sound BlasterX Siege M04
The Sound BlaserX Siege M04 gaming mouse utilizes a PixArt LED sensor, has a polling rate of 1000Hz and a native 12,000 DPI. The 7 fully programmable buttons allow gamers to map different functions to each and store them on internal memory in the mouse for easy DPI switching on the fly. The left and right mouse buttons feature OMRON mechanical switches that are rated for up to 50 million clicks before they’ll wear out.
Highlights of the Sound BlasterX Siege M04:
PixArt PMW3360 IR LED precision gaming-grade sensor
- 32-bit high speed MCU with onboard memory
- 200 – 12,000 native DPI with programmable 3-level DPI switch
- 1000Hz polling rate for lag-free reaction and smooth glide across the screen
- No prediction, no acceleration for pinpoint precise movements
- Low 2mm lift-off distance eliminates unnecessary movements triggered by accident
- 7 fully programmable buttons, including sniper button and DPI switch with smart light indicators
- All-Edge Aurora Reactive lighting system with programmable lighting profiles is customizable up to 16.8 million colors
- Ergonomic right-handed design with non-slide matte surface and fingerprint resistant rubber-textured grip regions provide comfort and a secure grip
- Low-friction, large surfaced PTFE mouse feet for ultra smooth gliding
- Comes with a set of replaceable mouse feet
- Nylon braided USB cable with angled strain relief minimizes wear and tear
Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08
Like the Siege M04, Creative has partnered with OMRON for the custom mechanical switches in the Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 keyboard. The switches have been given the acronym PRES — Perceive-React-Execute Switch — and were professionally developed for high actions per minute gaming and high words per minute typing.
The PRES switches feature shorter 1.5mm pre-travel distance (the norm is 2mm) and a total travel distance of 3.5mm (the usual is 4mm). By shaving 0.5mm off the pre- and total travel distances, the keys can be activated 25% faster which translates into 12.5% more keypresses in the same time as using a keyboard with normal pre- and total travel distances. The custom switches also feature double cross-point contact technology to ensure precision even should one contact fail.
Other features include low-profile keycaps, 26-key rollover with anti-ghosting technology, 109 fully customizable keys, onboard media controls, a large rotary volume control, and customizable RGB backlighting.
Highlights of the Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08:
- Durable professionally-customized OMRON switches with double cross-point contact technology for over 70 million fail-safe keystrokes
- 45g actuation force and short 1.5mm pre-travel distance offers rapid-fire input – 25% faster and 12.5% more keypresses
- Responsive tactile switches offer a reliable and better actuation feel, but with quieter clicks for those who prefer a more silent approach to gaming
- 26-key rollover with anti-ghosting for reliable registration of inputs even in the most demanding game
- Low-profile Swift keycaps are ergonomically designed for better typing experience
- 109 fully customizable keys in US layout with onboard rotary volume and media controls
- Fully programmable, per-key backlighting with 16.8 million color Aurora Reactive lighting system
- High-speed USB pass-through port for convenient peripheral connectivity
- Adjustable height with sturdy extendable feet
- Comes with detachable wrist rest
The Sound BlasterX Siege M04 is available for $79.99USD, while the Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 is available for $159.99USD ($20 off the MSRP) — both exclusively on Creative.com. In addition, a Limited Edition Sound BlasterX Weapons Crate is available which includes the keyboard, mouse, and mousepad in a customized hard carry case. The Weapons Crate is limited to 200 units and will set you back $299.99USD.
We’ll have full reviews of the Siege M04 and Vanguard K08 up here on Techaeris in the next few weeks. In the meantime, let us know what you think about Creative branching out beyond audio accessories in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.Purchase Siege M04 Purchase Vanguard K08 Purchase Weapons Crate