First off, I’m not sure I follow Sound BlasterX’s naming conventions. We’ve previously reviewed the Sound BlasterX H7 and H5 Tournament Edition and here we are with the H6. At any rate, our Sound BlasterX H6 review takes a look at an affordable USB gaming headset which works for just about every gaming device out there, including PC, consoles, and mobile devices.
The Creative Sound BlasterX H6 USB Gaming Headset has the following features and specifications:
- Audio Processing: BlasterX Acoustic Engine
- Audio Drivers: 50mm FullSpectrum
- Headset Frequency Response: 20Hz ~ 20kHz
- Audio Technologies: Scout Mode
- Interface: USB, 3.5mm Stereo Input
- Frequency Response: 50Hz ~ 15kHz
- Sensitivity: -42dB
- Microphone Type: ClearComms Unidirectional Condenser Microphone
- Detachable: Yes
- Impedance: <2.2k ohms
- Supported Operating Systems: Windows® 7, Windows® 8, Windows® Vista, Windows® 8.1, Mac OS X v10.8 and above, Windows® 10
- Supported Gaming Consoles
- Xbox One™ via 3.5 mm 4-pole audio cable (With Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter)
- PlayStation® 4 via USB
- Nintendo Switch (no voice comms) via USB (Dock) and 3.5mm 4-pole audio cable (Console)
What’s in the box
- Sound BlasterX H6
- 2M USB Cable
- 1.5M 3.5mm Audio Cable
- Quick Start Leaflet
- Warranty Leaflets
- 1-year Limited Hardware Warranty
As far as gaming headsets go, the Sound BlasterX H6 is pretty basic and in line with many other gaming headsets out there. The hybrid headband features a faux leather wrapping around the top and edges, with a thin memory foam layer on the bottom. While fairly comfortable, the headband could use with a bit more padding for added comfort. At each end of the headband is a shiny black plastic cap into which the metal/plastic adjustment slider attaches to.
The outer ear cups are constructed of a pretty solid feeling black matte plastic. The ear cups attached to the headband by way of a circular outer ring. Centered on the face of each outer ring is the Sound BlasterX logo in gloss black. As such, it’s visible but not overbearing. On the outer edge of the face is an LED ring which, by default, illuminates in red when plugged in via USB. When on the PC, you can change the colours of the ring as well as the way it lights up which we’ll discuss in detail shortly.
On the left outer ear cup, you’ll find the various on-ear controls which include (from back to front) an Ambient Monitor button, volume dial, microphone mute/monitor button, 3.5mm audio port, Micro-USB port, ambient monitoring microphone, microphone port, and finally an equalizer button.
Behind the outer ear cup is an inner, ovalish plastic ear cup which has a bit of swivel and tilt. It’s not much but it seems to be enough to allow for a comfortable fit, at least in my case. On the other side of the inner ear cup, you’ll find the high-density memory foam earpads.
Each earpad is pretty thick and the fabric mesh wraps around the edges and the area which rests against your head. On the inside of each earpad is an L or R to indicate which ear that earcup is supposed to rest on.
The detachable microphone is about 6-inches long when connected to the headset. It features a reticulated arm which ends in a sturdy plastic boom mic with three mic slots on the inside and one on the outside.
The included cables are pretty long. The Micro-USB/USB-A cable is about 2 metres (~6 1/2 feet), while the 3.5mm cable is 1.5 metres (~5 feet) in length. While the length is great for whatever your usage needs are, both cables are plastic coated and therefore not as supple as fabric coated cables as seen on many other devices.
Overall, the design and construction of the Sound BlasterX H6 USB Gaming Headset are pretty solid. Barring any intentional abuse, the headset feels like it should last daily usage.
While you can use the Sound BlasterX H6 without any software, if you are using this headset with a PC, you’ll want to install the Sound Blaster Connect 2 software. The software is easy to navigate and allows you to modify various settings including:
- toggle between many different preset EQ settings
- fine tune sound including Surround, Crystalizer, Bass, Smart Volume, and Dialog settings
- adjust voice clarity of the microphone including Noise Reduction, Acoustic Echo Cancellation, and Smart Volume
- toggle lighting colours and presets between Solo, Pulsate, Music Reactive, and Cycle
- configure Stereo, 5.1, and 7.1 sound stages
- update the firmware on the H6
Again, you don’t need it as there are four EQ presets on the headset itself but it’s definitely useful for PC gaming and sound adjustment.
Creative has long been involved with PC audio and it shows with their products. Sound BlasterX devices are generally decent sounding, and the same holds true for the Sound BlasterX H6 Gaming Headset. With four EQ pre-sets on board and custom presets and equalization available in the Sound Blaster Connect app, you can fine-tune your audio for gaming, movies, music, or anything else.
Of course, the sound was best on PC with its virtual 7.1 surround sound feature, as well as Scout mode for shooters. The headset sounded decent on the Xbox One X as well, especially when used with Windows Sonic for virtual 7.1 surround sound. On the Nintendo Switch and mobile devices, however, your relegated to stereo sound, albeit pretty decent still
Audio is pretty balanced when gaming, listing to music, or watching movies regardless of device. The headphones do go quite loud and when listened to at higher volumes, the bass does tend to be a bit punchier and the highs tend to get a bit piercing. Personally, I found 50% volume to be plenty loud for both gaming and music listening.
The headset also has an Ambient Monitor function. When the Ambient Monitor button on the left earcup is pressed, it’s supposed to toggle Ambient Monitor mode which allows you to list to surrounding sounds in addition to whatever your source is outputting. Unfortunately, it never worked properly in our testing. When pressed, the computer or console audio would just cut out completely and surrounding sounds would be amplified. So while it ended up being a quick mute button for your device audio, it doesn’t really work how the instructions indicate it should. I did do a quick Google search on the issue and it seems to be an issue with the headset, according to at least a couple of other reviews.
Of course, you can definitely improve the sound quality using the Sound BlasterX G6 portable DAC as well. A quick test with the G6 and the H6 definitely improves the sound quality across gaming, music, and movies.
When used with a PC, the voice quality seemed pretty clear. During our test games while using the Sound BlasterX H6, the other members of my party didn’t complain about not being able to hear me and said I sounded pretty clear. In addition, the headset does have mic monitoring which can easily be enabled or disabled by holding the mic mute button on the left ear cup for about two seconds.
Unfortunately, we were unable to test out voice quality on the Xbox One X or the Nintendo Switch as it is not supported on those two devices.
With an MSRP of US$79.99, the Sound BlasterX H6 USB Gaming Headset is a pretty decent deal. Right now, it’s on sale for $49.99 on the Creative website which really is a steal.
If you’re looking for an affordable, decent-sounding gaming headset that you can use on your PC, console, and mobile device, the Sound BlasterX H6 USB Gaming Headset is definitely worth considering, especially given its current sale price.
*We were sent a sample of the Creative Sound BlasterX H6 USB Gaming Headset for the purposes of this review.
Sound BlasterX H6 USB Gaming HeadsetUS$79.99
- Lightweight design
- Decent sound, especially on PC
- Customizable RGB lighting
- Clear voice quality with mic monitoring on PC
- Super affordable
- Works on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices
- On board EQ presets
- On ear controls
- No voice on Nintendo Switch
- Bass is a bit too punchy on some systems
- When Ambient Monitor is on, game sound cuts out completely
- Headband could use a bit more padding