Consoles need better audio too, right? Well here’s the Sound Blaster G3 from Creative Labs. The G3 is a portable external USB-C DAC AMP that’s primarily aimed for use with consoles. You see, just because us OCN guys are PC Master Race, that doesn’t mean we don’t game on a console, we just don’t want to deal with bad sound.
Hey what’s up OCNers? I am bluedevil. Today we are gonna go back to audio basics with the Creative Labs Sound Blaster G3 AMP DAC. Thank you to Creative Labs for sending this with me while I was at CES so that I could take a more in depth look.
So it seems Creative Labs is adding to it’s crusade to better audio for all. We have covered the AE-9, a really high end PCIe based sound card with a breakout box. Then we looked at the X3, which is an external DAC AMP. Now the G3, which is also a DAC AMP, aims to allow console gamers to have better audio. Of course you still could use the G3 with a desktop and or laptop with its USB-C connection or in conjunction with the included USB-C to A adapter.
Opening the box and you are greeted with the G3 itself, the aforementioned USB-C to A adapter, a Mini-TOSLINK cable, and a bit of instructions. The G3 is mainly constructed of plastic with rubber feet on the bottom. The USB type C cable that comes out the top is about 3 inches long, giving a little flexibility in placement. The right hand side, which houses the volume knob and mixing volume switch, allows the user to customize the volume levels of Gamevoice chat audio as well as game audio. The left side is for mic controls, which has its own volume knob as well as a on/off switch. Located directly in the center of the G3, is the Footstep Enhancer mode button. I see this could be useful in games like Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, and online FPS multiplayer shooters. When the FootStep Enhancer is enabled the ring around the button will glow white. On the very bottom of the G3, are inputs for 3.5mm headphone and mic, as well as a dual function 3.5mm or Mini-TOSLINK input.
Specwise the G3 is capable of running 24-bit audio at 96kHz, having low and high gains for 16 to 300 ohm headphones. The dynamic range is limited to 100dB, but I wasn’t expecting the G3 to accel here. While Creative claims that the G3 can drive up to 300 ohm headphones, I did notice that the G3 was not as loud as the X3 or even the AE-9 that I had previously reviewed.
So kicking off some gaming, the game I have been into lately is Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. Trying out the Footsteps Enhancer, I noticed all it did was decrease the amount of bass and increase treble. Having the Footstep Enhancer to me, actually dulled the game. However with the Gamevoice Mix feature, I could really dial in how loud my in game chat and game should be. Another interesting way to control your audio experience, is the Sound Blaster Command App. Allowing you to control everything from your Android or iOS device, via bluetooth. Of course the Sound Blaster Command app is also available for PC as well.
So what did I find out with the SoundBlaster G3? Well in my testing, the G3 does pretty decent. But I will tell you to stray away from using the included USB Type C to USB type A adapter. Numbers from interference, noise, and stereo crosstalk, all looked pretty good no matter what connection I used. However, frequency response was poor no matter what I tried, as was also the case with the dynamic range. Here are the screenshots of my tests.
So in the end, is the G3 worth your $60 bucks? I would say if you are looking for a low cost DAC AMP solution for your game console, sure it’s easy to setup and does what Creative says it does. What about PC gamers though? Are there better sounding options out there? Absolutely. But most of those are more fiddly to setup and don’t have the versatility to work with game consoles.
So if you want to pick up the Creative Labs Sound Blaster G3, it's $59.99 on Amazon right now, as well as on Creative’s store, both will be linked below.
Thanks for sticking around to talk about the Creative Labs SoundBlaster G3, if you guys could be so kind to like and subscribe, that’d be great.
Creative Labs Store