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What will the Sound Blaster G5 do that the E5 won't?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by xenon-135, Dec 27, 2015.
  1. Xenon-135
  2. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    From the looks of it the E5 is a general all-rounder. It's certified for use with iOS and Android, so likely all you need is a data cable; the G5 will at the very least require the Lightning/30-pin to USB camera connector or a USB OTG adapter, but no guarantees they'll work. The E5 also has Bluetooth.
    The G5 is explicitly stated to work with consoles, although I'm not sure if the E5 totally doesn't. It seems to show the G5 working with a Playstation using USB, which likely means the DSP and surround virtualizer should work, but note that you might want to ask Creative to clarify that as well as whether using a converter to use the optical input on the E5 with a console will still use the DSP and SBX Pro. If the latter works, I'd say just spend the extra $50, at least you get BT with it along with Android and iOS compatibility, so you can easily use the E5 as a transmitter to a non-BT speaker (when you have a party for example) as well as move the E5 next to where your main rig is and hook it up to the mobile device as a music server for lossless audio transmission, then a line out to the amplifier.
  3. halcyon
    AFAIK, G5  works with XboxOne/ PS4 as stereo device only. Any sound sent via optical is stereo and any headphone virtualization from that is just basic gimmicky echo/reverb effects. Not true 3D positional audio.
    G5 for gaming consoles it not a true 5.1 sound card, so PS4 does not send 5.1 Dolby Digital bitstream to it, which would enable true positional 3D headphone audio.
    You only get good positional 3D headphone audio when the device is connected to a PC via USB.
    If you want 3D headphone virtualization positional audio from PS4 DD5.1 output, you need to buy Creative Sound Blaster X7, which can act as a DD5.1->SBX Studio Pro 3D headphone virtualization device when connect to digital ouput of PS4.
  4. halcyon
    Updating my post.

    Difference between Sound Blaster E5 and Sound BlasterX G5.
    E5 has the battery inside that G5 does not. This allows E5 to operate without additional power for up to 8 hours on its internal battery.

    G5 is seen as an outside PC as a 7.1. sound card. G5 can virtualize this sound with the SB-Axx1 chip to 3D positional headphone sound and can output it via the optical out (for an external DAC/AMP). Currently G5 can do this multichannel to headphone 3D sound virtualization thourgh USB/PC connection only. However, in a separate head-fi thread Creative rep has been quoted as saying that multichannel Dolby Digital input/decoding (for PS4) should be coming to G5 soon.
    E5 is seen by Windows and by other devices (like gaming consoles PS4, Xbox One) as a  stereo sound card, thus it can only input stereo, not multi-channel sound. Therefore it cannot do proper multichannel to SBX Studio Pro 3D headphone virtualization

    With the upcoming changes, G5 is the gamers choice for an external sound card:
     1. True 7.1 sound card (via USB to PC) (unlike E5)
     2. Can do SBX Studio Pro headphone virtualization to headphones (unlike E5)
     3. Can output virtualized headphone sound via digital output to an external DAC/AMP for improved sound (unlike X7)
     4. After the upcoming firmware / software upgrade, can take multichannel Dolby Digital 5.1 sound via digital input from gaming consoles (like PS4) (like X7 can do now)
    G5 is best all-around for multi-platform headphone sound card / amp for gamers (cf. either E5 or X7), imho.
    And it is the cheapest of them all :-D

    The only caveat is that G5 can't really drive that difficult to try or very low impedance headphones. It has a nominal output impedance of 2.2 Ohm, so it's preferable to use cans that are 32Ohm or higher with G5, if you amp them directly from the G5 headphone output. Comparatively X7 has near 1 Ohm headphone output, capable of driving lower Ohm cans. Also, G5 is USB-powered so can't drive any cans with huge voltage swings (X7 has a 24V external power supply). However, both of these points become moot, if you don't want the best of integrated headphone amping for gaming (X7) OR if you output your headphone signal to a proper external DAC/headphone amp combo. In the latter case, G5 becomes superior to X7 in every regard.
  5. me5dk
    I have registered just to post this:
    I have bought the e5 a few weeks ago. Creative have updated the drivers and the firmware of the e5. It works with PS4 with no problem. It is stereo with the console and the sound is great. It is stereo on a macintosh as well. On windows I get the sweet 7.1 and it sounds amazing and playing a game like Witchier 3 or TES 5 Skyrim it sounds as if I am inside the world.

    E5 sounds amazing with my iPad for watching movies, and listening the music, the sound is just incredibile.

    I get the impression that G5 is just a downgraded e5 that was rebranded and I reccomend to pay extra and go for the e5. It works with everything, that you throw at it.

    I use 200 ohm headphones with it.
  6. darknalel
    I registered just to respond to you! :)
    Are the updated drivers able to decode Dolby/DTS like the G5 does?  The G5 shows up as a 7.1 audio source, does the E5?  If so I am sold on the E5. 
  7. Dobrescu George
  8. me5dk
    On windows e5 shows up as 7.1 speaker system. Works great for movies and games.

    On Mac it shows up as stereo only.
  9. me5dk
    E5 works with creative sound central software.
  10. me5dk
    I believe that e5 cannot natively decode Dolby digital/dts (I think g5 cannot either) but windows outputs sound in 7.1 to the e5. And e5 creates virtual surround sound in your stereo headphones.

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