The Creative GC7 Is Compact and Looks Like a Miniature Mixer
Creative SoundBlaster GC7 is a lightweight DAC / AMP that can be placed anywhere on the desktop without taking up space. It’s about 170mm wide, 114mm deep, and just 43mm tall, which is not a behemoth for gaming audio gear.
GC7 looks a lot like a basic mixer, you can find it in the home of a beginning DJ, hoping to learn how to mix without spending a lot of money. The two main knobs on the left control the overall volume of the device, and the ones on the right can switch between game audio and voice volume. The second dial, called the GameVoice Mix Control Knob, is actually a very convenient way to quickly adjust the volume as you play.
Instead of pressing ALT + Tab on the desktop and manually adjusting Discord, you can tweak the GameVoice Mix Control to find the best position between friend chat and game audio.
Four customizable color quick change buttons are also a nice addition to the mixer atmosphere. Just like searching for sound effects or the next track, you can click the button to switch to the next audio mode, open a specific program, play or pause music, etc. With the Creative desktop application, you can customize Creative SoundBlaster GC7 to suit your needs.
In the middle of the two audio dials is the third knob, surrounded by five buttons, which can easily control the surround sound, bass, treble and microphone gain. In addition, you can use the SXFI button to switch between GC7’s onboard audio holographic modes, but we will discuss these later. The knob and its surround buttons include a small digital display that indicates your current output level.
The Creative SoundBlaster GC7 Has Lots of Input and Output Options
As it has PC, console and smartphone connection options, you can use GC7 USB DAC / AMP as your central audio control center. You can connect up to four different audio output devices to the Creative SoundBlaster GC7, which is impressive considering its size.
During the test, I have a pair of speakers connected through the USBC port, another pair of speakers connected through the line out, and my headphones are connected through the 3.5 mm jack port on the front of the GC7. After filling each audio output (optical output is not included, but this is another useful option), you can switch between them using the PC/console/mobile switch on the back of the DAC.
This is a painless process. GC7 makes it easy to manage multiple audio inputs and outputs. However, it is not suitable for all players and presenters, especially those who use very professional recording equipment, because there is no RCA turntable or XLR support.
But for gamers, the relatively inexpensive desktop USB DAC / AMP, GC7 is a good choice, making it a tool, you can not only use it to stream media.
A Plug and Play “Audiophile-Class” Desktop DAC For Gamers and Streamers
Creative touts the GC7 as a “fever-grade DAC.” What they mean is that GC7 has a very low noise floor of 120dB, which should reduce any interference from hardware when streaming, listening to music, or other situations. In addition, GC7 can transmit audio at speeds up to 24 bits/192 kHz, providing high-resolution audio for compatible devices with a maximum dynamic range of 114 dB.
GC7 has two built-in digital signal processors (DSP) and Creative’s UltraDSP chip that supports the GC7 audio enhancement kit.
Audio features include:
- Crystalizer: Analyze audio streams in real time, especially music, to control and increase dynamic range to provide “a more realistic and influential audio experience.”
- Acoustic Engine: The acoustic engine tunes your in-game sound in an attempt to add more depth and realism to the audio you hear.
- Super X-Fi: One of Creative’s most recent innovations, SFXI creates a custom audio profile using a scan taken via the companion SXFI App (available for iOS and Android).
- Smart Volume: The smart volume GC7 keeps the audio output at a constant level. You will still hear a big bang, but other sounds will normalize to standard levels. When you’re gaming, it can help you spot audio prompts that you might miss.
GC7 also supports virtual 7.1 surround sound in headphones and speakers, using Dolby audio decoding to provide a complete surround sound experience. Unsurprisingly, the output here is almost perfect, and the Dolby virtual surround sound experience provided by the GC7 DAC is excellent.
Even with all the features and audio processing technology available in the GC7, it is still a very simple set of tools. You put it on your desk, connect your audio hardware to various inputs and outputs, and then you can go. The simplicity of a desktop USB DAC of this nature should not be overlooked.
GC7 SFXI Battle Mode Is Excellent for Gamers
Creative has injected gaming features into the GC7 DAC, from Sound Blaster’s famous Scout Mode to the quick switch button that can change audio mode, and then to the aforementioned GameVoice Mix Control.
To get the most out of GC7, you need to spend some time experimenting with your gaming options and figuring out the best way for you.
The main audio options for gamers come in the form of SXFI combat mode and creative recognition mode. Scout mode has been around for a while, but in short, it’s an audio mode that can highlight specific audio cues and details throughout the game, trying to give you an advantage over your opponents.
For example, in “Battlefield 5”, you will hear exactly where your opponent is approaching, and their footsteps are a clear sign that they are about to launch an attack, or you will hear nearby guards speaking as you enter. location before. However, it has a limited effect on other types of games. In environments like Factorio, ambient audio and location perception are not important, and Scout mode cannot provide the same audio benefits.
SFXI Battle Mode Feels Like Cheating
But when recognition mode improves and clears ambient noise, Creative’s other audio directly enhances the feeling of cheating, you can identify enemy shots from a so precisely. Always at least half a step first.
If you are already good at first-person shooter (FPS) games, then the SXFI combat mode is indeed a significant advantage. Combining existing dexterity, map knowledge, weapon drops, etc., accurately knowing his location before the opponent appears is everything.
Even if you perform poorly in online FPS games like me, you can still beat your competitors from time to time for extra comfort. To be honest, it makes fast-paced FPS online gaming a more enjoyable experience for me, an environment that I usually avoid or try to find in cooperative mode.
One thing to note is that SXFI combat mode and scanning mode cannot be used at the same time. Although GC7 has dual DSPs, combat mode and scan mode use different and incompatible processing technologies.
The GC7 USB Gives You Gaming Edge, But Is It Worth the Money?
Creative GC7 is great ( Check Latest price at Amazon. ). It combines high-performance audio output with booming gaming, and best of all, it’s super easy to use. Creativity even makes it easy to load SXFI head scan configuration files, which is another bonus.
But you should note that the GC7 DAC is not an evolution of the popular Sound BlasterX G6 DAC. This conversation does not involve CG7 and CG7. G6, because simply put, they are designed for different markets. The G6 itself is an excellent DAC that provides excellent 32-bit / 384 kHz audio, but you won’t be paying the same attention to gaming as you would with GC7.
So the next big problem is cost. What is the price of GC7 DAC and is it worth the price?
170 USD, Creative Sound Blaster GC7 DAC / AMP is worth buying ( Check Latest price at Amazon. ).
However, you will find it difficult to find a quality like GC7 elsewhere, especially due to the additional audio processing tools and options that the DAC offers. You can definitely find a cheaper USB desktop DAC. definitely. However, for a superior audio experience, advantages in your favorite games and general ease of use on multiple devices, Creative GC7 DAC is your best option.