By Erika Lentz
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Gaming requires skill and concentration, and it’s hard to focus if you can’t even hear the game well. Many gamers choose headsets to resolve this issue. There are headsets out there designed to please any audiophile. There are also headsets that work better for certain games than others. There are headsets designed with special features in mind, like bass or surround sound, as well.
But sometimes, even these top-notch headsets aren’t enough. One product gamers have begun to use to help with this is the headphone amplifier, or amp for short. The Sound Blaster G6 is a fantastic example of a great amp. Though it has its faults like any other gaming product, this amp is a great choice for many gamers. It has great sound quality, is very easy to use, and has awesome features like sound customization, Scout Mode, and SBX Pro Studio to give you the best gaming experience possible.
10. Con: Short Cables
Though it isn’t necessarily a great thing to have cables that are several feet long, you still want a cable that is long enough for you to comfortably place your amp anywhere on your desk. With the Sound Blaster G6, you may have slight difficulty finding a good spot to lay it down. This amp has a cable that is rather short. This means that you may need to lay it on your lap or sit closer to the screen, which can affect your vision.
Of course, you can always look into getting an extension cable. But, like with any extension cable, this can cause connection issues on occasion. This also just adds an additional cost that some people may either not be able to afford or just simply don’t want to spend.
9. Pro: Great Value
Most high-end amplifiers are going to cost you hundreds if not more. This is pretty daunting but doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. With the Sound Blaster G6, you get a superior quality amp without having to break the bank. In fact, you can get this amp for slightly less than $150. At this lower than average price, you get great sound quality and an easy to use amp that make it a great choice for many gamers.
8. Con: Price May Still Be Too High for Some
However, an amp nearing almost $150 may still be a little out of some people’s price range. In general, gamers don’t mind spending a good chunk of money on decent gaming equipment. But this price may seem like overkill to more casual gamers. So, this amp may be more geared to serious gamers and audiophiles instead.
7. Pro: Customization Via Sound Blaster Connect 2
The Sound Blaster G6 works with Sound Blaster’s Connect 2 software. This software lets you customize various audio options so you can have the exact gaming experience you’re looking for. You can save these configurations so that you don’t have to set your audio options every time. This gives you the perfect gaming experience that is 100% customized to work for you.
Many gamers love having audio customization options like this. It goes along the same reasoning as those who seek out certain types of headsets, like those with heavy bass or surround sound. People enjoy these customization options because it just makes the game so much more immersive and personal.
6. Con: Sound Customization on PC Only
The Sound Blaster Connect 2 software is available on multiple devices to allow you to control the Sound Blaster G6. However, when using this software on a mobile device, the features are limited. You are able to control it somewhat but the Sound Blaster Connect 2 software does not support audio customization on mobile devices. Unfortunately, there are no Android or iPhone apps available for this software. There are also no mac supports so you won’t be able to use certain features on Apple computers. You can, however, use these audio configuration features on a regular PC.
5. Pro: SBX and Scout Modes
The Sound Blaster G6 has multiple features to help enhance audio quality and give you the ultimate gaming experience. First, it is designed with the SBX Studio Pro which gives you complete control over the audio quality. This lets you adjust various settings so that the G6 works perfectly for you. The SBX has a ton of easy to use controls and is very user-friendly.
In addition, the G6 also has a special Scout Mode to really ramp up the audio experience. Scout Mode enhances various in-game cues, like footsteps or weapon switching sound effects, so that you always know exactly what’s going on around you. This is extremely helpful in combat since it clues you in on everything your enemies and teammates are doing.
4. Con: Xbox Party Chat Issues
You are able to use the Sound Blaster G6 with Xbox party chat. However, there are a few more steps involved than there would be with your typical audio source. In order to use the G6 with Xbox party chat, you first need to connect it to a PC via USB cable while the PC runs the Xbox app with party chat open. This is more steps than many people like to take and it leaves more room for error. That said, audio quality is not affected once you do get it hooked up.
When using this work around for party chat, you will still need to access game audio through the Xbox with an optical connection. So, there will be multiple devices involved here whereas other audio devices would simply be plug and play.
3. Pro: Sound Performance
Though the Sound Blaster G6 may require a few extra steps for audio hookup, the sound performance makes it totally worth the hassle. It produces high resolution audio, giving you the ultimate sound quality for gaming. Though it is absolutely not recommended to blast the audio as loud as it can go, for fear of damaging your hearing over the long term, it is still nice to know that the amp can handle it. The Sound Blaster G6 has a decibel (dB) level of 130, whereas you could easily get away with less than 100 dB for most games. This means that it has way more than the minimum requirement and guarantees that you’ll hear everything going on around your character. This is a 32-bit, 384 kHz audio system.
In addition, this amp also has 7.1 virtual surround sound and Dolby Digital. Surround sound is critical for immersive gaming as it gives you a sense of 3D in audio quality. Rather than a “flat” audio sound, where everything seems to blend together in one plane, surround sound gives you the ability to hear sounds and pinpoint their direction. It’s as if you are actually in the game. Dolby Digital, on the other hand, is an audio technology used to reduce the amount of data that the system needs to produce amazing sound quality. This gives you even better surround sound quality and a more efficient use of bandwidth.
2. Con: Looks Outdated Compared to Modern Amps
The Sound Blaster G6 was originally released in August 2018, making it still relatively new. Despite this, it does look a little outdated compared to other modern amplifiers. It has a mostly silver frame with audio jacks and other controls along the side. If you are one of those gamers that focuses heavily on looks, then this may not be the best amp for you. It has great sound quality but it may stick out among your other high-tech gaming equipment.
1. Pro: Small and Portable
That said, the Sound Blaster G6 is very easy to transport. Despite its high-quality audio, it is actually quite small. This amp weighs a little over 7 ounces and is less than the size of a single ear cup on your headset. Again, it also has very short cables. Though this can create an issue in finding a good spot to lay it down while gaming, short cables do also mean that the device is very portable. You will have no issue moving it from one location to the next or even using it on the go.
Audio is a significant part of the gaming experience. Not only is it much more fun to game when you have great audio to listen to but audio can seriously impact your performance. A good amplifier can help you hear everything going on around you, customize audio settings to your liking, and feel much more immersed in your game. The Sound Blaster G6 doesn’t come without its faults. It has short cables and can be a little finicky with certain audio options. That being said, this is a great choice of amp that provides fantastic sound quality at a great value and it is very user-friendly. Any gamer would benefit from this amp no matter what kind of gamer you are or what game you’re playing.