Creative Sound Blaster GC7 Review - A Feature-Packed USB Sound Card 5

Creative Sound Blaster GC7 Review - A Feature-Packed USB Sound Card

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Introduction

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Creative advertises their $170/€150 Sound Blaster GC7 as a "game streaming USB DAC and amp." Don't be confused by this clumsy description—the Sound Blaster GC7 is a feature-packed external stereo USB sound card equipped with a headphone amplifier and full set of onboard controls that can be used to adjust many of its features without touching the software. This is where the "game streaming" part of the sound card's description comes into play. Creative obviously wants to emphasize that the built-in controls are especially suited for streamers, who generally strive to keep most of their controls under their fingertips rather than scattered across various software menus.



While the Sound Blaster GC7 won't replace your Stream Deck, it does give you more control than you'd get from any other USB sound card on the market. It's important to look beyond its built-in buttons and knobs, though. The Sound Blaster GC7 also offers a number of media and gaming-oriented features, such as the Super X-Fi and Super X-Fi Battle Mode surround sound tech and versatile connectivity. It officially supports Windows and macOS computers, PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices. Thanks to the integrated Bluetooth connectivity, it can be controlled through a mobile app, making its features available and usable on platforms other than PC, which usually isn't the case with external USB sound cards. This is one of the more interesting sound cards to hit the market, with a lot to unpack, so let's get on with the good stuff!

Specifications

Creative Sound Blaster GC7
DAC
Playback Resolution (Stereo): PCM 16/24-bit / 48/96/192 kHz

Playback Resolution (Optical Out): PCM 16/24-bit / 48 kHz
Headphone AmplifierMaxim MAX97220A, 32–300 Ω
Signal-to-Noise (SNR) / Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)125 dB / ~0,0005%
ADC (Mic-In) Dynamic Range114 dB, THD+N: 0.0006%
Recording Quality
Line-in: 16/24-bit / 48/96/192 kHz

Mic-in: 16/24-bit / 48/96/192 kHz

Optical In: 16/24-bit / 48/96/192 kHz
Outputs1x optical (TOSLINK), 1x 3.5-mm linear, and 1x 3.5-mm headphone
InputsUSB-C, 1x optical (TOSLINK), 1x 3.5-mm linear, 1x 3.5-mm microphone, and 1x 3.5-mm AUX
Dimensions & Weight47x114x173 mm, 280 g
Supported PlatformsPC, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and Android
PowerUSB-C
ExtrasMaster volume dial, GameVoice Mix dial, 4x custom buttons, and EFX Control Panel
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