With USB Type-C getting more popular as an audio interface, there’s a growing need for external DACs. USB-C to 3.5mm “converters” are popping up everywhere, and where there’s a market there’s a high-end market. The Creative Sound Blaster G3 is a gaming-focused USB-C DAC and amp that’s plug and play on both the PS4 (with a passive USB Type-C to Type-A adapter) and the Nintendo Switch. Audiophile-grade headphones are supported with an ability to drive up to a 300 ohm impedance.
Meet the Creative Sound Blaster G3
Most noticeable in the center of the Creative Sound Blaster G3 is a great big button with a light around it.
This button activates Creative’s “Footsteps Enhancer”, an EQ setting that aims to make footstep noises louder in games where that gives an advantage. The EQ is customisable and features profiles for games including Fortnite, CoD: Infinite Warfare and Overwatch. This feature is platform independent and works on PS4, Switch, Mac and PC.
Looking at the ports, there are three ports – the expected headphone and mic jacks, but also a 3.5mm combination optical and line in.
This port lets you give the Sound Blaster G3 two audio inputs: one from USB, and one from either analogue line in or the included digital optical cable. This is what enables Creative’s “GameVoice” technology. I was wondering how GameVoice works when I first saw it – this is how. After following a multi-step configuration process detailed on Creative’s website, you can get game audio on the optical/line in port and voice audio over USB. This then lets the Sound Blaster G3 mix the two sources, and you can control this mix with the volume wheel in mixing mode. Unfortunately this feature isn’t supported on the Switch, but does work on the PS4 as well as PC and Mac.
|Headphone Inputs||USB Type-C for voice audio, 3.5mm line in/optical for game audio|
|USB Connector||Type-C (Type-C to Type-A adapter included)|
|Power||USB bus powered, 5 watts (1A@5V)|
|Controls||Mic Mute, Mic Volume, GameVoice/Volume Toggle, GameVoice/Volume Control, Footsteps Enhancer button|
|Surround Sound||Virtual up to 7.1|
|Impedance||16-63 ohms low gain, 64-300 ohms high gain|
|DAC spec||100dB Dynamic Range, 16-bit/24-bit resolution, 48kHz/96kHz sample rate|
|Features||Footsteps Enhancer EQ, CrystalVoice smart volume, GameVoice mixer, BLE remote control from iOS or Android|
|Accessories||USB Type-C to Type-A adapter, 1m optical cable|
|Platform||Sony PS4, Nintendo Switch, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10, Apple Mac OS|
|Warranty||2-year limited warranty|