Creative Technology Ltd. has revealed a broad range of gaming peripherals at CES, under its well-known Sound Blaster brand. Products include speakers, a gaming mouse and keyboard, and an external surround sound adapter and headphone amp.
The Sound BlasterX Katana ($299.99 USD) is described as a Hi-Res 24-bit Under-Monitor Audio System. It's Creative's first to include the company's latest multi-core audio DSP, and incorporates its own Sound Blaster sound card/DAC to produce 24-bit audio. The BlasterX Acoustic Engine is included, as is a Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder.
The unit boasts 150W peak audio power, based on a tri-amplified design. Speakers are each individually powered by a DSP-controlled amplifier, and include 2 up-firing midbass drivers, 2 high-excursion tweeters and a long-throw subwoofer.
The BlasterX Katana is designed particularly with multi-monitor setups. Connectivity includes USB, USB flash drive, optical, Bluetooth and AUX. Also included is Creative's Aurora Reactive lighting system, capable of creating 16.8 colors of ambient illumination.
The Sound BlasterX Kratos S5 ($159.99 USD) is a 2.1 wood-enclosed speaker system that can play up to 7.1 surround sound and 24-bit/96KHz audio. It features 120W peak power, driving two 4-inch satellites and a 6.5-inch down-firing subwoofer. It allows customizable audio enhancements, and includes the Aurora Reactive lighting system.
The Sound BlasterX H7 Tournament Edition ($159.99 USD) is an evolution of Creative's 7.1 surround sound headset. It features improved 50mm FullSpectrum drivers, a redesigned detachable microphone, new brushed-metal earcup plates and a dark gun-metal finish with red accents. In USB mode, it's hardware-programmable, without additional software, to emphasize game cues. In analog mode, it offers a more balanced, natural sound.
The Sound BlasterX H5 Tournament Edition ($129.99 USD) is a similar headset, which operates only in the analog mode.
The Sound BlasterX G5 ($149.99 USD) is a 7.1 HD audio external sound card and headphone amp. It features a high-resolution 24-bit/192KHz 120dB USB DAC, and a headphone amplifier with 2.2ohm output impedance. It's said to be capable of driving in-ear monitors or studio-grade headphones up to 600ohms.
Internally, the Sound BlasterX G5 has an SB-Axx1 multi-core audio processor supporting hardware-accelerated audio enhancements and 3D positional surround sound. Users can store up to 3 custom audio profiles in the device, an advantage when playing in tournaments. The unit supports multi-channel input, and delivers 7.1 audio for accurate spatial positioning of gaming cues.
The pocket-sized Sound BlasterX G5 works with PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and mobile devices. It's got an illuminated volume control knob, plus dedicated Audio Profile and Scout Mode buttons, for quick adjustment during games. A pass-through USB port allows connection of other peripherals, such as mouse keyboard.
The Sound BlasterX Siege M04 ($79.99 USD) is a precision gaming mouse, built around a PixArt PMW3360 IR LED sensor and a 32-bit high-speed MCU, supporting a polling rate of 1000Hz and 12,000dpi native resolution.
Physically, the mouse offers 7 fully-programmable buttons, including a dedicated ‘sniper' button and a 3-level DPI switch for switching resolution on the fly. Internal memory can store settings for DPI, polling rate, lighting profiles and button assignments. Left and right primary buttons use Omron mechanical switches, rated for up to 50 million clicks.
The shape of the Sound BlasterX Siege M04 is optimized for right-handed use, with either a palm or claw grip. Large-surface PTFE feet ensure smooth movement. An arrangement of 11 independed LED segments provide All-Edge Light Display, and support the Creative Aurora Reactive lighting system.
The Sound BlasterX Vanguard K08 ($179.99 USD) is a high-performance mechanical gaming keyboard. It features custom PRES (Perceive-React-Execute-Switch) switches, manufactured and co-designed by Omron, for fast gaming action or high words-per-minute typing. Lifetime is rated at 70 million actuations. Actuation force is 45g.
Creative notes that the PRES switches have a pre-actuation travel of 1.5mm and a total travel of 3.5mm, compared to the standard 2.0mm and 4.0mm. This lets them activate 25% faster. Low-profile keycaps further support fast input, and 26-key rollover and anti-ghosting technology cuts lag time.
Most of the new peripherals are available now. The Sound BlasterX Kratos and Sound BlasterX H7 Tournament Edition will launch in February.