Creative Sound Blaster Arena Surround USB Gaming Headset
A soundcard and headset combo which is comfortable to wear but feels flimsy and cheap
- Comfortable, good sound quality, nice software features
- Flimsy build, wobbly microphone
Creative's Sound Blaster Arena Surround USB Gaming Headset is two products in one -- a pair of headphones and a soundcard -- at a reasonable price. It's a good buy.
Price$ 169.95 (AUD)
Creative’s latest foray into the headphone market, the Sound Blaster Arena Surround USB Headset, offers the features of a Sound Blaster sound card — such as X-Fi, Silencer, EAX and VoiceFX audio technologies — in a comfortable headset.
The headphones are attractively designed, with black pleather over the ears and on top of the headband and white plastic for everything in between. Unfortunately the build quality leaves something to be desired, with the plastic feeling thin, flimsy and cheap. The in-line controls include a microphone on/off switch and volume buttons. A circular red LED pulses slowly when the microphone is off and stays solid when it’s on. It’s also worth noting that the volume controls will change the system volume directly, which helps streamline things.
As the headset is aimed at the serious gamer, it also comes with a detachable noise-cancelling microphone that can be rotated upwards when not in use. While the microphone is a welcome addition, it felt a little bit too flimsy and was prone to swinging around and smacking us in the face with any sudden head turns. Gamers who will be staring straight ahead for the majority of their time with the headphones may find this only a minor gripe, however.
The Sound Blaster Arena Surround Headset was comfortable to wear for several hours of music listening and sounded good out of the box when we listened to a selection of tunes from different genres that had a variety of bass levels. After installing the included software, however, sound quality improved noticeably, with heavier bass and a more obvious surround effect thanks to the software’s audio adjustment options.
The accompanying software includes Creative MediaSource 5 — a media converter and organiser — and a trial of Creative Media Toolbox 6 which can be used to tag, record and clean up music by removing noise, hisses and pops. The Creative Entertainment Console is where you’ll find all the options for EAX effects, X-Fi surround and clarity controls, as well as microphone effects such as voice distortion and noise cancellation.
The Sound Blaster Arena Surround USB Gaming Headset is available now for a recommended retail price of $169.95, which, considering you’re paying for a USB soundcard and a comfortable and good quality pair of headphones, seems pretty reasonable.
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 2 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
- 3 Huawei GR5 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 4 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 5 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Settings in iOS 10: Every notable change you need to know
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Toshiba's new SSD line features rock-bottom pricing
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
PCW Evaluation Team
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
- LG G6 Plus: Full, in-depth review
- MSI GE73 VR Raider Gaming Laptop review
- First Look: Nikon D850
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - Online PokerNSW
- FTInfrastructure Project ManagerOther
- TPSQL Database AdministratorQLD
- FTTest Data Management ConsultantVIC
- FTSales/Account Manager - Network & Unified CommunicationNSW
- CCXamarin Mobile DeveloperVIC
- FTNetwork Infrastructure Development EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Security ConsultantQLD
- FTBiztalk DeveloperSA
- CCSenior Java Developer - BRISBANE BASEDNSW
- FTBI Service Operations LeadOther
- FTCyber Security Project ManagerOther
- CCSupport Engineer - Linux, AIX & SolarisNSW
- FTPlanner - Network Planning and Strategy (Telco Environment)Other
- CCMiddleware SpecialistNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCMicrosoft Systems AdministratorVIC
- FTSalesforce - MarketingOther
- FTBusiness Intelligence DeveloperSA
- FTe-Learning Instructional DesignerOther
- CCSenior Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- CCProject Coordinator - PMO / Telco Exp - 6 mth contract - Nth SydneyNSW
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT
- FTProcess Specialist x 2Other
- CCSenior Marketing SpecialistVIC