Sound BlasterX G6 Vs FiiO K5 Pro

Spending more on a good pair of headphones requires you to spend on a good headphone amp or DAC combos like Sound BlasterX G6 Vs FiiO K5 Pro. These headphone amps are necessary to drive your cans and make the best listening experience. Both models are top-rated, and they work well with some notable differences. If you want to invest in one, let’s see what they can offer below.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • What is DAC and Headphone Amp
  • What are Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro
  • How are the Units of Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro
  • How are the Setups for Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro
  • How is the Sound Quality of Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro
  • What the Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro can Power
  • What else Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro can offer
  • Sound BlasterX G6 Vs FiiO K5 Pro

DAC and Headphone Amp

Listening to music is a great way to kill time, and for most people, it is a fun way to enjoy whatever you are doing now. Whether you listen to it while doing homework, finishing a report, playing video games, or watching movies, the primary audio source we have today is in digital form. The file is stored on your device or through a streaming service. Because our ears can’t understand the computer’s language, they put a DAC inside. The function of DAC is to convert the digital form of your audio into an analog signal.

This analog signal goes through our headphones, speakers, or earbuds like Final E4000 Vs 1More Quad Driver and to our ears. Every time the conversion process happens, there will be distortion and noise as a by-product. In many consumer-level devices, a DAC is not on the list of their most crucial hardware, so an external DAC can be necessary if your headphone picks up any weird noise from the machine. Both audiophiles and gamers use external DAC for the same reason; improved audio quality.

Besides DAC, there is also a headphone amp which often comes with DAC as a combo device. But, they have different purposes because the headphone amp is to help drive your headphones to their proper performance. Most compact media players don’t have enough power to drive high-end headphones or IEMs, so a headphone amp provides the required specs to make it work optimally. You can check the headphone’s impedance, and if it is higher than 50 ohms, then an amp can be beneficial, and it is a must for anything above 100 ohms.

 Sound BlasterX G6 FiiO K5 Pro
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Product Dimensions4.37 x 0.94 x 2.76 inches
4.72 x 1.97 x 5.12 inches
Shipping Weight5.1 ounces 15.4 ounces

About Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro

If you only use the earbuds coming with the smartphone or models optimized for a compact device, then it is most likely that you won’t need an amp. But, it is wise having one for you with audiophile headphones or when the DAC in the machine doesn’t work as you wish. Both music listeners and gamers can use the device to gain the same benefits. It is convenient to check the popular options, but the rest of your setup will make the most accurate decision.

Since you are here, we assume that you are currently looking for a gaming DAC or amp combo. There are plenty of models with this labeling to always count on them. Getting a “gaming” model seems not a good idea for audiophiles, but there are many good options, such as the Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro. We are sure most enthusiasts are already familiar with FiiO because this is one of the leading players in audio tech.

Sound BlasterX G6 is a DAC combo from Creative, well-known for its general consumer audio gears. This model is currently cheaper than K5 Pro and is often recommended if you are going for the latter because the G6 arguably gives more value. This device can elevate your listening experience, and what’s best is it doesn’t only work for gamers but casual music listeners. However, the K5 Pro also has its charm besides coming from a famous company.

The FiiO K5 Pro is an excellent DAC combo with straightforward features. While some may want more from their product, some users prefer simplicity, and we think the K5 Pro is a perfect option for most people. But, we recommend the G6 because it is easy to work with, and if you use a headset with a separate cable for a microphone, it is noticeably cheaper.

Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro Design

Let’s see the unit before checking what they can offer, and upon first looking at the G6, you will get why it is cheaper. The product has a brushed aluminum finish, but the housing itself is plastic for most parts. The SoundBlasterXX Logo is printed on top, making the overall look like a gaming peripheral. Arguably it is not as aesthetically pleasing as the K5 Pro, but it is not a big deal to us. The I/Os are on the back and front, while the buttons are on the side.

The K5 Pro may look like a brick, but it is very light, making it feel cheaper than the actual price. The material is metal, probably aluminum which explains the weight. It is a delightful-looking DAC combo with very little to mess with. Like G6, the I/Os are on the front and rear panel, but it houses two switches on the front panel. Unlike G6, the K5 Pro uses separate power, so you will always connect it to dedicated power and not just via USB.

Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro Setups

The separate power also makes Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro pretty different in setup options. The Sound BlasterX G6 only requires power through USB, so if you are playing on a PlayStation using USB, it is practically plug-and-play. With K5 Pro, users will have to connect to another power source to make it work. But, for the Xbox, we may need to use the optical cable to make the G6 function properly. Thankfully the consoles can instantly recognize the DAC combos, so we don’t need to tweak the settings.

They work with computers without any issue, but some people may want to use G6 with their smartphones due to the USB power. It is possible to use the G6 with a smartphone, but you will need bus power if you choose 3.5mm to 3.5mm. Micro USB to micro USB is possible to do, but it will drain the device’s battery very quickly, so we don’t think the latter is a wise choice.

Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro Sound Quality

Next, let’s check the most important point of having a DAC combo in your setup: sound quality. Quality-wise they are impressive, the Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro won’t make your audio file sound weird or worse, but they need the high-quality file to deliver the best performance. Both models sound very similar, with K5 Pro being slightly on the warm side, and if we have to choose, the G6’s sound is closer to neutral.

We love that they don’t unnecessarily color the sound to a particular character but boost clarity and overall quality. The two are close to each other in terms of experience, and we think your headphone choice will play a more significant role in affecting the experience. What makes us prefer G6 more is they provide software for this device which is excellent for users who will hook it to the computer and unearth more personalization through the EQ.

Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro Power

As for the power, both Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro are impressive and versatile. You will read that FiiO K5 Pro recommends the headphone up to 300 ohms, but in practice, it can power higher impedance; it seems the DAC combo is fine with Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro, AKG K240, and many more. The G6 list can drive 16 to 600 Ohms headphones, and it is not surprising to see it push Sennheiser GSP 600 and HD 600 with no issue.

Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro Features

Next, let’s see Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro features. The most noticeable is a microphone input in G6. It is an excellent feature if you have a separate microphone for streaming or a headset with a separate jack. But, most of the time, we only use a headset with the headphone jack, and the mic works with this setup. Unfortunately, when plugged into a separate port, many find their microphone quality underwhelming, so it is probably not for everyone.

Another common feature in these DAC combos is a gain switch to match the headphones’ requirement. Usually, for headphones that are about 100 ohms, the lower gain level is sufficient. The K5 Pro has a switch for input options so remember to select the current input you use. For gaming purposes, G6 has a Scout feature that allows you to hear better details like footsteps and gunfire sound as the soundstage is better in this mode. Additionally, the SBX button is for surround sound.

Sound BlasterX G6 Vs FiiO K5 Pro

Both Sound BlasterX G6 and FiiO K5 Pro are good DAC combos whether you are an audiophile or gamer. The G6 sounds slightly more neutral than K5 Pro, but the difference is negligible because the overall sound quality is very similar in the clarity and soundstage. The G6 offers more for the price point because it is equally versatile and even more straightforward because it uses USB for power. The G6 also provides more sound modes and has software to tweak further.

- Apart from incredible audio quality, the Sound BlasterX G6 boasts gaming-centric features such as Sidetone volume control and easy-to-reach profile buttons
- Enjoy full audio customization and enhanced audio realism with immersive 7.1 surround virtualization, accurate cues, bass boost and in-game voice communication enhancements.
- Enjoy the latest in immersion technology with Dolby Digital decoding or Sound Blaster’s proprietary surround sound perfect for games and movies
- Custom-designed Xamp headphone amplifier features discrete components through all stages of amplification in a bi-amp design.
- AK4493 DAC chips for the ultimate in decoding performance, supporting up to 768kHz/32bit and native DSD
- Equipped with XMOS XUF208 USB receiver chip+AKM AK4493 DAC+ Op-amps OPA1642 + flagship TI TPA6120
- Extremely powerful headphone amplification for a total power output of up to 1.5 W under a 32Ω load, and up to 20Vpp at 300Ω
- Multiple interfaces- headphone jacks(6.35mm) /RCA outputs+ USB Coaxial, Optical, and Line-in inputs

Conclusion

The decision is yours because we love both options. We recommend Sound BlasterX G6 because it has better value. Sound quality-wise it is very similar to K5 Pro but offers more. The USB power option makes it more straightforward if you hook it in varying setups.

 

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