Creative Sound Blaster Inferno gaming headset review

vCreative’s Sound Blaster range has been around long enough for most people to have owned at least one of their soundcards and/or set of speakers and/or headphones at some point. The range is as broad as ever and, to follow-up on my review of the top-of-the-range Sound Blaster X7, I have some not-so-top-of-the-range Inferno headphones to check out.

Just because the Sound Blaster Inferno headphones are easily affordable (£32.79 from Amazon) should not put you off from expecting good things from Creative – and that’s exactly what my mindset is going in to this review.

Creative Sound Blaster Inferno design

For gaming, or anytime when I am not wanting to share the sounds from my computer with anyone else, I generally rely on my Hi-Fi cans – ether the NAD VISO HP50 or Oppo PM-3 – neither of which have a snake-arm mic though.

The mic on the Inferno is removable so you can wear these as your day-to-day headphones if you wanted. You also get a splitter cable so, when you’re hooking them up to your PC you can have separate mic out and audio in but, if gaming on a tablet for example, you have the option of a single 4-pole jack.

Creative SB Inferno on CM Storm StrykerThe pair that I was sent to test, as you can see, are the black and red cans but the Creative Sound Blaster Infernos also come in white and red.

I like the way the red is only used as a highlight and how the metallic red contrasts with the textured matte black used around the cups. The SB logo is obviously present but, again, done more subtly than other gaming headphones may have done.

These headphones are really light due to their plastic construction. This is one of those things which works for and against the Infernos. It’s great that they are light as you don’t want to feel fatigued just a couple of hours in to your gaming but the lightweight plastic also makes the Infernos feel lesser to those premium headsets.

Creative Sound Blaster Inferno sound quality

I was not expecting the Infernos to sound in the same league as my usual headphones as there’s a couple hundred quid difference in the asking price but the Infernos do sound pretty darned good.

The 40mm full spectrum Neodymium drivers in the Sound Blaster Infernos are the same as fitted in the older Fatal1ty headset but the sensitivity has been increased to 115 dB/mW. The change is minimal – 110 to 115 decibels – but in order for you to use the Infernos on multiple devices, this is likely the highest sensitivity they could reach without distorting the sound.

The ‘pads’ on the earcups are quite stiff and don’t do much for isolation but I was soon gaming without being concious that I was wearing a headset – not something I could say when wearing the Oppos for more than a few hours.

I had the volume as loud as I wanted without the Infernos distorting. There is an inline volume slider on the Inferno’s cable, which is handy, but I prefer using the control on my keyboard.

I was surprised by how balanced the Infernos are. I was expecting some bass-heavy, unrefined, brutes but instead my ears were treated to quite a pleasant and even balanced output.

Sound Blaster Inferno and NVIDIA SHIELDUsing them plugged in to my PC or my NVIDIA SHIELD tablet everything happened in my ears where it should. Stereo panning was great and explosions sounded huge. Any dialogue being spoken was clear and there was a reasonable sense of space.

The Inferno’s detachable mic works well with no discernible static and my gaming buddies said that I could be heard loud and clear without me having to needlessly raise my voice.

The inline control I mentioned earlier also has a switch to turn the mic on and off – handy when you want to say something off-game.

Creative Sound Blaster Inferno review conclusion

The Creative SB Inferno is priced extremely competitively and with that keen pricing matched by the Inferno’s good quality sound and comfort I can see many a gamer falling in love with these headphones.

There was sound leakage and the Inferno’s lightweight build doesn’t lend itself to feeling robust and battle-hardened. But, what the Inferno does do well is feel comfortable even after a 3-4 hour killing spree.

Creative Sound Blaster Inferno headset reviewYou have to remember that you usually get what you pay for but that would be an unfair way to end this review of the Sound Blaster Inferno. This is a decently balanced, lightweight, comfortable gaming headset and deserves to be tried out – and, at under £40, why the heck wouldn’t you?

You can buy the Creative Sound Blaster Inferno headset for £39.99 direct from Creative.