What is the Creative SB Inferno?
We hope to have these available for review next month, but in the meantime Creative have provided us with their SB Inferno Gaming headset for review. Available for around £35 (November 2014) this is very much aimed at the lower priced end of the gaming market compared to their more expensive Tactic 3D headsets, whilst still offering some pretty decent specifications such as 40mm Neodymium drivers, support for PC, Mac, PS4 and mobile devices via the 3.5mm (gold plated) analog connections, plush ear pads and an overall lightweight feel. Does this gaming headset offer what a gamer needs at what seems a reasonable price? Let's find out...
The design follows the familiar theme seen across Creative's range of gaming headsets, that being a black finish to the majority of the headset with a glossy dark red to the outside part of the ear cups and red fabric covering the drivers. SB logos are seen on the outside of each ear cup with the cable coloured red. We do have a slight concern with the long term cleanliness of the headset due to the foam used in both the ear cups and headband compared to more expensive headsets which tend to use wipe clean cloth but unless you are a particularly dirty person, that shouldn't be a major issue. As a design it isn't overly garish whilst still maintaining that 'gamer' look.
Our only real disappointment with the headset is the complete lack of noise cancelling or sound deadening, both with external noises and from the headset itself. Even on low volumes if you are sitting near someone or even in the same room, they can clearly hear what you are listening to, almost as if you just had a pair of speakers strapped to your head, so definitely something to bear in mind if you plan on using them on the train or bus without getting dirty looks. We could also detect no difference in the level of external noise between having the headphones on or off. So if you have a particularly noisy PC, you will still hear it just as loudly with the headset on.
What features does it have?
The main feature to highlight is that the headset can be used across many devices. It is compatible with PS4, PC, Mac and mobile devices via the single 3.5mm gold plated analog connection. For PCs that can't split the audio and microphone from a single connection, the included splitter adapter will easily do that for you. We don't have a PS4 so were unable to test this feature, but it worked with iPhone, iPad and Samsung mobile devices without issue.
Is the sound quality any good?
Whilst you might expect some sacrifices at £35 it didn't feel like that with the audio quality. Across all types such as music, movies and gaming the audio sounded very good indeed. On one of our favourite piano based tracks (from Lost) we could even pick up the sound of the pedals on the piano which we can't recall hearing before. Bass is present without being overpowering and we have to admit to being pleasantly surprised at just how good the audio sounds.
In gaming, which this headset is aimed at, the audio shines again and whilst for FPS games it doesn't have the audio positioning that you would find with more expensive surround sound headsets, all the sounds were clear and everything could be picked up such as an enemies footsteps as he was about to stab you in the back for example.
- Excellent value
- Decent sound quality
- Very comfortable to wear
- In-line controls
- Detachable Microphone
- No sound isolation
- Terrible sound leakage
- Build quality could be better
Creative SB Inferno Gaming Headset Review
Is it worth buying?For gamers on a budget who are looking for a good quality sounding headset, one that is very comfortable and has the features you expect such as in line controls then you can't really go wrong with the Creative SB Inferno gaming headset. At just £35 it is a very welcome addition to Creative's gaming headset range. There are negatives, including a slightly cheaper feel to the headband and zero sound isolation, which largely precludes using them on the bus or the train. However, providing you accept that you get what you pay for, then you can't really have too much to complain about for your £35.
What alternatives are available?At this affordable price, there are quite a few alternatives, although how their sound quality will compare to the excellent results we had with the Inferno we can't say. The most likely competition is from the similarly specced Logitech G230 although with cloth ear cups compared to the Inferno's foam which is available for just £38 on the net, Creative's own Fatality headset available for around £30 and the Corsair Raptor H5 at just £25. But based on our experiences alone with this headset for just £35 we have no real complaints. If you are looking for a budget headset, comfortable with excellent quality audio, then the Creative SB Inferno is definitely one to consider.
Value for Money
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