Photos and Features
So the E5 looks a lot like the E1 and the photos don’t really show it but it is at least twice the size. It is still pocketable but a little less so for people with smaller pockets now though. The E5 has a lot more style than the E1 though. Across the top they split things up with a strip of aluminum with the Sound Blaster logo on it where the E1 just had it printed on the plastic. Also on the top of the E5 is a small NFC logo where you can sit your phone on the E5 and sync the Bluetooth. The top of the E5 does have a few small microphone holes up top. The two closest to the end with the volume control are considered the internal microphone on the E5 when you have it hooked up via USB. The third hole works with their CrystalVoice Technology as an orientation sensor helps the E5 figure out what is left and right when recording in stereo.
Down on the end the E5 has a huge volume control knob that you can access from the end and also the top and bottom. Also on the same end are two headphone out 3.5mm jacks.
On the sides one side doesn’t have anything at all going on. The other side though we have the controls. The first button is the power button and is also the Bluetooth button. The other button turns on their SBX ProStudio mode that enhances surround effects when watching movies and playing games. Next to that you have a switch that turns the gain from low to high. The two buttons both have LED rings around them that light up. The first one lights up white when powered on and blue when in Bluetooth mode and the SBX button lights up white when SBX mode is turned on. Sound Blaster also slipped in three tiny dots farther over on the side. These are additional LEDs that light up and show how much power the built in battery has.
Down on the other end of the E5, we have a few additional plugs. Here we have a micro USB plug that we use with the included cable to hook up the E5 to a PC. Then we have a full sized USB port that allows USB 2.0 Host connectivity. What that means is you can plug in your iOS or Android phone and stream audio from them. Then we have two more 3.5mm plugs. One plug is a line in and the other is an out. Both support both traditional 3.5mm plugs as well as an optical connection.
For accessories Sound Blaster bundled a few cool things with the E5. For starters, you get this table stand that also has a screw mount on the bottom. They also include two rubber arm band straps so that you can use the E5 when running. You also get a bright red USB cable and then an optical cable. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t also include a 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable as well though just to round everything off.