Side by Side Comparison of: Creative
eComparisons ScoreThe "Comparison Score" Is calculated based on the average number of times this item was compared with other items in this category by our users
User Rating (Amazon)
User Rating (Amazon)
Five Star Reviews:
Wonderful upgrade with studio headphones
January 26, 2017
I purchased a pair of Audio Technica MH50x headphones for better sound, but when I connected it to my PC, I could only hear extremely loud static. From what I've researched, the headphones were picking up a lot of extra "noise" that was being picked up through the motherboard. The only solution was to get a solid sound card or an external DAC. Most forums always preferred a DAC as they were reliable and the viability of the soundcard depended on the model/company. I still chose to get a soundcard because I did not want to clutter my deskspace with a DAC.
The second I installed my soundcard everything sounded GORGEOUS. It was an amazing decision to get a soundcard and I'm happy I chose this one. The external amp makes it simple to connect your headphones/mic and adjust volume too.
A $200 price tag is no joke, but if you want something reliable then this is the soundcard the price is definitely worth it.
Incredible Stereo Fidelity
August 15, 2015
I have a Dell Optiplex 9010 mini-tower. I'm running Windows 8.1 64-Bit. It came with an integrated RealTek Audio system. Pretty good but I felt my AudioEngine A5's with subwoofer might be even better with this card or the Asus. Went with the SB owing to reviews on its software. Had to enter bios and disable integrated RealTek integrated hardware as the Creative Labs driver install was telling me it could not recognize any Sound Blaster hardware present in my system. At first I went into devices and disabled the Realtek and restarted but this did not work so for those in a similar predicament - bios settings are your friend.
I did not install the DB Pro card as there's no more room in my mini tower and I do not need to hook this card up to a larger stereo as I have a stonking good one and anything I want to hear on it from my PC I can via iTunes bluetooth pickup by my amp. so I cannot attest to the DB Pro.
This card is really, really good. You have to play with all the software settings to get the right setup for your unique ...well, ..set up! The Stereo window is amazing. My monitors are finally singing with incredible clarity. Speakers are there on my desk and I think the sound is coming from them but if you couldn't see them you'd swear its the best stereo you've heard from such a small system. As someone else said it you are on the wall about this card, do for it. I can't speak to movies or gaming as I have only used it for music (the full range, rock, classical, Spanish guitar, soul, rap,...etc - but mostly rock) so far. Yes, it's a costly investment but I am so far very, very impressed.
As for the headphones. Spectacular but be careful as its uber loud and your ears might suffer...keep it really low to begin with until you get a handle on your settings. I have a set of really high end Sony Professional studio thingies. They were v. expensive and as you'd expect are very good irrespective of audio card but now they are insanely excellent!!!
Hope this helps anyone with uncertainties.
Excellent for Both Recording and Playback
January 12, 2015
I have found very few reviews that address the recording capability and stereo playback of this card, therefore I emphasize these features of the card.
I collect vinyl LP's 45's and 78's. I have audio restoration software which I use primarily to restore my 78's. I used a M-Audio 24/96 card for years, but when I recently built a new computer, the motherboard would not support it. I found myself in the soundcard market, and my path to this card has been lengthy and somewhat painful.
I originally bought an Asus Xonar Essence STX. It has received good reviews, although I was concerned about driver problems that some have had. Since I'm using an Asus motherboard, I thought they would play nice. I could never get the card to work under Windows 8.1, even after reading various fixes and contacting Asus (who never called me back). I gave up and returned the card.
I was concerned that PCI slots on my motherboard were defective, so I bought a Creative SoundBlaster Audigy RX7. Luckily I had no problem installing it and it proved that my MB is fine. I was pretty happy with this card, it sounds good. I'm sending optical digital out to my NAD AVR and I noticed that there was some noise (hiss) at moderate listening levels. This noise does not appear on analog out. Even though I thought it sounded good, I felt I needed something more professional for my use.
That led me to the ZxR. I've been wary of Creative since the days they weren't considered high quality, but the components on this card and the reviews indicated it was "audiophile" quality. I have not been disappointed.
I swapped out the Audigy Rx and installed this card. Installation was easy and my PC recognized the card as soon as I installed the drivers. I hooked it up via optical digital to my AVR and there is absolutely no noise, even at reference levels. I tested it using a CD of "Rubber Soul" and I don't think I've heard "Norwegian Wood" sound any better. I use Grado and Sennheiser headphones and the headphone amp sounds wonderful. The desktop audio control module is very convenient.
I then tried recording source material, both from an LP and a 78. The quality of recording was excellent, even better than my old M-Audio 24/96. I compared the results to other recordings of the same material using the same turntable and cart and I think the new recording was an improvement. I really appreciate the RCA connectors instead of the small 3.5mm jacks. I look forward to using this in my restoration efforts.
I don't play computer games, nor am I using it for multi-channel, therefore I can't speak to its performance in those areas. I also did not test the microphone in the desktop unit.
Pros - Excellent sound quality, both in recording and playback.
Cons - This is a nit, but the default settings in the GUI control panel make the card sound awful when played through a true high fidelity system. You have to turn off all the DSP, then it starts to sing.
Good card overall
September 8, 2014
The sound card currently using windows 7 x64 doesn't have issues, although I heard the problem are with windows 8-8.1 UEFI that the sound does not detected sometimes after reboot.
The card it self is very good, the surround (SBX) headphones is immersive, using Berdynamic DT990 600ohm and they sound is very loud, window volume 50%.
Compare to Asus Xonar Phoebus this are the follows :
ZXR has the same AMP as Phoebus
ZXR has better surround than Dolby Surround, more precision depends on how much % you choose, the lower it makes it more precise, the higher it make it more "in the zone" but can't tell where gun shoots are coming from.
Xonar has extended Stereo Dolby Surround, it takes 2 channels and tries to do surround from that. Creative uses 5.1 speakers and use as such to make it more precise in location.
ZXR has better microphone on the Accessible Audio Control Module (ACM)
It has the daughter card with all the optical and DTS encoding.
Overall the sound has good quality in games and movies using the surround, for music you would want to disable SBX surround.
December 6, 2013
Typical Amazon, Fast shipment great packaging.
My XFI Titanium HD died on me and i was looking for a replacement, found this on Amazon for 60 bux less than everybody else.
In short, i wasnt expecting much, as my Titanium HD was a phenomenal sound card, but, the zxr just flatout blows it out of the water, which i wasnt expecting.Better sound quality,much improved drivers and software suite
Creative got this one right,but, its still creative labs, and they are still slow on the driver side, at least the drivers are windows 8.1 certified,arent many major issues, and creative is about ready to release a whoke new driver and software suite.
Like i said, it was way more than i expected.
Both the price and sound quality is amazing! Now
September 14, 2017
Just recently built my first PC and have MSI motherboard sound. Is it ok? Yeah, it did what it was suppose to do but you would have to turn the volume all the way up to make it clear enough to hear. Especially being a gamer, sound clarity and direction is a must! After about 3 months, I finally got the money to upgrade to a sound card instead of the stand alone motherboard sound. After researching for several days, I finally come across the Sound Blaster Z. Both the price and sound quality is amazing! Now, I have only had it for 3 months and if it lasts, I will be tickled! I cannot review on the beam forming mic because I have not used it but everything else works great from the Optic port and the mic ports. I recommend this sound card to anyone from beginners to hard core gamers!
It seemed like a nice compromise between the razer sharp precision of ...
May 2, 2017
The Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z Review
I bought this card for the sole purpose of taking advantage of SBX Pro Studio for Headphone. After listening to stereo mix versions of multiple HRTF formulas (CMSS3d, Dolby, Razer, Crap) I settled on going for this specific solution. It seemed like a nice compromise between the razer sharp precision of CMSS3d and cinematic fullness of Dolby Headphone.
Upon testing SBX Pro Studio through multiple headphones the surround sound was impeccable. It is very accurate, without having harsh tones and dead spots that you get with even CMSS3d in certain situations. The game audio is not particularly impacted in a negative way, playing Nier which part of the experience is auditory and musical it still sounded quite great. There was a fullness in the sound stage, without having any negative effect on its deadly accurate positional cues. In a game like Counter-Strike Go I found myself catching people to my back and sides at the exact angle they shot at me from. Rather then having a rough idea, I felt as if I was enveloped by a believable 3d space.
I had the Sound Blaster Z output a stereo mix through Optical output to my USB dac, and it imparted no noise or nasty oddities.
In short, if you're a gamer looking for great surround sound capabilities through headphones this is probably the best card for you. If you are an audiophile, or music affectionado then you probably own a USB dac already with optical spdif input. This card benefits you by providing you with the surround sound processing for games as well as the high Digital to Analog fidelity of your current headphone audio system. So it most definitely is not a waste if you buy this card solely for gaming as either group, unless you don't enjoy SBX Studio.
As a gaming card it does its job. Seriously gets a 10/10 if all you care about is this functionality.
The digital input while only 2.0 is also good, clean and low latency. I tested this out with my Playstation 4 connected to my sound blaster Z. While it would be great if you could get use SBX Studio Pro, it basically acts similar to a switch. Except if you wanted to play with your PS4 while using PC Discord on the same pair of headphones it is /very/ possible and perhaps one of the best reason to use it.
---That ends the good things about this card. ---
The microphone input is one of the worst i've had the displeasure of plugging my microphone into. It was more of a curiosity thing since I own a cheap USB dongle for my headset mic. There is a considerable amount of static on the input, with or without microphone boost. None of the settings seem to really make things better, for instance noise cancellation severely degrades the audio quality while eliminating most of the noise from interference.
The only redeeming factor of the microphone input is Crystal Voice, so everyone can bring out the inner Alien in themselves. That said if you're going to get this card, investing in a $10 USB soundcard dongle w/ mic input is highly recommended.
Since I started writign this review and holding it here for a later date I had an opportunity to try the Dac/Amp from the headphone output over a fairly extended period of time. (problems with my USB device)
The amp on the headphone output is fairly weak, and while in most cases you can get more then enough volume out of a song, and video. There are some where not even 100% windows volume can you elevate the volume to get a desired level. In games it hasn't been a problem because they generally run much louder then anything else.
The output is not destroyed by interference of any kind (I guess these components have better shielding or are higher quality then the mic section). With no audio, or slow audio there is no discernable noise being generated by the card through my headphones. The result is clean sounding audio. Despite the circuitry being well designed in my case, the DAC itself has poor to average audio quality.
Slower, or even sounding music sounds about decent enough. There is a warm veil that you tend to get from cheap dacs but its not an overbearing loss of resolution if you're going from a $70-$150 USB dac. Where the problems start is when the energy of a song starts to r ise, especially those with fairly heavy bass. The sound card looses all of its coherence, as if it is struggling to keep up with the song. Voices become a bit wobbly in some songs, and you can tell there is a fairly poor cut off in frequencies the lower and higher you get. This card does not do Music good at all over its analog headphone output. If you get this card merely to listen to music you will be gravely disappointed. That said ignorance is bliss, but even so the problems it has are immediately obvious.
I never tried the included Microphone as I have a far better mic attached to my headphones, and no 5.1 speaker system.
All in all its one of the most amazing sound cards for gaming if SBX Studio tickles your fancy (check youtube). But for everything else it is terrible and your dollar can go further.
I gave this card a perfect rating because of how it handles its main job of providing believable HRTF through SBX Studio. Especially when you pair it with a better outboard dac then the one inside of the card. For those that have more expensive, higher end equipment you will reap its benefits.
If you want a general purpose sound card plus amplified headphone output then this card is an absolute miss and you should ignore the rating. It is terrible for general usage. If you want a good microphone input, look to be paying an extra $10 for a USB Dongle.
Quick edit, even for the discerning audiophile the crystallizer and bassboost on SBX studio is incredibly fun to use. Even while using the sound cards dac. The dac is pretty bad still but the sound is 'fun' with all the processing. The bassboost is not as detrimental as other software solutions.
A must have - WAY better than USB headset or on-board sound
December 27, 2016
This card is a BIG upgrade from my on-board sound hardware, and from my USB Logitech G930 headset. After spending some time tweaking with the settings, I have profiles that work perfectly with a set of Logitech 5.1 speakers, with Bose earbuds connected to the headphone output, and now with the Creative Labs BlasterX Tournament Edition headset (which I also intend to review - it is EXCELLENT).
Music has never sounded better. The sound enhancements quite literally take recorded music from sounding dull and compressed to sounding like you are THERE. I sometimes toggle the enhancements off and I am amazed that what I hear (the recording I have always listened to) sounds so ... flat. Having true hardware-based analog sound processing makes a huge difference. Apparently, the Crystalizer enhancement takes compressed recorded audio and essentially reverts it back to it's original uncompressed form before it hits the outputs. I believe this claim. So do several siblings and friends, who literally have had dropped jaws and about all they can say is "wow... wtf.. I am getting one of these!". And,. they did. lol
Games also have never sounded better. Positional sound through a stereo headset or earphones is every bit as good as it was through my old Logitech G930 with it's simulated 5.1 surround. Actually, it's better. And as with music, using the same enhancement settings, games sound equally better. I notice details that went unheard before. Everything is richer, more dynamic. For an example of "more dynamic", I'll use Battlefield 1. With compressed audio, all sound that is mixed together basically gets their levels (volume relative to one another) balanced out so all are pretty well even, The result is a relatively flat sounding mix. There are no significant volume differences. Through the Sound Blaster Z, with the Crystalizer in use, the game sounds ALIVE. With the ambient sound at a comfortable level, nearby gunfire and explosions have a power to them that literally has made me jump on multiple occasions. I can FEEL my own shots. It makes a BIG difference.
The Crystal Voice enhancements are also great. They allowed me to dial in my mic setup to be perfect with voice activation. No activating from my breathing or keyboard taps, no background noise or hum, and my voice is crystal clear (according to others).
January 12, 2016
I usually do not leave written reviews, but I felt it was necessary. First off, let me say that I have used alot of USB headsets in the past, and also non USB. Steelseries, Plantronics, Razer, etc.. I also seen alot of people complaining about the ACM on here. Which made me very weary if I wanted to get the Zx or the Z. So I went with the Zx and figured, oh well, if it is as bad as some people were saying, I am out $30. Big whoop. Installed it in my computer, downloaded the newest drivers for 64 bit W10. And all I can say is, unreal. I just popped my iPhone earbuds in for s***s and giggles, due to my headset being a USB one (Plantronics GameCom 788). And the difference in quality was just unreal. I have NOT used the back jacks yet, but I honestly feel no need to at all. The ACM module works so wonderful. Not quiet and soft as people were saying. I NEED my games as loud as they can get. My dial on the ACM was at around 75-80%. Still super loud and great quality. May the back jack be better without the ACM? There is a possibility, sure. Using the ACM is already better than my current headset I was using. So I do not feel the need to plug into the sound card itself. Do not listen to people complaining about the ACM. I feel like there was some sort of hardware interference that had to be messing with it for some people. It works absolutely great for me. Could not be happier with what I got for the price!
Didn't think I needed it
March 23, 2013
I thought I didn't need a sound card because my motherboard, Rampage 4 Formula, came with really good onboard sound. I bought it anyway and I'm really glad I did. There is a distinct difference between this and the onboard sound, it's clearer and amplified and has an equalizer that I love. The lights on this card are really bright and will most likely overpower what ever lights you have in you rig so if your theme is red great but if not beware. If you thought your onboard sound was great believe me this is better and I play BF3 with no problems, buy this.
Four Star Reviews:
Pretty good for gaming though
June 2, 2017
I wouldn't say these are audiophile grade. Pretty good for gaming though.
The major reason I bought this card is its support of 600 Ohm headphones, and now I can hear the difference!
January 24, 2017
Great sound quality only downside is it limits your headset options due to lack of plugs.
Great sound card ! Creative has kinks though. Kinky buggers. :D
February 10, 2015
Soundcard and software are working perfectly. I had many reservations about the ZXR. There are some poor reviews floating around about certain issues ( none of which I have really ran into ).
Pros : Great sound quality , Lots of cool features , great input/output variety, accurate effective EQ !
Cons: Dealing with the one issue I am having. ( which is apparently no fault of the cards )
The issue is, I am receiving popping and crackling playback while listening in stereo direct mode at 24bit/192kHz. I can listen to 24bit/96kHz with pure clean (awesome) sound. But through 24bit/192kHz, I get nasty crackling and distortion. Apparently it is a motherboard issue or some other problem, not the card.
Would be 5 stars If I could figure out this 24bit/192kHz distortion. :)
It was explained to me via creative customer support, that in " Stereo Direct " mode, there is 0 processing being done by the sound card itself, therefore, any issue of distortion or static is coming from elsewhere.
Maybe one day I will figure out how to fix that issue.
Great card, much cleaner audio than recon3d.
March 25, 2014
When I received this card, I would blown away on how nice the packaging was, makes the product look way more expensive. I also really like the fact that this comes with a control module that allows for plugging in 3.5mm headphones along with the larger connector. I have found that the audio quality is very crisp and clean compared to the recon3d. I also feel this is a major upgrade compared to Realtek on board audio. Anyone that says that Realtek on board audio is on par with a this sound card is unrealistic. This card is leaps and bounds ahead of the sound chipset offered with the Z77 mpower motherboard. Order directly through amazon, do not try and deal with J&R Music. They do not offer tracking information and you wont be able to understand anyone if you try to contact them by phone.
Impressed over new motherboard Audio
January 8, 2014
I have a new pc build and just added this card. I thought my new onboard card was great until I installed the ZXR. After a night of listening to music and calling friends on Skype I have no regrets on buying this card other than cost and concern related to the reliability of the hard ware over the long haul after noting several other reviews on reliability. If this card lasts as long as some of my old sound cards then I might consider it 5 start purchase. It made me happier with my old Logitech speakers purchase due to the improved sound quality. I just have to say wow on how overall music reproduction, voice clarity, and instrumental separation now sound. Improvements also noted with gaming reality, notably with clarity, sound separation, and location sounding.
There are several settings issues you can run into depending on your set up. I had an install error on my TV tuner card after swapping card slots to install the ZXR. I had to uninstall all my media drivers then install the TV tuner card drivers and then add Sound Blaster drivers and software after rebooting. Second issue I ran into with was a setting issue in Sound Blaster software. I had to change the speaker setting to Stereo and then Windows finally recognized my speaker set up as 5.1. Before this change Media Player and various music players sounded great but Skype and couple other programs sounded extremely low volume, muffled, and distorted. Windows also did not play rear channels in the control panel's sound speaker configuration until the setting change. This fix was found totally by accident to boot. Other reviews note microphone issues I have had none here so far and actually quit using my old trusted USB microphone at this point. Wish software had a task bar for easier muting. Other than this very happy with card.
Is it worth it? Yes if it lasts a long time I think was great purchase for myself and the broad range of use. If the card croaks in next year or so it way over priced. This card has pretty good depth and range of use that brings down cost issues if it lasts and you can put it all to use. If all the extras are not needed, one of the lower Soundblaster Z cards might be a better choice and sound about as good after reading through comparison reviews.
I went from a crappy sound board on the MOBO to this
March 31, 2017
I guess it's working? I went from a crappy sound board on the MOBO to this. And at the same time I went from Razer Krakens to ATM50x so that there is an improvement in itself.
THE ONLY issue i have with this is the software and its lack of abilities. I'll continue below
I use voicemeeter banana for many reasons, apart from streaming. And it's caused major issues with this device. I can't use headphones and speakers at the same time anymore like how I had it set up on my other program. I have to chose one or the other. Thats stupid! I needed the flexibility VM banaba has but this device just screws all that up.
Then again maybe I am not doing it right lol.
All in all there is a definite improvement. I can hear things that I have never heard before in games and movies, heck, even music i'm hearing new things. I do noticed I am always getting the upperhand when I can hear someone before they can hear me in certain games. And no i don't use the Gaming setting or whatever its called. Just leave it as it is.
Blows away onbaord PC audio but that ugly red, useless LED!
March 7, 2017
I mostly listen with headphones and this just totally blows away the PC onboard audio. I don't know how to explain it except that if you've ever done a serious upgrade to your car stock audio syste, the difference in sound is similar.to this sound card compared to onboard audio. I love the rotary pod and the fact it can take the 1/8" jack of my Sennheisers without an adapter. Plenty, plenty of headphon volume room. But...oh that awful red LED! Santa wouldn't need Rudolph on Christmas Eve, he'd just have to power up this card! So as I think I'm going to keep it, I'm going to take the cover off the card and remove the LED. I'm assuming this can't be turned off in software?
Might be a placebo effect, but it works for me!
November 9, 2016
Although the audio fidelity is indiscernible from my motherboard sound chip, I use it for all my audio input and outputs and it sounds great no matter what I throw at it.
Only thing I can really say for sure is the card adds more timbre to each sound that comes from it. Highs are more crisp; bass is more resonant; mids are warmer.
and a built in headphone amp is great. The ACM (the audio control module) as has ...
August 22, 2016
This sound card is great- lots of options, and a built in headphone amp is great.
The ACM (the audio control module) as has been mentioned in the past, is a bad device. If you have high impedance headphones, you'll notice this if the ACM is set to anything but max volume- which means the ACM is virtually useless, aside from giving you a shorter access to the headphone and mic recording jack.
The impact that the ACM has that I noticed was that when the overall total volume was the same and the ACM was low (ie Computer volume at 75%, ACM at 25% vs Computer volume at 25%, ACM at 100%) it sounded like the headphones couldn't produce the bass tones- it sounded like it was struggling to play sounds.
I don't consider myself an audiophile in the least- I have high impedance headphones I bought specifically for use with this card, given its amplifier, so I'm a bit disappointed in the ACM.
The card overall is great, the ACM is just a waste of desk space.
Still pretty "sound," it seems.
March 31, 2016
I really only bought this thing out of a bit of nostalgia-- Sound Blaster cards were all the rage back when I was getting into computing, but I never had one --but it seems to have a decent bit of value all its own.
Before going further, I'll just put it out there that the gap between onboard audio & dedicated sound cards has narrowed tremendously in the past few years, due to a combination of improved technology (the Realtek chips manufacturers love to use getting better) and motherboard manufacturers actually bothering to implement various supports for their onboard audio codecs. Gone are the days where onboard audio was an inherently screechy, crackly mess.
That being said, even coming from a rather good onboard audio solution (ASRock Purity Sound 3), I noticed some improvements with the SBZ.
First, and simplest, is the ability to get amplified headphone while bypassing the front panel IO on my case-- as you probably know, having headphones & a USB device plugged in to your front I/O at the same time can be a recipe for loads upon loads of noise. Some motherboards bypass this by amplifying the rear headphone instead (or both), but others (like mine) leave it as a basic line out for plugging up speakers. It's nice to be able to listen to music while having a thumb drive or wireless adapter plugged into the front.
Alone, that'd hardly be enough to justify a sound card . . . fortunately, there also seems to be a degree of audible improvement with the SBZ over my motherboard's audio. High tones are less prone to "ring" or seem shrilly distorted, and lows feel both a bit punchier & more tightly contained.
(Side note: I've disabled all of the "enhancements" for the time being, and unless you REALLY want slightly better positional audio in games, you probably should too.)
The included amp does a VERY good job of driving my 64-ohm NVX XPT 100 headphones . . . maybe a bit too good of a job, actually, as there's really no reason for me to raise the Windows system volume above 20%. I suppose this is to be expected given the 600 ohm rating, but my motherboard's onboard audio was substantially quieter (not that it mattered) despite the same ohm-rating. Room to experiment with higher-impedance headphones, I suppose.
That being said, there's an elephant in this room which I suppose I've failed to address: drivers. If you look around the internet, you'll see numerous people reporting problems ranging from minor to severe with the software set provided with this card. Personally, I've had no issues outside of needing to reboot TWICE after installation rather than the specified once, but my good experience certainly doesn't invalidate anyone else's problems. Do your homework before buying this, or any other moderately expensive piece of tech.
I got mine used for $58. This may or may not have influenced my opinion on the card; that being said, there's a good chance a similar or better discount will be available when you're reading this.
Three Star Reviews:
It's annoying that the drivers aren't available for Windows to automatically ...
January 3, 2017
I had issues with getting the card to work originally - I had to reinstall the drivers. It's annoying that the drivers aren't available for Windows to automatically download.
April 12, 2016
ZxR PCIe has great sound but lacked some features my older X-Fi Elite Pro had.
I heard great things about this sound card
July 18, 2015
I heard great things about this sound card, and it really was great! The sound is fantastic, but I get a weird click sound randomly when I'm playing music. I don't if there is something I can do on my end yet, because creative sound customer service takes time to get a hold of. Other than that this a great buy if you have 600 ohm headphones, a sweet mic, and patience.
Creative Soundblaster ZxR Listen UP, Seriously !
March 16, 2014
I've heard the same story since 2000. "Why do I need a sound card my Motherboard on my computer is just as good, Why spend the money on a sound card"? Even over the last year, Motherboard Audio has gotten much better, so I've heard? Finally I proved to myself what I've always suspected... that I am right, and Sound Cards do make a difference. I built my first Great Computer in March of 2014. Trust me, It cost me $5000 and thats not counting the Monitor. I listened to all the critics and left the sound card as my last purchase. The Motherboard has the Realtek ALC1150 with 115 SNR DAC, the highest in the industry. No need for all the technical information to bore most of you. My old Dell Dimension 8200 computer had the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy2Zs so my ears didn't know anything different. The Breakout box for the 2Zs finally failed me and this prompted my decision that it finally was time to build my own computer. Enough said... I was shocked to hear what was coming through my Sennheiser HD 555 headphones with the new computer build with the "Asrock Purity Sound with the Realtek ALC1150" on the motherboard. I couldn't stand it. I purchased the Creative Soundblaster ZxR and its incredible! The only way I can explain it is like back in the day I would hear people say they have a great TV and you'd go over there and the picture was snowy... Dah! One more analogy would be people buying a factory installed upgraded stereo system in their car, and bragging how great it was... when I've been used to special systems that I added myself through car stereo specialists for the last 30 years in each new car. Enough said, I hope !!! You'll love this card. It'll want you to upgrade your headphones. You'll also love the added audio knob on your desk (No not your Computer Desktop). I couldn't imagine me looking around the desktop to open software just to change my volume. I can't honestly tell you how it sounds through good speakers... thats another story that I've heard the same rants about. Of course they were the ones who didn't have sound cards either. Have fun, enjoy your sound, buy this card and never look back.
UPDATE: That Was then... this is Now April 18-2014
Ok... the bulk of above review was good at the time. Good because I couldn't compare it to anything else except what I heard through the headphones. Good because it definitely sounded better than the motherboard only. Now that I getting into doing the same things I did with my Audigy 2ZS, I can only say its about 75% as good as Audigy 2zs. I'm lacking the "Ummph" if you can understand? Shocking results came when I finally attached the same speakers I had attached to my dell with the Audigy 2zs. The same comparisons above can also be related to the speaker experience I'm having now. Listening to the speakers, I am now seeing that I'm missing the same in my headphones too. Just not Enough "UmmPH" PERIOD. I shouldn't have to wish for this or hope for more. Its just not there. Now I've been searching for a amp or a distribution amp. If I could compare... I would be sending the Creative back... But I don't know how to compare it without purchasing all the cards to compare. I really get no help from Creative. There answers in emails are its superior than the Audigy 2ZS... BUT IT ISN'T !!!!! I mean how can I compare this with what I had. How can you trouble shoot this without another duplicate computer sitting next to it? I think the only thing I can do is buy a superior Hi FI receiver, plug the output jacks into it and then route my speakers and headphone into it. I've tried all the settings, all the mixer profiles, all the equalizer positions. I tried using the settings I had with the Audigy 2Zs and it sounds pathetic. How much more can you expect? You know, you just can't trust anyone today... ! ! ! If you are not that particular... or just don't know how good something should sound, then you are better off with the new Audigy Card... if not, I really can't help you. I really think I'm going to have to buy a new Audio/Video receiver with all the bells and whistles, then and only then will this Creative Card sound better.
Great quality, Dolby Live adds latency
October 4, 2013
I like my ZxR because it gives me a ton of control. I like being able to have an EQ with lots of different surround settings and sound processing settings. The SBX Pro Studio options are pretty nice. It can make everything just a little more surround sounding with cleaner bass.
I bought this card mostly because I wanted a high quality card that offered Dolby Live. Most games will output sound in analog surround, and onboard digital outs will only output stereo. I wanted digital surround sound so I bought this card. The surround comes out great and I have no issues with the Dolby Live signal. But the huge issue that's almost a deal breaker for me is that Dolby Live adds about 50-100ms of audio latency. It's very obvious if you look for it when you watch a movie or play a game. There's basically nothing I can do except deal with it.
Another annoying thing is the Windows audio output level controls don't work if you're doing digital Dolby Live audio out. You have to control volume on the receiving equipment.
The Dolby Live latency was almost a deal breaker for me. But the control and quality on-board sound processing done by the card made me stick with it. I'm able to just deal with the latency.
3/5 based on it working properly
May 13, 2015
Let me start off by saying I am not an unfair reviewer who takes off stars for "the package came in late" or the product was "DOA". This review will pertain only to the product's quality. Let me also say that I returned this, and this is a rather 'generous' review in terms of the number of stars I am giving it.
I first unwrapped the package - excited and eager to install the card. This card should be should installed in a PCI-E x1 slot. However, on my current configuration, this slot was not an option. So I installed it on a PCI-E 3.0 slot. Sure, that sounds like a mistake on my part, but after some research, I found that it was okay to install the card on that slot as long as the lane was turned down to x1 speeds. My motherboard does this automatically. The card was installed, the drivers installed, and I was ready for some great sound.
When windows first booted after the initial drivers install, my AKG K712's blasted with sound (unexpectedly) with windows start up music. I mean, it was by default at 100% volume! Ouch! Other reviews had complained about this, but I only saw that issue AFTER the install...my poor headphones...my poor ears...
Anyway, I fiddled with the options (SBX, EQ, etc). Music quality was excellent! Games sounded incredible with SBX Pro on (fantastic positional ques). Obviously, SBX Pro does 'taint' the sound a bit. You aren't getting 100% reproduction of all the original sounds due to the surround processing algorithms. But that's fine, you should expect this with any DSP. Also, the headphone amp was enough to power my headphones with no white noise (at least not at the volume I had it at).
When I have a new product and I expect it to do something, I test the *bleep* out of it. I wanted to make sure I got what I paid for. Unfortunately, I don't think I did...After playing for 30 minutes or so, I started noticing sounds on my right surround were lower than sound coming from my left surround. (R/L surround - referring to the surround speakers on the 5.1 channel setup) And yes, I am still referring to my headphones. At this point, SBX was enabled to properly downmix 5.1 to binaural stereo.
I tried with Dragon Age Inquisition, Warframe, Far Cry 4. Each time I tested this I came up with the same results. I put my character next to a fixed sound source and spun around. It kept happening! I thought I was going crazy...or deaf in one ear! So I swapped headphones, I even wore my headphones backwards. Nope, it wasn't my ears or the headphones. It was the card...
Aside from this, the drivers and software aren't great either. I tried multiple versions (factory version of drivers and latest drivers) and still had the same issue. You know the drivers are terrible when you find multiple forum posts about "how to uninstall sound blaster drivers". It is literally an art form! Ok, maybe not literally...
Also, switching from headphones to speakers in the software would crash apps that were currently playing sound. For instance, I would have to reload a youtube video I was currently watching in my browser if I switched mid-video. I've never had to deal with this inconvenience before.
So for the terrible drivers and software, I knock off 2 stars.
I didn't knock off stars for the following complaints because I believe these issues were caused by the PCI slot I used (despite other sources saying it "should" be fine). Maybe using a PCIe x1 slot would have eliminated or at least mitigated these issues.
I was just playing a game, minding my own business, when suddenly WHAM! The sound card went into "screech mode". Yes, this is actually a problem with these cards. Because many people had this issue, it may not even be due to the PCI slot I installed it on. But I'll give Creative the benefit of the doubt. Screech mode is when all sound coming from the sound card is at 100% volume and is highly distorted. It sounded like I was listening to an Atari game console have a stroke. It was so sudden, I threw my headphones off and quickly unplugged them before any damage was done to my headphone speaker drivers.
As if that wasn't bad enough...It happened TWICE! Arg!
The icing on the cake was when I got a BSOD from this card. Yep, I powered down the comp and yanked the card out. That was crossing the line. My computer has all the latest tech, runs windows 7 with rock-solid stability. This card thinks its going to just walk into my computer and cause BSOD's? Not on my watch.
Unfortunately, Creative has a bit of a hold on me due to their SBX technology. It is superior to Dolby Headphone and (of course) the Razer simulated surround sound (the worst of all of the DSP's). So I returned the card and went with a USB sound blaster unit. I will be using optical out to feed the signal to a schiit modi 2 and schiit magni 2 (DAC/Amp). I had this plan in mind with the Z, but I wanted to hold off a bit (a bit of a costly combo).
I'll be honest, if anyone else produced a card with DSP as good as the SBX Pro, I would gladly jump ship and figuratively watch the Creative boat sink. I would have a smile on my face, a fancy drink in my left hand and use my right hand to pump a clenched fist into the air in celebration for Creative's demise.
Someone needs to challenge Creative (besides Asus) by coming up with a competitive sound card that caters to gamers. And I don't mean casual gamers, I mean for the kind of gamers that want high end sound. Gamers that want the best competitive edge in FPS games. If creative was truly challenged, maybe they would wake up and push a better product.
If you have a free PCIe slot open, you can give the card a shot. You may still encounter the same problems I did. If you don't have a PCIe slot available, start looking else where. This thing will quickly become the bane of your existence if you don't heed my warning.
It's annoying that I have this module just sitting on my ...
March 22, 2015
I have to agree with Povell42's assertion that the module degrades the quality of the output in headphones. I'm using an Audio Technica M50x, and while the difference isn't immense, it is noticeable, especially in the mid-high range. It isn't worth buying the Zx for the module. Also worth mentioning: it has to be plugged in the headphone output for the volume control to function, so you can't use the volume control without sacrificing headphone quality.
Also, I had to send back my first card because the back mounting plate was bent. The new one Amazon sent (hassle-free, yay) also has a bent edge on the back plate, but I got it to fit. I'm still considering sending this one back just because of the module though. It's annoying that I have this module just sitting on my desk just taking up space. It'll be better off back in the box.
I forgot to add that the audio output definitely sounds way better than the on-board audio even when plugged in to the module (better without the module still). The board is worth it. The module isn't.
Fortunately the card is working without the updates in my ...
December 19, 2014
This is a difficult review to write: I just installed the card, software, and hooked everything up. Installing the software took a bit longer than I would have expected. At the end I was asked if I wanted to check for updates - and I did. The two "CRITICAL" updates I was told to install add up to 184MB. My network download speed (just tested) is 58.8 Mbps. But I am into my THIRD HOUR waiting for the download of the updates.
Fortunately the card is working without the updates in my win7 64-bit system. But three hours for an update doesn't cut it.
So far I'd give the card a 4 or 5 star rating and the service a one. I compromised at 3. If tonight proves to be an aberration, I'll revise the review.
Update: the downloads completed overnight (approx four hours) and are now installed. I am still pleased with the function of the card; I have not tried another download to see if performance is any better. However I see this morning that the download URL that one gets from downloading off the Creative site is located in Singapore....
Decent Card with pretty good sound quality. Doesnt play nice with Denon receiver...
January 4, 2014
I recently installed this card and am happy with the quality of the sound it outputs and the great build quality. I can see how a lot of people don't like the red led but my case sits to the left of me so the light isn't a problem for me. It is very bright however and there isn't a cover on the "back" of the card to block the led's from shining in your eyes. My issue is that when hooked up to my Denon 1705 receiver the card will either play using the Spdif or Speakers setting in windows 8. When using the Spdif the rear channels are pretty quiet compared to the front. When using the Speakers setting there is no sound at all from the rear channels. I have contacted Creative about this earlier this morning so I am waiting for them to reply. I have also asked the experts on Overclock.net and will post on Head-fi.org in a little while. Is anyone else having this issue? I like the card but don't like these problems I am having. If you are using headphones or PC speakers you should have no problems at all and it really is a good card. I will give it 3 stars now and if I can get my problems fixed I will give it 4 stars. People throw out 5 star reviews because they are merely happy with their purchases but for me to give a product 5 stars it has to completely blow me away. Don't think that 4 stars is bad, it is actually very good.
VERY IMPORTANT if you are looking into buying this...Please Read
March 30, 2013
There is a major flaw with the more expensive ZX model of this product. The Audio Control Module (ACM) that you are paying about $50 more, LOWERS the QUALITY of the audio signal versus plugging your headphones directly into the back of the sound card.
Seriously, how has no one else caught this? I checked online and found no one complaining about this. So, I thought my ACM was defective. Amazon kindly sent me a replacement. I got the replacement and plugged the new ACM into the back of the sound card and then plugged my headphones in the ACM. SAME ISSUE. (I tried both the 3.5mm and 1/4in plugs) I then changed out the sound card with the new replacement card and reinstalled the software and drivers just to be sure.....SAME ISSUE.
If you already own this.....and you love the ACM....you most likely did not compare it to the sound when your headphones are plugged directly into the back of the sound card.
I noticed this dramatically because I did not use the ACM for the first week or so. I did all my initial testing in music and gaming without it. As soon as I plugged it in I thought something was wrong with my headphones or the sound card went bad on me. I quickly discovered that it was solely the AMC.
PLUGGED INTO THE ACM
- The sound is significantly softer making me believe that the built in AMP is being weakened by the ACM. This is a bigger issue for those that have high impedance headphones
- Second it affects the balance and quality of sound. For example: While playing COD Black Ops 2 - I immediately noticed that the sound of my gun was muffled and recessed even at the same volume level. I then plugged my headphones directly into the back of the sound card...and it is so much better! Everything is louder, clearer, and precise. Don't believe me, try it out for yourself. I also immediately noticed that my music sounded worse playing through the ACM. The surround sound effect through the ACM sounds more tinny and echoy.
So bottom line....the ACM degrades the sound quality significantly (I tested this with two ACMs). It baffles me that both Sound Blaster and Consumers have not noticed this issue with the ACM. I did find a forum of audiophiles debating if the ACM would degrade the sound quality and amp....but there was no definite answer and the topic ended with the assumption that it did not since Sound Blaster said it is the superior model.
Please mark this review as helpful so others can see it before spending the extra money on this model...and if they do, hopefully they will do the sound test themselves and compare the sound difference. How knows, maybe I got two bad AMC in a row? I highly doubt it though.
The Sound Card itself is very good and I highly recommend the Sound Blaster Z (not ZX)purchase to anyone. Great PC sound and software for customizing your preference of sound. You can plug in your gaming console via Toslink/spdif cable and and use the software for superior virtual surround effect (compared to Astro Mixamp or DSS/2)and customize your console gaming sound as well. The only down side to that, is that you need your PC to be on while you play a console game. Again, I highly recommend the Sound Card. Save yourself $50 and get the Z model.
UPDATE - 4/20/13
So, I have brought this issue up with others on Head-Fi (audiophile website forums). Many others have tested this out for themselves and have reported back with the same problem. There have been many differnt headphones used and the problem exists with all of them (Superlux HS668b, Ultrasone Pro900, Sony V-6, Sennheiser 558...ect).
It is worth noting that while the ACM degrades audio quality, the built in microphone on the ACM is better than the microphone on the Z model. I have tested out both mics and compared them with my Zalman Zm-Mic1 ($8) and the Zx mic is on par with the Zalman - while the Z model mic is not as good.
Also, it seems the people with the ZxR model ($250) are not noticing a big difference in audio quality with the ACM. That does not mean it does not degrade the audio - but those I have conversed with on Head-fi stated that the audio was not significantly affected. So, MAYBE the ZxR model has a better ACM.
Here is a link to the Head-fi forum where I first started this conversation. The conversation goes on for several pages of the forum. My username on Head-fi is Povell42
Here is a link to the same forum (pg 31) where others agree with me and the user phrozenspite confirms that the same issue happens with his ZXR Model.
Two Star Reviews:
Change of heart
September 1, 2015
Great sounding card. Not an audio expert but this improved my sound vastly. Home stereo use only. Out of card to Carver C4000 preamp flat to 2 Carver TFM35 amps running mono at 700 watts. Out to Jbl L890 columns, Bi wired. Excellent, a clear improvement in all areas especially high end imaging. Absolutely worth the money. After buying two cards and having both go bad I have changed my mind. The sound they both offered was great but there is definitely a problem somewhere . The out put on both turned into a garbled mess. Buy at your own risk.
This card was a bust for me. The first ...
May 8, 2015
This card was a bust for me. The first two didn't work and when I did get one that did, the quality of sound wasn't enough to justify buying one of these.
It's a great product when it works
February 26, 2015
It's a great product when it works.
I am running Windows 8.1 and its driver crashes every week. I have to re-seat the card and re-install the driver to have it back working. This weekly maintenance is too tedious. I have decided to return it.
Great when it works.
January 7, 2015
THIS TOOK FOREVER TO GET WORKING, I only got this thing working properly a few days ago, i had to disable numerous hard drive and power optimization OPTIONS, and I got it in September.
To clarify i spent those months with the card refusing to play audio, the DBpro card would show up but not the main card.
the only way to get it working again after the system went to sleep or had to reboot, was to completely zero out the power, meaning unplug the computer,plug the computer back in and reboot.
Until I changed the options below.
IN WINDOWS 7
disable are Link Power State Management under PCI Express in advanced settings under plan settings under power options
and IF you have an SSD as your boot drive you need to make sure that it isn't the drive that is being used for Virtual memory.
Outside of creatives drivers being so incredibly finicky that a high end computer actually causes problems with their "high end" card.
This card is lovely. fantastic audio quality, wonderful recording levels, and a wonderful feature set.
Even though i have it working now, i will not be buying creative again.
I shouldn't have to search on the internet for 3 months even after contacting customer support directly and getting an idiot who told me to just reinstall the card, to use a $200 sound card.
Sound switching on a 5.1 surround sound speaker
May 3, 2013
It is a good card when it works however the sound switch to different speakers. The center becomes the right or the left speaker the rear gets muted. When I checked the creative forums it seems a lot of people are having the same problem with no solution. On the good side customer service was fast and responsive on the problem as for now I had to return the product.
Great sound, not as great construction
July 28, 2017
Exactly 30 days after my warranty expired both the center/subwoofer and rear speaker out died on me. Apparently this is not uncommon, and after reading reviews on this product now it seems I was lucky to have it last this long. I have a great 5.1 setup that is now unusable until I can find a replacement for this card. Will not be a creative product, even though I have been a customer for a LONG time
July 27, 2017
After 9 months of use the rear ports died. I tested all the ports for a signal and detected nothing, unbelievably the mic port still works. I currently am using a work around to get stereo output but this is remarkably disappointing. The mic was sub-par with a very tinny sound and the software that came with it had poor noise suppression that just needs to remain off and serves no use. For the price you pay on this thing you would expect it to last longer than 9 months and offer better recording options.
Very frustrating and no drivers available for download!
January 17, 2017
I can't recommend Creative Labs or this product. I've been using it for awhile and it does produce sound, but the software it comes with isn't easy to use or useful. I've had a better experience with most sound devices built into motherboards. Plus I just upgraded to Windows 10 and I can't find ANY reference to drivers or downloads ANYWHERE on their web site. Extremely frustrating, this will be the last Creative Labs product I purchase.
November 19, 2015
Easy to install, nice looking.
Super bright RED LEDs junking up system's case visuals.
Stopped working after 30 days, can not get to work again.
Good Sound - Bad Light
June 18, 2014
Sound quality is good, but this card is a joke in design. Creative made a horrible choice putting two red leds in this card. The leds are blinding bright and light up the whole bottom and front of my case. Plus my case is windowed so it lights up a big portion of my desk. Luckily for me I have a monitor to block direct sight of the leds. If you have a visible window I would advice going with another sound card. Asus has cards with similar dacs & capacitors. Minus the ACM and a little less fancy driver layout, but very similar in sound.
One Star Reviews:
DO NOT BUY THIS CARD!!
June 21, 2017
DO NOT BUY THIS CARD!!
Or, as it appears via web searches, any other Creative product. There appears to be a long running problem with "snap-crackle-pop", especially during music playback, and sure enough, I have it, too. I've tried all of the (extensive, I wonder why?) solutions listed on Creative's site, to no avail.
Of course, it also appears to be impossible to find a phone number for tech support. Looks like I've wasted my money, fair warning.
After several drivers it finally was stable and I was able to enjoy the card for approximately a year
April 5, 2016
I had several problems getting this card to work properly. After several drivers it finally was stable and I was able to enjoy the card for approximately a year. After a year and 2 months the card has failed. When I finally got it working it did sound great and I like the hub and new control panel. It just needed to last much longer then it did.
After spending this much money on a soundcard I expect it to at least outlast my $65.00 cards. I am currently using my 8 year old X-Fi and have contacted SoundBlaster about the failed card. Creative only offers a one year limited warranty so I am not sure how they are going to treat this yet but will soon find out.
If it will not be covered, which I suspect it wont, then this will be my last SoundBlaster product. As a high-end entertainment, gaming and enthusiast system builder, I cannot in good conscious install this card in a customers system or recommend it for that matter.
or recommend to anyone
December 22, 2015
Bought this on the 27th of January 2015, installed early Feb 2015 in new build, and this morning it just decided to stop working....
Completely DOA, have tested on another PC in the house.... Still looks as new as the day it came out of the box...
So just under 10 months use inside my machine (all new at the same time as this card)....
Gone back to the Onboard sound.....would never buy one of these again... or recommend to anyone.
Looks flash... but does not last the distance
Doesn't work. The product stopped being recognized by the ...
April 26, 2015
Doesn't work. The product stopped being recognized by the OS. Even rebuilt with a new system and it still didn't work. Would not buy another Creative sound card until they prove to me that they work
Sound Blaster..........more like Sound Lagger!
February 12, 2015
Do not buy this product!!! It is a total waste of your money. I purchased it for recording and it is not one millionth of the Sound Blaster that my old XFI Platinum card is and that card is now outdated for use on modern computers. The latency of this card is horrendous and is not capable of studio recording! The software is a flash of smoke and mirrors and useless!!! I am now a former Sound Blaster customer and now despise Creative products. This ZXR card by model is two years along since it's introduction and folks are still griping....now I am too!!! I just received it today and installed it.....no solution, except to return it for my money, hopefully. If you are planning to use this card for recording..........FORGET IT and save your hard earned dollars!!!!!!!!
I have Windows 10 PC and the sound is horrible. I am going to remove it and go ...
June 7, 2017
I have Windows 10 PC and the sound is horrible. I am going to remove it and go back to using the sound built into the motherboard. Creative does not seem to be the least concerned about creating a driver that actually works with W10. I have scoured the forums and tinkered with a lot of settings and nothing is helping.
May 5, 2017
I bought this sound card for my husband for Christmas. ever since he installed it, the sound on his computer has made really strange and annoying popping noises. He has tried multiple times to fix the problem and today he finally decided to remove it completely and guess what, the popping stopped.
October 19, 2016
this is the most frustrating Sound card i ever had ! the software from creative is from the stone age and is soo buggy, the headsets decide to suddenly ... disappear.
i do not usually write reviews and specially not negative ones.
but this is the worst purchase i ever made and a waste of money.
The Mobo Sound card is a lot more reliable.
P.S. the sound card is good when it actually works.
As much as I wanted to love this thing
April 5, 2016
As much as I wanted to love this thing, after spending 6 hours trying everything possible to get it to work right I gave up and sent the item back. The product is run by Drivers and the drivers are complete trash with Windows 10. I could get the speakers working, but not the headset plug in. Then I'd install the drivers to get the headset extension to work and the speakers to work and all i'd get is an extremely obnoxious screeching and static noise from either device. I did a ton of research after I purchased this item and it seemed like the majority of people had the same issues. It's really too bad because the idea of the item was great for my gaming, but having a product run on drivers rather then the product having all the functions built in is a terrible idea. Asus Xonar products on the other hand are the opposite, they use drivers for little updates, not to run their entire product. Just look at the difference in the two products.
I should have known better than to buy another Creative sound card
September 28, 2015
I should have known better than to buy another Creative sound card. I thought things would have gotten better in the 6 years since I last had one but I was wrong. This card is a nightmare. I could not get 5.1 working over optical for the life of me. I spent 3 hours messing with drivers and every permutation of the settings you could imagine and another 2 hours with tech support and still couldn't get 5.1 audio over optical. I guess I'll be spending twice as much and getting the HT Omega Claro Halo instead. It really is amazing how bad the software and drivers for this is.
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$233.03updated: Mar 18, 2018
$114.00updated: Mar 18, 2018
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Windows 7, Windows 8
CrystalVoice Voice Enhancement and Clarity Technology, express yourself and be heard crystal clear in video conferencing, multiplayer games and online chats
CrystalVoice FX, forge your own unique team identity in crystal clear audio; match your voice to your game avatar
High Quality Headphone Amp, supports studio quality headphones with up to 600 ohm impedance
Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect, connect to your decoder or home theater system through a single digital cable for intense 5.1 surround sound from any source
Headphone/Speaker Switching means you never have to unplug your headphones again, just toggle between your headphone and speakers system with a flip of a switch
High-Quality Audio Cables, enjoy high quality audio listening and recording with easy connection to your entertainment system, amplifier or active speaker via our premium analog and optical cables
Scout Mode, hear them before they hear you, proprietary technology allows you to hear your enemies from further away, giving you a distinct tactical advantage in combat
A signal to noise ratio or SNR of 124dB means your audio will be > 99.99% pure audio which is 34.4 times better than the average sound cards
Features the Audio Control Module (ACM) which incorporates a built-in microphone array and mic/headphone I/O connections, plus a knob on the ACM to adjust the headphone levels
Features Sound Core3D Audio Processor for accelerating advanced audio and voice technologies
SBX Pro Studio sound technologies create unprecedented levels of audio realism including stunning 3D surround effects for your speakers and headsets
Scout Mode allows you to hear your enemies before they hear you, from further away, giving you a distinct advantage
DTS Connect, connects your home theatre system through a single digital cable and enjoy cinematic DVD movies by transforming any stereo or Dolby Digital 5.1 audio stream into high fidelity surround sound