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Finally. The RGB Sound Card Everyone Was Asking For

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by Random Guy Esq., Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Bluntwrapped

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 20, 2011

    Posts: 2,382

    Location: Livingston

    I preordered mine this afternoon :) it's coming with a free headset which is a nice bonus.
     
  2. Random Guy Esq.

    Hitman

    Joined: Jun 1, 2014

    Posts: 833

    Will you be gaming with it @Bluntwrapped ? I'm interested to hear what they've done with their implementation of virtual surround sound. That is, do they still use SBX or is it a better/worse replacement.
     
  3. Bluntwrapped

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 20, 2011

    Posts: 2,382

    Location: Livingston

    I will be but I'll be using it more for music. If I can let you know when it arrives I will do. It'll probably be the end of the month before I have it.

    With Ruark MR1's on the way I thought I would treat myself :)
     
  4. Random Guy Esq.

    Hitman

    Joined: Jun 1, 2014

    Posts: 833

    Nice one, and enjoy the new set-up!
     
  5. Bluntwrapped

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 20, 2011

    Posts: 2,382

    Location: Livingston

    Thanks man. Can't wait to get everything up and running. I've been without a desk at home for a few years now so this is going to be great.
     
  6. Bluntwrapped

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 20, 2011

    Posts: 2,382

    Location: Livingston

    Looks like the US the warranty is only 1 year while 2 for the UK. My order says 2 years next to both the card and bundled headset.
     
  7. llamadal

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 14, 2010

    Posts: 2,241

    Location: London

    thats something i guess, hope its good
     
  8. Bluntwrapped

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 20, 2011

    Posts: 2,382

    Location: Livingston

    About an hour ago I received an email saying it has been dispatched and I should have it middle to the end of next week.

    Creative must have brought the release forward for the UK. The US site still says August.

    Happy days :)
     
  9. llamadal

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 14, 2010

    Posts: 2,241

    Location: London

    Cool, will you be doing a mini review here?
     
  10. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 2,619

    Location: Finland

    About time they have to for once wait something there.
    There are enough releases when rest of the world has to wait to get product.


    Assuming that headset is any good.
    Though likely its sound stage is the size of head in bucket.
     
  11. Bluntwrapped

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 20, 2011

    Posts: 2,382

    Location: Livingston

    I'll be sure to come back and leave my thoughts. It's been a long time since I last owned a sound card or really gave audio any thought whatsoever - I'm probably not the best person to write a review lol. If it's easier I can answer questions once I have it installed if anyone wants to compare it to the alternatives.

    The headset looks a bit cheap and crappy really lol I'll be tempted to sell it to cover some of the cost of the upgrade.
     
  12. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 2,619

    Location: Finland

    If it's SB Blaze it has detachable microphone which could be used for mic modding real headphone.

    But do you have any good headphones for testing it?
     
  13. Bluntwrapped

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 20, 2011

    Posts: 2,382

    Location: Livingston

    It's the SB Inferno in the White finish. I'm pretty sure the mic is detachable.

    I don't have any use for them so I guess they'll be staying in their box :)
     
  14. Bluntwrapped

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 20, 2011

    Posts: 2,382

    Location: Livingston

    Just got to work and found the box waiting for me. Will hopefully get the chance to test tonight.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Marsman

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 9,387

    I see they've put PCIe DAC rather than sound card on the box. Can't say I've seen that before. I wouldn't expect the majority who will buy this card to know what a DAC is.

    Despite sound cards having a DAC from the word go, is as if they are highlighting this as something new that's been included for the uninformed; thus making it look more desirable because it comes with a DAC.

    If Creative made cars, would they highlight that their cars come with an engine? :p
     
  16. Bluntwrapped

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 20, 2011

    Posts: 2,382

    Location: Livingston

    But this just isn't any DAC.. it's the Sound Blaster X Pro Gaming DAC.

    You'll not find any old generic ***** here xD

    I'll not take it too seriously. The whole thing does seem a tad OTT, especially with the RGB lighting.

    As long as it sounds better than my onboard Realtek audio I'll be happy. After doing some experimenting with my new speakers they definitely need some fine tuning. I'm hoping this will do nicely.
     
  17. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 2,619

    Location: Finland

    Neither do most buyers of DAC actually know that DAC is...
     
  18. Bluntwrapped

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 20, 2011

    Posts: 2,382

    Location: Livingston

    I should have taken some photos but installed the AE-5 earlier.

    Unboxing it felt great. The packaging and contents come neatly packed, with the card wrapped in an antistatic sleeve. Removing this provided immense satisfaction, followed by a a minute or so of thinking this looks absolutely stunning and 'is this really a sound card!?' 10/10 for presentation, it really does feel and look like a premium product and pretty damn awesome for a sound card.

    Installation was a breeze :) Straight into the spare 4x slot on my ASUS Gene V, leaving a nice amount of space for the other pcie slots. Windows immediately recognised the card and no problem installing the downloaded driver.

    I connected my MR1 speakers, had a play with the default audio format then put on some tracks I downloaded a while back in FLAC format.

    The sound is absolutely incredible. I really wasn't sure what to expect but the difference in quality compared to my onboard Realtek audio is night and day, like unbelievably good and on another level. Everything sounds so much crisp as cleaner than before. Watching an episode of game of thrones is a completely different experience. The previously lost ambient sound effects add another layer of detail and immersion, creating atmosphere I didn't previously experience (I watched the same episode again)

    The SB software seems good. I was keen to try out fiddling with the crystalizer and the dialogue + settings. The crystalizer does make a big difference depending on the source. The dialogue + setting didn't impress me all that much as the amplified dialogue starts to sound artificial with the rest of the soundtrack becoming washed out. Both settings I suppose are very specific to what you're doing/watching and may come in useful for the badly downmixed 5.1 surround to stereo occasions.

    I haven't had a chance to properly try the virtual surround while gaming yet, I'll do that this weekend.

    The lighting effects I'm still to try. I already have a NZXT Hue+ So I doubt I'm going to use the included LED strip. What did surprise me, is the optional molex power connector is needed for the RGB logo on the card too. Without this plugged in the logo remains unlit. In a way it is nice to have the option without relying on the software to make the change. I did however think the card would draw enough power from the slot for this, without the need of a power cable.

    I'll spend more time tonight playing but I'm thoroughly impressed so far. As I said, it's a massive upgrade to my existing setup. I wasn't sure how much better it would be over onboard but the difference is almost incomparable.

    Am I glad I bought it? Yes. Would I buy it again for another system? Yes. Would I recommend it to others? Definitely.

    I have 0 experience of previous SB cards (with the exception of an ancient audigy card) but I would say Creative have delivered a great product here. The expense seems justifiable in the sense I've never seen or heard anything like it. I guess everyones situation will be different but to me it adds so much to my existing setup so 100% worth it.

    If you're looking for a new sound card I definitely suggest checking this out :)

    I would have liked to buy this from the store here. Hopefully it will be listed and on sale soon.

    If anyone wants to know anything more specific let me know.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017


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