Creative Labs shows high-end Sound BlasterX AE-9

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. GamerNerves

    GamerNerves Member Guru

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    I'd say it is always worth to get a dedicated soundcard or USB DAC, unless you don't own a very high end mobo that usually cost close to 300 €. The difference maybe small and you may notice only slight nuances between a cheap integrated card and a dedicated one, but your ear will accustom to the sound and later you hear the difference better when you listen to the inferior audio source again.

    Go for it if you have the extra cash, but not necessarily for this AE-9 because you can get that high end mobo for the price, but don't go for that mobo either!
     
  2. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    I feel like Creative Labs only exists because of their diehard fans from the 90s. Their customer support is bad, their prices are bad, they very obviously plan for obsolescence, and they're too "exclusive" in their approach to things. I'm actually a bit surprised they're still around, since they have plenty of competition for their other products too.

    If we're talking digital signals, the length of the circuit doesn't really matter all that much. The best sound quality you can get is to have the DAC external in a shielded enclosure using a fiber optic cable, and I'm sure having its own discrete power source wouldn't hurt either.
     
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  3. MonstroMart

    MonstroMart Master Guru

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    The snap crackle pop problem maybe? Which they never ever addressed but instead blamed everyone and their dog for it. I remember at first they blamed the nforce chipset for it and i actually replaced my MB by a VIA one back then and the problem was still there. Personally Creative is on my do not buy ever again black list. **** happens but Creative should have acknowledged the snap crackle pop problem and instead of blaming everyone should have tried to find a solution and if no software solution was available then they should have replaced all the cards like MS did with the 360.

    I still have my X-FI Platinum lying around. It's a nice looking and very expensive drop stop. I should try it with Daniel K drivers one day.
     
  4. maddog55

    maddog55 Active Member

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    using an ASUS Xonar card on my HERO, with modded files from UNi Xonar
     
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  5. DARKSF

    DARKSF Active Member

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    So in order to have a good sound i need to pop $300 each 5 years for mobo that can barely overclock my CPU to it's turbo clocks? :O

    I see that you focus on the DAC that is good if you have a beans sized headphones , headphone AMP or speakers with AMP but if you just have a regular headphones then what ?
    I can tell you what , you barely hear the really good high resolution DAC on the mobo , ok let's say I'll buy good speaker system wait it has a DAC inside with SPDIF copper or Optical connection - then why do I need the DAC on the mobo or the dedicated sound card ?

    Since i changed around 7 mobos in the past 19 years i can tell you the only ones that cared enough to have proper output that i came across (not only DAC resolution) were Epox boards with NF2 chipsets , and even then some revisions had just a basic DAC without proper headphone AMP.

    So right now i have right in front of me an ASUS Z97 DELUXE with all the bells & whistles and the mega powerfull CRYSTAL SOUND 2 that costed more than $350 4 years ago (took it second hand year and a half ago with some crappy i3 and 8 gigs RAM for my GF for just $150). Guess which one can pop my ear drums out through my headphones CRYSTAL SOUND 2 or Creative X-FI Titanium.It is not the ASUS.And despite the fact that the Realtek inside has the mighty SNR of 112dB compared the the very bad 109dB of the Creative I just can't hear the Realtek in first place :)

    So all in all it is good to have a dedicated Sound Card the same way it is good to have a dedicated GPU so when you swap the mobo not look how good the audio is but how good the actual mobo is for it's money in the matter of power components , slots arrangment , PCB thicknes (oh yes I lost one GPU a decade agoe cause it bended and a friend lost his mobo for the same reason) , and then the trivial stuff how big is the BIOS panel with swtiches and how much output ports the mobo has.
     
  6. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Not possible with an ES9016, it has a DNR of 124dB, its S/N will be a fair bit less.
    If 2 are used in tandem that would result in an absolute best case of 127dB.
    It is using a better DAC chip than the 9016 no matter the use case.

    I'm quite looking forward to what it will be and how good the end result.
     
  7. Slammy

    Slammy Active Member

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    Onboard audio is terrible in my opinion. I have a Asus Formula VI which supposedly had such amazing audio at the time etc. No comparison to my Sound Blaster Z, not even close! Onboard was very muffled, no bass and could not get anywhere near as loud. It was awful and i have tried several times to run the onboard so could have one less card in my PC but the audio quality was so bad that i just cant do it.
     
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  8. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    It might be using the ES9038, but we will never know til more info comes out.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  9. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    At this price, I'd rather consider standalone DAC/AMP. AE9 still goes inside of the PC case and vulnerable to Video Card, PSU and other components.
    If you need features like "Bathroom surround sound", better get G5 and call a day.

    I don't see a reason for this product.
     
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  10. Neo Cyrus

    Neo Cyrus Ancient Guru

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    Take it from me, half the time regardless of your OS settings, Win 10 will try to force install the wrong drivers bricking your card until you uninstall those and reinstall, then it'll try again. And due to boot shortcuts some boards take (like ASRock) it'll be detect as the wrong card half the time leading to that problem some more or at the least simply not working until you sleep/wake/restart repeatedly. It was AIDS taking 5 minutes every time I wake or boot my computer because ASRock are morons. I'm on an MSI board now so at least that problem is gone. They used to have that issue with Creative cards but fixed it, their boards now take the literal extra 2 seconds necessary to post properly.

    Let's not forget when Microsoft took a dump on how sound cards function since Vista, I don't remember what it was, removed the sound hardware abstraction layer or something? Drivers for your sound are bad, mmmkay.

    TL;DR - Relying on drivers for sound sucks especially if it's something expensive that you should be keeping for a decade. Buy a DAC/Amp. Also Creative are garbage. - Dude who's been using creative cards for two decades.
     

  11. EspHack

    EspHack Ancient Guru

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    its sad to see soundcards dying like this, because they keep beating the same "audiophile" audio drum, if gpus tried to sell you on better colors they would be on the same boat, soundcard makers should make something actually useful like EAX was back then, raytraced audio maybe? for games like R6S audio is such a huge part of gameplay, specially the verticality of sound(or lack thereof) you encounter all the time, 5.1 barely helps with enemies at your six, i doubt atmos would be enough to fix this either
     
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  12. plopingo

    plopingo Active Member

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  13. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    What brings the joy of reinventing the wheel?

    I believe all what gamers need is headphones with good imaging and soundstage (HD598, Philips X2, DT880, etc...).
    With those headphones, clean stereo signal is all you ever need. If audio engine and sound in the game doesn't give you direction, nothing can.

    Surround effect is nothing but a placebo to my ears, people think it's better just cause it sound different.
    It's just like adding distortion effect to electric guitar and saying you can tell the notes better!
    I couldn't hear more with surround effects, than I could with clean stereo. It just sounded different and it was fun to play with... for an hour. Then my ears got tired of the surround effect (sounded like I am in the bathroom) and I switched back to clean stereo. I still could tell the direction of the footsteps and where fire is coming from, without fatiguing my brain. So theoretically I play better with stereo signal, instead of surround. (tested game : BF4, surround effect: Dolby Headphones)

    If someone need SERIOUS surround effect, then buy 5.1 speakers and ACTUALLY surround yourself with it.
    So brain can tell direction not from speakers of headphones that right next to your ears, but actual distance of sound wave traveled from speakers to your ears. This way, source of the sound and shape your ears play a big role in telling the direction of the sound.
     
  14. MegaFalloutFan

    MegaFalloutFan Master Guru

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    The problem with this new AE series that they dont have DTS/Dolby LIVE encoding anymore.
    I always used Console surround headphones with SPDIF and creative cards to live-encode into dolby sop i got headphone surround and one headphone set for PC and Consoles.
    Also this new AE-9 model is Headphone only, if you heave surround PC speakers, its not supported, AE-5 supports PC 5.1 speakers.
    So the whole AE series they want you to use their own Headphone surround encoding, if you want DTS-X or something else, tough luck, since no more live encoding, no way to connect to surround headphones.
    The good part is that Creatives headphone surround is NOT that bad, its OK.
    I actually went and got AE-5 + Sennheiser GSX1200 + Sennheiser Game ONe to compare.
    I left both Sennheiser products and sent Cretaive back, the Sennheiser GSX even tough has poorer stereo, no 32bit, only 24Bit 9600Hz maximum [they call it Stereo HD] and surround sound mode supports: MAXIMUM: 16Bit 48000hz and the mic input is only: 1 Channel [yep its mono], 16Bit, 1600Hz [ Realtek on-board has better mic-in,so when ill need recording i can always use it, or for chat, never compared them one to one, maybe for voice Sennheiser is enough]
    Its still the BEST Virtual Surround sound card out there, especially if paired with Sennheiser Gaming headphones [it was optimized for them and thats what they recommend]
     
  15. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    I think you meant 98000Hz?
    For a mere consumer, 16bit / 44,100Hz (44.1KHz) is more than enough. 32bit and 48000+hz audio sampling are meant for production purposes (so sound engineers have more room to work with).
     

  16. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    First of all the sound card is not headphone only, it self has 5.1 outputs on the card, the Front and Left are RCA jacks, the rear are 3.5mm and the Center and sub are 3.5mm. There was couple of sound cards in the paste that was config with RCA and 3.5mm outputs. Take a closer look at the photo.

    Most motherboards onboard audio these day's support DD live and DTS encoder's. That was the main reason why creative decided to not add the feature to the AE-5. I asked them about that as I was curious. If one really do need DD live/DTS encoding that badly and it isn't on the motherboard, there are cheaper older/used sound cards out there for the purpose, such as a Xonar DG/X or so. Buying a med to high end sound card for that purpose would be a waste of money, as the sound card it self wouldn't be used fully. Since the card it self would just be acting as a digital transport device. The main benefit of these mid to high end card's are the analog output/s.

    Windows 10 is suppose to be getting a DTS Headphone X app in a future update in the windows store called DTS unbound, so it's only a matter of time before it's released. From the look of it being shown in the sound panel rather in Wave Nx's or AE-5's Headphone 7.1, it was select able, Where Dolby atmos would simply disappear from the sound menu if either one was default.

    I have my AE-5's paired with a schiit jotunheim and a Audio Technica R70X Headphone's, I do have studio monitor's of course. Due to my setup the AE-5's virtual surround headphone function works great for me, but like i mentioned result's are different due to my jotumheim and headphone's.I did try other software out there, but I still found my self liking the way the AE-5 does it more so. I am curious to see how DTS unbound will perform on my setup.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  17. dopus

    dopus Member

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    I use a good headset (NAD Viso HP50) paired with an external dac/amp (FiioE7k/E9). Much better sound then my motherboard soundchip (realtek), and better than my old soundcard (Soundblazter Z). Only use the motherboard soundcard for MIC input. Never going to go back to soundcards og motherboard soundchips. External dac gives you cleaner signal/sound with less electrical interferrence.

    Not all dacs works well for gaming. tried my Hendry Audio Dac together with my fiio headphone amp, works well for music....but not for gaming. The fiio dac works well for gaming, and more then OK for music

    Have not tested my Topping DX3 Pro dac/amp yet for gaming, should work great.

    In my opinion, you get more sound quality for the money, from choosing to use a bigger part of the budget on good headset and mic, and an ok external dac/amp (like fiio products) instead of an expensive soundcard
     
  18. Kaleid

    Kaleid Ancient Guru

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    Great that there are even more options, although I can't see a reason to upgrade from AE-5 as the price is rather steep. I miss the days of audio being accelerated, games with proper EAX effects which is so bloody rare today.
    We have quite amazing CPU power to do all this but it's not really utilized.
     
  19. Andrew LB

    Andrew LB Maha Guru

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    For that kind of money i would have expected a Super X-Fi to be integrated into the card.
     
  20. C-Power

    C-Power Member Guru

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    I personally still use a Soundblaster X-Fi HD since quite a few years, easy plug and play from USB, never had an issue with it. Decent but not the best audio quality - Cheap and cheerful external DAC, works fine with my Mac as well :D
    Good enough headphone amp in it for my Sennheiser HD650's - although it could use a bit more juice, but it's fine for my production needs mostly - if I need more oomph I just switch to my DT 770 Pro's (80omhs).

    Ever since I got it, never felt the need to go back to an internal soundcard, altho it would make the geek inside me feel better, lol.
    After this I am looking for something beefier external, don't think I'll ever go back to an internal card, hmmm.

    Bottom line is that this was only 85 Euro's back in the day, and it's still decent, prices have just gone bonkers since then :D

    [​IMG]
     

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