Creative Labs SoundBlaster ZXR gets tested and reviewed

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. TheDeeGee

    TheDeeGee Ancient Guru

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    There is three Micro Relays, the white boxes. And they are used to switch between Headphone or Speaker settings by the Software.

    So if you have it set to Headphones as soon as the software starts you hear a click meaning it switched.

    I hear just 1 click on startup, but multiple when shutting down. I guess before it shuts down it resets everything to factory settings.

    I found about the relays here http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/creative_sound_blaster_zxr_review,4.html

     
  2. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Almost every card that offers built in headphone amp will use similar system.
    The relays, re-route the signal for the buffers opamps into the headphone amp chip.
    Sime cards also use them for routing input signals too...
     
  3. PhazeDelta1

    PhazeDelta1 Moderator Staff Member

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    My DX clicks when I switch between front panel audio and Headphone and vice versa. I've always wondered what causes that.
     
  4. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Same thing on the DX and other ASUS cards, they are used either for the routing of the amp or routing of inputs.
     

  5. TheDeeGee

    TheDeeGee Ancient Guru

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    Yours has 4 relays it seems :p
     
  6. PhazeDelta1

    PhazeDelta1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I only have 1 and the clicking noise is definitely coming from that white box. Also it's a DGX, my bad. :nerd:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. F1refly

    F1refly Ancient Guru

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    Is the zxr worth it over a Titanium Fatal1ty XFI?. I have read that their software for virtual surround isn't as good as CMSS as far as positional accuracy goes. Actually I have read that in a few different places.
     
  8. TheDeeGee

    TheDeeGee Ancient Guru

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    I went from the X-FI Titanium Fatal1ty Pro to the ZxR and for me it's a world of difference. The surround is way better and everything sounds much more alive.

    When it comes to turning a Headphone into surround the ZxR is really really good.
     
  9. F1refly

    F1refly Ancient Guru

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    I'm curious about their MB3 software. If you go to their site, it appears to be basically the same virtual surround features, SBX, scout..etc but is intended for those without high end cards. However I read Scout mode is a cheap gimmick.

    I'm curious if I could use the software and since I already have a high end XFI, if it wouldn't be the same or similar as having the Z card but I can't really seem to find any real info on such.

    I'm just looking to keep up with what modern games are doing since it seems no one is using EAX anymore and few to no audio hardware acceleration. So not sure if switching to a newer card would even really matter.
    Can't really justify $250 over a $180 card I currently have when it is already pretty impressive as far as positional sounds go. Most of what I have read mentions the new surround software doesn't have nearly as many options and I can't seem to find any evidence that the positional accuracy is the same or better than CMSS but plenty of forum posts from various forums seem to say contrary. What I would like to find is a good solid comparison of both cards in various new games.

    I found Daniel K's opinionon Recon3d for whatever it's worth. No Idea how similiar it is to the Z series thoughhttp://forums.creative.com/showthread.php?t=697046&page=2&p=532625&viewfull=1#post532625
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  10. maikai

    maikai Maha Guru

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    well i came from a x-fi titanium hd and i definitely have noticed more precise and clear sounds in games i never noticed before, or at least they ddint jump out at me like they do now (GW2 in towns for example). Now ive read multiple times there is no need to upgrade from a hd but i did simply because i made a completely new build and will hopefully still continue to use my old rig when friends come over or storage ect. I cant really speak for the surround differences as right now i just have it hooked up to my monitors built in speakers. on that note maybe its time i do a test and hook it up to my surround speakers through my receiver. Ive got a Onkyo TXNR709 and some Energy RC Micros
     

  11. Doug

    Doug Ancient Guru

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    I so wish my 15 year old SoundBlaster Live! still worked :( I remember it blowing my mind
     
  12. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    Sound Blaster pro was my first pc soundcard, it still sounded a fair bit worse than my Amiga. Then I got a Gravis Ultrasound, that card was so ahead of its time. I ended up using the Sound Blaster pro solely for its game port. Good days.
     
  13. Denial

    Denial Ancient Guru

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    Half the time I boot my computer my ZXR fails to be detected. I have to tinker with the card in order to make it work and even then it fails sometimes. I tried switching slots, tightening, etc. What's weird is that once it boots it's fine, i never have any problems and the card sounds excellent.

    Guess I'll have to test how good Creative's support is.
     
  14. Tat3

    Tat3 Ancient Guru

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    One thing I do not like about my soundcard is that it plays speakers and headphones at the same time, no separate volume controller or way to use just either of those without unplugging.

    No clicking noise, but that would not bother me much... :(
     
  15. Doug

    Doug Ancient Guru

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    I have that problem, if I have my volume up through my speakers I can hear it coming from my headphones as well. I don't unplug each time I jus turn the system volume to about 25% and speakers up so headphones are silent
     

  16. Tat3

    Tat3 Ancient Guru

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    I have USB soundcard (Roland Quad-Capture or UA-55, both names are used). One volume setting from system (PC), one volume knob at that Roland. I have volume control on both speakers which I have set to max as I use that soundcard to control the volume. Just want to have separate volume for headphones or button to enable/disable those. Meh.
     
  17. snorge

    snorge Member Guru

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    Yeah after reading your post I was surprised to find the X-Fi MB3 software for sale here.

    http://us.store.creative.com/Sound-Blaster-XFi-MB3/M/B00CWMCJAS.htm

    People have been running cracked versions of MB2 on Realtek chips for a long time however I am not sure it was 100% functional.

    The price of the software is $29.99 for that you could buy an Asus Xonar DG. No software is going to get rid of the interference I hear on my current Realtek chip from the other motherboard components but I am pretty sure the Xonar would and probably sounds better.
     
  18. asphalt

    asphalt Active Member

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    I recently upgraded to the SoundBlaster Z after returning the Recon 3D (did not care for it) and so far am very pleased with it. I bought this card to drive my Sennheiser HD650 headphones which the internal amp does a good job. Before these two cards I owned X-Fi Titanium HD (great card and installed in another system), Fatality X-Fi Platinum, SoundBlaster Live, Diamond Monster Sound and a few others that I cant remember right now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  19. moeliana

    moeliana New Member

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    Same problem

    Hi, i'm having the same problem with you, did they give you a working solution?
     
  20. Dalilb

    Dalilb Member

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    Since Microsoft removed hardware accelleration of sound in windows many of these soundcards is kinda obsolete.

    I have a X-Fi card myself and only reason I'm still using it with a newer machine is it still sounds better than 99% of the onboard sound of various MB's.

    The big problem with Creative is their drivers. Creative have never been good at making drivers, or they just don't give a rats ass. :bang:

    If you have ever used a SB card for making music, AWE32/AWE64, SB Live.. etc. try remember for how long creative was shipping Asio 1.0 drivers with humongeous latency and for just as long they promised Asio 2.0 support was just around the ben. :bang::bang:

    Drivers is still the problem because the support of Older X-Fi cards is lagging with both Win 7 and especially Win 8. Many of the old settings and apps for XP is not running or have quite some compatibility issues in Win 8.

    Try figuring out what your need is before buying:

    1.
    There is no point in buying a sound card for gaming, unless you absolutely want the better sound quality from an add-on card with better DA converters and better analog opamps. You gain no faster gaming or whatever since every DSP today is processed in your CPU no matter what.

    2.
    If you produce music as either a hobyist or on semi pro level, you have tons of better cards that have better quality and better features towards multichannel harddisk recording and sound processing than Creative will ever have. And these cards can be purchased from entry level at around half the price of this card and upwards several thousend $$, depending on how much demand and money you have.

    3.
    If its Sourround sound for your Media center or other sound setup you need , You are better off with the Older X-Fi cards with breakout box for Music Entertaining. These cards have a decent sound Quality, but driver support may again be a problem if you run Win 7 or later.

    Good luck choosing a Soundcard :3eyes:
     

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