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Creative Launches its Sound Blaster AE-7 and AE-9 Audiophile Sound Cards

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    If there's no existing S/PDIF jack then yeah, it's almost always an output. But to my recollection, the 2, 5, or 6 pin headers almost always have inputs. The 3/4 pin connectors are always outputs. I've encountered each of them often enough that I wouldn't consider any of them particularly rare, though I don't recall seeing the 5/6 pin headers in a while.
     
  2. Slammy

    Slammy Active Member

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    Sound cards are awesome! I have a Sound Blaster Z and it blows my onboard away, i have an Asus Formula VII board which people used to praise the onboard sound on. With onboard, the sound was VERY flat, no bass and just sounded like muffled crap. There really was no comparison honestly, the sound card made a HUGE difference,
     
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  3. Alessio1989

    Alessio1989 Maha Guru

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    Than why not using analogue output? Digital output is meant for using with a decent, better, DAC/Amplifier external receiver. Using analogue output allows you to buy at the same price (of a digital set + amplifier/receiver) a better speaker set.
    As for Titanium HD, yes it's still a pretty good card, probably the best (and the last) X-FI. But today onboard on high-range MBs is similar to mid-range X-FI cards (midrange X-Fi 1st generation excluding the platinum and X-FI Titanium fatality series), I still use my X-Fi for it's driver/software downmix and upmix filters, far better then realtek and cheap software solutions (and are low latency too).
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  4. Alessio1989

    Alessio1989 Maha Guru

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    That's an additional reason to why digital output must die, crap realtek controller for useless analogue processing and then to optical is just a waste. I didn't search about the last realtek controllers implementation (and I never tried mine on optical output), but not using separate and proper circuit if you need simply to output untouched digital source is a realtek design flaw. I don't think is so expensive having a digital to optical converter without additional gimmicks, probably is just for a couple of cents less in the factory production line..
     
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  5. NCC1701D

    NCC1701D Active Member

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    I like a good sound card and have the Creative X7. I think their version of virtual surround sound implementation is among the best I've used and works really well for games using headphones. Some people hate it and swear that unprocessed stereo sound is better, but that's not been my experience or preference. I'm into music listening too and do most of that through my PC. Have some Shiit gear as well, but the Soundblaster is more convenient and can be customized for instant switching through the software profiles for gaming or pure music listening through direct input. It was expensive, but worth it to me. They have much cheaper options that aren't external, so you don't have to spend a fortune.

    Most people just don't care about their sound quality when they could spend that money elsewhere. If you've got good cans or external speakers that need to be driven, then I think a sound card is a worthy investment. Sound quality is super subjective too. One persons claim of amazing is another's nightmare. Most of my friends use overpriced gaming headsets and claim they have they have amazing sound. I've listened to these headsets. Astro, Turtle Beach etc...They are not amazing to my ears. If I'm going to spend 200+ dollars on a pair of headphones, I'd rather not run them through mobo audio. Yeah, the audiophile community can get a little snobby and there are definitely diminishing returns for higher priced gear, but I think the difference is worth it if you have the right speakers and configuration needs. It's pretty common to see articles on the internet saying mobo sound quality is good enough nowadays, but there's different use cases and gains to be made despite that philosophy.
     
  6. DW75

    DW75 Maha Guru

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    I am very interested in seeing the AE-9 in action. I have always used the analog outs on a sound card to the inputs on a receiver. I don't like toslink or coax digital audio. I have an Integra DTR-80.3, which is an extremely high end receiver. The AE-9 definitely sparks my interest. Shocking enough though, Creative decided to still use the shitty JRC2114D opamps on these cards. For people who buy either of these new cards, those should be immediately be replaced with at least the LME49860NA. This is an inexpensive and excellent upgrade. There is no reason for these two cards at their cost to be using those trash opamps.
     
  7. MegaFalloutFan

    MegaFalloutFan Master Guru

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    What a waste, I hoped for Internal Sound Card that has both great Stereo, clean MIC and their new Super XFI technology, when i looked at the article name i was sure thinking Oh im going to buy me a sound card.
    But they say to wait till the end of this quarter for External card with Super XFI, I hope its not a stick like their current XFI and has some PC oriented stuff, maybe software control [but not must], clean mic and some otehr stuff.
     
  8. MegaFalloutFan

    MegaFalloutFan Master Guru

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    I for example, since 1996 my PC always had a sound card and always it was creative until this last PC when I got external Sennheiser1200 PRO with Sennheiser Game One headphones.
    Sound card is NOT an expensive upgrade and unlike GPU it doesnt really gets outdated if you have PCIe or USB models.
    After MS killed hardware 3D audio, sound card were more for QUALITY sound, instead that 50cent tiny trash chip made by trash company that to this cant make a good network card, you get a huge proper sound card with tons of shiny chips, central processing until, clean audio, 32Bit, surround, virtual surround, Creative ALchemy [emulator to play old 3D Audio games] with proper sound, audio presets, equalizer and much more.
    For me the #1 reason to buy creative was because with my PC I always have a bunch of consoles, so for PS3 and X360 I had Virtual Surround headphones [ I lived trough 2-3 different pairs, different models] and they always worked trough toslink from the console, so why waste them?
    Creative sound cards always came with Dolby Digital Live feature, they can encode your PC sound be it stereo or 5.1 surround into 5.1 Dolby Digital Live and pass to the headphones [or your receiver if you want] so i could use my surround headphones with PC too.
    This time with PS4Pro i decided to get sony wireless USB 3D audio headphones and keep them just for PS4, anyway they only do stereo on PC and there is no toslink, so i got what after my research came to best virtual surround sound on PC and great audiophile stereo if i wanted, Sennheiser sound card and Sennheiser headphones.
     
  9. rl66

    rl66 Ancient Guru

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    totaly agree, also most motherboard generate "noise" on the audio processing despite it is way better than 5 years ago, good enough for gaming and general use but not enough for audiophile.
    nice point for the AE-9 connectivity

    But i don't understand a thing: Why chose internal in 2019 (also why chose creative or asus... but that's another point :) )
     
  10. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    Should be Singapore Dollar, of which if it was a direct conversion should be $323.67 and $220.45 USD.

    But according to their websites, the USD equivalent is $229.99 and $349.99
     

  11. LesserHellspawn

    LesserHellspawn Master Guru

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    I've been using Creative soundcards since the Soundblaster Pro all the way back in 1993. My last one was an X-Fi. After that one Creative abandoned 7.1, which is what I'm running. I found a good compromise by using my onboard Realtek in 7.1 and adding the Soundblaster MB3 software on top, which gives you most of the X-Fi features in software, namely EAX for older games and stereo to 7.1 upsampling, which the onboard does not support. I'm happy with that. But my next build might get a Soundblaster again, since 7.1 is back on their cards.
     
  12. AlmondMan

    AlmondMan Master Guru

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    I would be interested. My current sound card is an Asus Xonar D2X and it is probably in need of an upgrade. Mostly because it has to use open source drivers from some project that's been dead for years. And there's a tendency for it to short out or something while in use causing instant reboots...

    Onboard audio just does not sound quite as good - I did try for a while using my onboard audio (which is some sort of fancy stuff on this X470 prime pro) and there's some amount of difference in the sound - also I need to boost volume on my amplifier more to get the same volume that the dedicated card outputs.

    But I don't use headphones - except 2-3 times a year at a LAN party, so I've very little use for all this focus that goes in to making this something for headphone users.
     
  13. TyrantofJustice

    TyrantofJustice Ancient Guru

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    I just upgraded my ASUS xonar STX Essence to a EVGA NU Audio and on my klipsch monitors and 12 inch sub I am blown away. Next step is to get some good cans.
     
  14. insp1re2600

    insp1re2600 Master Guru

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    Think I'll stick with my ae-5, 300 is. Bit much for a sound card for me, nearly same price as my new Ryzen 3700x lol
     
  15. Humanoid_1

    Humanoid_1 Master Guru

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    I really like the toslink connector for stereo listening, but for surround sound it does not have the bandwidth to deal with HD surround encodes (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-Master HD) so has to make do with "SD" lossy surround sources (some that have HD in the name are still SD lossy versions really).

    This was particularly a problem for my MSI gaming laptop (GT60 1QD) as MSI went Out Of Their Way to disable surround audio over HDMI, leaving you with only stereo over HDMI lol -_-"
    I went to significant lengths to get this working again with no luck, online solutions never worked on my exact model. (some were even specifically for it, but still no joy)
    It was only when Windows 10 updated how it handles aspects of PC audio and HDMI audio worked again !

    That was a few years ago, is Toslink still so bandwidth limited today on more modern hardware?

    I've had SB products since their very early days, my last was an X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro which I was hapyp with for some time - until Creative announced they would not update drivers to be compatible with Windows 10 after MS changed how windows handles the audio stack during the beta..... had to go with a 3rd party driver to be able to continue using my Not Cheap sound card :(

    Creative bowed to pressure and Eventually released a driver update thankfully. (though a quick search just now shows there are again issues with 1803, 1809 and 1903 updates, shame.)
    The audio jack port on my card broke so have not used it for years.

    Now for surround sound, with a high end Pioneer amp (originally retailed for £1600) I have the best sound for movies and games that I have ever had. That though is in my basement for my projector setup, but am considering a real sound card for my PC in my bedroom / office.

    I must admit I am impressed with the onboard sound from my MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon AC (Realtek ALC 1220) for which they seem to have made a decent effort on the sound side of things to my mind. Onboard sound is definitely making progress.




    One thing I would mention, I used to be happy with the analogue stereo through my bedroom's Technics SU-VX600 Class AA amp until I heard the stereo through my newer Pioneer SC-LX75.
    - running on Tannoy Sensys DC2's
    I was blown away by the difference in quality, night and day better sound.
    For the 1st time it felt like I could reach out and touch the various instruments and vocals as if they were in the room with me. That was with the Pioneer running the inner pair of 4 speakers in a semi circle while the Technics had the outer pair and advantage yet still had Much better audio that jumped out into the room by comparison.
    I was impressed that Stereo could improve So Much from a good older amp to a well built modern one!


    Yeah, I need an upgrade for my bedroom amp now as well as perhaps a sound card if I get one lol
     

  16. Valken

    Valken Maha Guru

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    Most of the functions I already have with X-Fi MB but I want to see the Super X-Fi feature... the demos on the net are amazing...

    I just wish someone would monopolize real 3D audio such as TrueAudio or whoever and make it a standard again...
     
  17. alanm

    alanm Ancient Guru

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    Totally agree, esp for multi-ch speaker systems. Full bandwidth 7.1c h audio, all lossless formats supported, multi-ch amplification, superior flexibility, etc, just makes it a no brainer. Plus you get to use proper hi-fi speakers, subs (no PC crap). And the icing on the cake is no more Creative drivers to mess with or failing to handle multi-ch formats, etc. Windows sound API is simple, doesnt muck about, you tweak your sound not through software, but directly through your receiver.
     
  18. DmitryKo

    DmitryKo Master Guru

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    I would. Should be great for my Sennheiser HD600 headphones and KRK Rockit5 studio monitors.

    I kind of regret I did not move to buy X-Fi Titanium HD when they were briefly available, somehow I thought they would keep making it forever.

    That said, build quality of Creative drivers, Windows software, and (to a lesser extent) DSP firmware is plain awful. Has always been since Live!/Audigy (Emu10K) through X-Fi (Emu20K), and this does not change a little bit for SoundCore3D series cards. All kinds of stupid glitches which are never fixed (unless someone is able to mod a package from a newer driver for some supposedly different card). Old cards have absolutely zero Windows 8/10 support since Windows 7 binaries would not even work.

    You can install the new drivers released for AE-7/AE-9, they should also support AE-5 - though the new control panel does not (yet?).
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  19. TalentX

    TalentX Member

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    I never said that I'd only use it for the DTS/DDL encoding (I didn't even mention that I am using it at all), as I was only referring to the Toslink issue that has been discussed prior my posting. So I'd appreciate if you read properly before you make an insulting speculative assumption next time someone shares a post. Thank you.
    Nevertheless the dedicated sound card isn't just for the encoding anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  20. DmitryKo

    DmitryKo Master Guru

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    Yep, most of the high-end stuff would qualify as placebo. However Sound BlasterX G6 and AE-series are just good quality boards, designed around a premium DAC. Much better real-world performance than all those external high-end DACs from unknown Chinese companies which retail for like 5-10 times as much.
     

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