Creative releases Sound BlasterX AE-5 Plus Gaming Sound Card

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Apr 16, 2020.

  1. Noisiv

    Noisiv Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,587
    Likes Received:
    1,022
    GPU:
    2070 Super
    That was just a complicated way of saying that transparent means "good enough". Ie. your ears can't measure it.
    I take it you're in headphones camp, virtual surround brigade :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
    Fergutor likes this.
  2. lordzerg

    lordzerg Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    AMD Radeon R9 290
    You are absolutely right, That's the answer most of the people here need to read. I was too lazy to write in details why Creative is the best! but you said it right!
     
    Fergutor likes this.
  3. Denial

    Denial Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    13,234
    Likes Received:
    2,725
    GPU:
    EVGA RTX 3080
    I think soundcards have a purpose but that purpose is definitely shrinking -- onboard audio is getting better and USB DACs like JDS Labs/Schiit are becoming more popular.
     
  4. deusex

    deusex Master Guru

    Messages:
    605
    Likes Received:
    76
    GPU:
    3090 FTW3 Ulata
    Bought this card 2 weeks ago, did not realize this is the newest sound card from creative, nice.
     

  5. sir_frigorifero

    sir_frigorifero New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    GPU:
    1080Ti
    It may sound odd but the AE-5 actually fills a void in the market that is even now uncontested by most products.

    The Creative AE-5 can be bought for about 130€ right now on amazon and for this price is the only DAC/amp that offers a good clean audio and an adeguate amp for most common headphones. if you want something similar you must jump to 180-200€ price point.
    While it has the flaws of internal sound cards (PCI-e slot needed, PSU dependency, PC use only, drivers issues) it can be a product that can fit most uses for PC gamers and/or enthusiast with a not so large budget.

    On the otherside to people saying that modern motherboards are equipped with audio chips that are adequate for audio usage i want them to know that this is totally wrong.
    while this section on the motherboard received some wide upgrades in the recent times it's still a weak point of motherboards. most people are pleased by numbers boasted by manufacturers and surround features but when it comes to real usage there are mainly 2 big flaws: Noise generated and Power.
    Starting from the latter, MBs audio section does not have enough power and the little it has is very bad quality output, just this is enough to ruin headphone experience for every kind on can used.
    Noise is more complicated but is easily related with ordinary usage. when the PC is idle there are no problems since everything is calm and power usage is low, but when we start making our hardware work the noise and the distortion rise quite high and this results that in gaming usage the quality sinks and becomes garbage.
     
    lordzerg and Fergutor like this.
  6. LordSoth

    LordSoth Member Guru

    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    1
    GPU:
    MSI 1080 8gig
    Got a USB headset, is there any good DAC/AMPS that work with USB gaming headsets.
     
  7. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    12,500
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    GPU:
    Aorus 3090 Xtreme
    A USB headset by definition has the DAC and amp built in.
    No, it isnt possible without getting out your screwdriver and soldering iron.
     
    Fergutor likes this.
  8. rl66

    rl66 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    2,736
    Likes Received:
    296
    GPU:
    Sapphire RX 580X SE
    I totaly agree with you, and the most bad things is that there is more and more restriction on board, sure there is light to show the sound path on the board, tool that "look" accurate etc etc.
    But it is still cheap chips that doesn't sound good.
    On the B450,that i have on my HTPC, i have no optical or numeric, so i connected the DAC via USB i was happy because it work, but sound strange...
    It was at 24bit 96khz max... for a SABRE ES9038 at 32bit 768khz it is a bit weak.
    I tested it on studio in USB, it was at the right max, i tested it with a Mac (erk :( ) it was good too.
    In the end it was a limit of the drivers and windows (even if you dissabled totally anything about sound onboard).
    I put the hand on an old Xonar for free (maybe 99th hands lol) and use it in passthrough optical at the limit of this output (but way over 96khz) but for it's purpose it is good enough.
    I never ever get this issue with any other computer i had in the past, and i had the same problem with the X570, but on this one i don't care.
     
  9. Denial

    Denial Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    13,234
    Likes Received:
    2,725
    GPU:
    EVGA RTX 3080
    I disagree. The average person doesn't own $600+ audiophile headphones. They own $25-50 Logitech/Razr/Steel headphones and for them on board is definitely adequate. My cousin for example heard my Focal Clear's through a JDS element and said "my beats are better, they have better bass"

    Those are the kinds of people using motherboard audio, they make up the vast majority of people, they don't need sabre dacs, they don't care about sound quality at all. That's the definition of adequate.
     
  10. Fergutor

    Fergutor Member Guru

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    18
    GPU:
    MSI 1660 Super GX
    About power, my case, well not in headphones (I use low impedance ones) but feeding a quite power demanding amp (specs say 10k input impedance, and PC: 400 mV ± 50 mV / AUX: 350 mV ± 50 mV input sensitivity), the ALC887 from a Gigabyte A320m-S2H and ALC892 from a MSI B350 Tomahawk simply can't feed it properly. My Audigy SE can do it way better achieving almost twice the volume (that bad is the onboard power), and my TV/monitor has even a louder signal from the "headphones output" and can achieve even more volume without distortion (at least what I can hear and I mean very subtle things I learned to detect). With the onboard at 100% I think it distorts with bass heavy music, the Audigy doesn't, the TV/Monitor gets to 65% if I remember corectly (can't test right now) before distorting, which I assume it's because it surpass what the amp can take, not becasue the output distorts, and also louder than the Audigy. Immensely more volume than the onboard audio. That should tell you how much onboard suck at power delivery!
    For testing I use the loudest, non distorted album I have which is "Nadir" from the band "Black Tongue" (absolutely amazing one if you like metal). It does distort at some points but I know where; their previous album sounds even louder but went beyond what's possible so it clips (bad production there, volume war at extreme). But you can't always say if it distorts when music is loud so I also use John Rutter Requien Five Anthems (which sounds extremely low), if "Requiem aeternaum" sounds weird at the beggining I know the signal it's clipping. Also use many other samples, not just those two, some heavy with bass, some with heavy treble, or other characteristics.
    I read from other users, basically what you are saying, how onboard audio seems to be fine for music, but in games, when many things sound at the same time quality gets totally destroyed and the audio sounds muddy. In the time I had the A320 Gigabyte mother and I was forced to use the onboard audio I really can't say specifically becasue I hated almost all the way, except in the detail in music, at low volume, that's good.

    Nono, not necessarily, I use whatever works. Properly works.
    I have a shitty 5.1 system, my quite good 2.0 speakers (6,5" woofer, 1"silk tweeter, with AB class amp that is not bad at all) and my normal headphones. And as I'm saying I use it as it is supposed to be used: 5.1 for 5.1 and 7.1 streams (7.1 on 5.1 speakers, the side speakers must be physically moved to rear and the sides are automatically virtualized by windows I guess sounding in both rear and front at lower volume making it seem as it is at the sides, 5.1 in 7.1 never tested so I don't know how it is yet); stereo speakers for stereo, and if I'm being lazy and the streams isn't worthy I can use the CMSS3D for speakers for suround sources which virtualized the rear and side channels (quite good on my dead X-Fi, not good on the Audigy); and headphones for everything, so 5.1 and 7.1 streams with CMSS3D headphones (to resume, games you usually have to set to headphones in the Creative control panel or on the console, then set to 5.1 or 7.1 in Windows and turn on CMSS3D for headphones, not all, not always, not all cases). (Sending stereo to a n.1 system and mixing the low frequencies to the lone subwoofer is also not proper or sending to the other channels in a surround system)
    The important thing is if you send a surround sound stream to stereo headphones without any processing, you are doing it wrong, as center channel, front channels, side channels and rear channels will all sound at sides or rather at "headphones sides", except the center that will sound at center of your head, instead of at front center, L/R fronts, L/R sides and L/R rears as it should be. If you do that with stereo speakers, all will sound at whatever you have the speakers positioned at. If you use an undefined stereo in a game that you don't know if it's for speakers or headphones or a compromise of the two, you will probably have a bad experience and better use a surrpund system or a virtual surround system (like I just explained). Sometimes is the contrary and the in game virtualization ends up being the right one, CS:GO is a great example, as the virtualization is good and if you use external an one (as CMSS3D in my case) setting 5.1 or 7.1 in game and the headphones virtualzation in sound card can result in bad sound from the user voices and other sounds that are supposed to sound normal stereo (like music) and not front, or all around, and given that the virtualization distorts the sound (the big downside of it) it can lower the experience with those specific sounds (using a 5.1 or 7.1 speakers system with CS:GO is a bad idea for several reasons).Etc.
    You just have to do it right.

    Read my first comment and this one above. Also what "sir frigorifero" said
    In resume, USB "DACs", onboard audio and other external devices like receivers, simply don't have the features needed for proper PC use. Especially software features. Fail in proper signal delivery, and in signal consistency-coherence under stress.
    If all onboard audio had actual quality, power and useful software then ok, but is not the case. Putting a (probably) proper onboard sound on high end motherboards has been done since 2005 or a bit latter...and is still not a normal thing, at all, for low end motherboards, nor even for high end ones. Even the ones that tries to do it fine, are still far from enough, like my MSI B350 Tomahaws (which is a medium tier mobo) with it's many audio caps, jacks and especially its Nahimic soft: a move forward but still sucks in all fronts and is still not enough.
    So for that to happen at this rate...it seems like probably never.
    USB "DACs" or rather USB external sound cards, those ones are in better position as there are already proper ones, but they are expensive, external, and not better than internal soundcards.

    ------

    Yes, I have time :D
     

  11. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    12,500
    Likes Received:
    1,162
    GPU:
    Aorus 3090 Xtreme
    When you post in black it wont get read by many people because they use the black theme.
    Black text on a black background ...
     
    Gandul likes this.
  12. Noisiv

    Noisiv Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,587
    Likes Received:
    1,022
    GPU:
    2070 Super
    @Fergutor
    Dog you say you have good 2.0 and shitty 5.1 speakers. Why not add two cheap rears? (EDIT: to your good 2.0 stereo)
    Fronts (and center if its there) are worth every penny.
    Rears are just about placement and loudness

    This guy knows a thing or two:
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
    Fergutor likes this.
  13. Fergutor

    Fergutor Member Guru

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    18
    GPU:
    MSI 1660 Super GX
    Ha, didn't wanted to clarify to keep it as short as I could (challenge not achieved :D ). Actually it's a cheap (and bad) 5.1 that I removed the front center and I'm using the 2.0 as fronts. Reason is that the center sounds out of place with the 2.0 system and as I can remove them and untick them in the Realtek panel so the two fronts reproduce that missing center, I do it as it sounds way better (I have to use the onboard because the Audigy SE doesn't let me do that. Hypocrite me huh? Also I use the onboard for CS:GO as the mic input sounds better and as I said before CS:GO doesn't need 3rd party virtual surround or anything else...double hypocrite me!!! If I had the money to spend on a newer sound card to actually do this, then this will be relevant as Audigy SE is old and I'm using modified drivers). Also not using it as 7.1, you know, using the 2.0 as fronts, the 5.1 fronts as sides and the sides as rear, because I didn't thought of it then and now the missing speakers are buried in a place I don't have access to currently.
    Now, you say add two cheap, good 2.0 to my current 2.0?
    If you mean having 3 amps or 2 systems, 1 for the front 1 for the rears and 1 for the sub (and center if I had) yeah I thought about that but nah too many amps, too many cables it's a mess already as it is.
    If you mean having a "4.0", I did that, but not all programs adapt to that as it should be. And the missing sub (that ends up playing its LFE channel trough the fronts adding problems) is important.

    Now, "Rears are just about placement and loudness". I'm not totally sure what you mean, but for what I'm understanding, I don't agree.
    In specific surround streams, all 6 or 8 (or whatever quantity) channels have a specific content, they aren't a front's modification, just as the LFE channel isn't the front's bass mixed there (as does happen in 2.1 systems). That's an usual misconception. In reality each channel has its own information (except Atmos and DTS:X that are "object based").
    Now if that wasn't what you were saying, then sorry, I didn't understand, please correct me.
    About Z reviews...I don't like that guy a lot, I watched many of his videos but he sometimes says things that just aren't truth. If he said that rears are only that and for that, no, he is mistaken. Anyway, point me to a part in the video!
     
    Noisiv likes this.
  14. Noisiv

    Noisiv Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,587
    Likes Received:
    1,022
    GPU:
    2070 Super
    @Fergutor
    So you know of Zeos.. ok didnt know that. Imho he's pretty damn good. Thought you might want to hear opinion from someone with as much gear and experience as him.

    "Rears are just about placement and loudness" is pretty much the gist of that vid. Off screen mud is what gets played on rears. Everything you see on screen goes throughthe two stereo speakers, that is unless you have center (which you don't even need unless you're positioned off-center). And unless one has really good center,ie as good or better than his stereo - and unless one is able to synchronize it with stereo, make it blend with left and right speakers - he should skip center all together. That is how I see it dog :)

    Anyway we might disagree, but "using the 2.0 as fronts, the 5.1 fronts as sides and the sides as rear" is compatible with everything I said above. And that is exactly how I would have done it in your situation - skip the center cos its meh, and put dinky speakers for FAR LESS IMPORTANT content coming on sides/rears. VOILA :D
     
    Fergutor likes this.
  15. Denial

    Denial Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    13,234
    Likes Received:
    2,725
    GPU:
    EVGA RTX 3080
    Zeos is okay.. he's come under fire about some of his opinions on speakers that don't reflect the objective measurements - I think the 650 comment about it being brighter than the 600 was a major one -- but then again the objective measurement people also have their own bias. Audiosciencereview for example has made some really odd statements, despite most people considering them the go to for objectivity. Audio in general is filled with a lot of snakeoil, nonsense and $$$.
     

  16. Noisiv

    Noisiv Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,587
    Likes Received:
    1,022
    GPU:
    2070 Super
    @Denial
    He is guilty of using subjective terms like bright, punchy, warm, sterile etc, so if he came under fire for that, good for him. As for snakeoil, don't get me started :D


    What about them/ linkie?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  17. Fergutor

    Fergutor Member Guru

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    18
    GPU:
    MSI 1660 Super GX
    This. He does have experience that I will never have, all of that gear. And I like the guy have his opinions and he says them. Also that he reviews varied stuff and not just the elitist ones. For example he gets my respect that he reviewed some Edifier speakers. But as I said sometimes he says dumb things, wrong things and he sucks at explaining anything. He moves his hands in front of the camera and act as if that's a point, usually while saying "...all...this". The first time I saw him doing it I laughed...not the other 50 times. Etc.
    And to this topic, when he reviews sound cards he is just depressing how wrong he gets it. I mean this was a long time now but I think it was the Creative X7 in which he sucked just too much.
    Guy ended up giving me headhaches and that's not an easy thing to do!

    Ah ok, well, then we don't disagree totally because for example, as I said this is a shitty 5.1 so those rears suck, and while I can't say I don't care (in fact I do), I'm willing to endure it even when they suck, which means I don't think they are absolutely useless. That's something, I think haha!
    But yes, what I know is that rears, sides and LFE are part of the whole (not just some plus you can ignore), for example if it was just placement (and loudness) then how do you call the moment in which when you are playing a game, an enemy, for example, comes from behind and you hear it there..."placement"? If so...ok...but maybe you mean "positioning"? ...Or my english still sucks...?
    Then "loudness"...that doesn't make any sense to me (probably "ambient" or "environment", thing that I also heard before when referring to those?), I will have to see his video to see what he means...aaaahh 42 and a half minutes of waving his hands and saying "...all...this..." and making it loooooooooooooooooong :D (worse than me!)




    Yes, my speaker are Edifier (the good ones)... hehe :p But still!
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
  18. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    2,773
    Likes Received:
    452
    GPU:
    Nitro 5700 XT
    The only game that requires hdmi for audio for Atmos is BF1
    [​IMG]

    I have not seen any other PC game requiring such an cumbersome connection on PC.
     
  19. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    9,507
    Likes Received:
    3,324
    GPU:
    GTX 1080ti
    atmos is rubbish anyway.
     
    Alessio1989 likes this.
  20. Andrew LB

    Andrew LB Maha Guru

    Messages:
    1,187
    Likes Received:
    191
    GPU:
    EVGA GTX 1080@2,025
    DAC's are great for music, but they suck for games since they do not convert multi-channel audio into a 2 channel for headphones while maintaining proper directional audio. Cards like my X-Fi titanium HD pass that data over TOSLINK to my external DAC and then to my heavily modded little DOT MK3, Schiit Magni 3, or to my DJS Labs Element II. I won't buy a Topping product since there are American made alternatives. Every dime i can keep from going to China the better.

    If all you do is play music, then by all means, enjoy your USB DAC. But to be totally honest, you wouldn't be able to tell the differnce between it and a Fiio D30k. (the good original version)
     

Share This Page