Sound Blaster X-AE5 vs Sound Blaster Z

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by djsolidsnake86, Nov 13, 2017 at 5:16 PM.

  1. djsolidsnake86

    djsolidsnake86 Master Guru

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    At the moment i have a sound blaster z, i use it with a SMSL amplifier and a 2.0 system by scythe krokraft, i also use superlux hd681evo headphone
    What could be the benefits of change my sbz with the new Sound Blaster X-AE5?
     
  2. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    Depends on what you want and need (feature wise) but sound quality wise I you aren't going to hear any difference with those headphones (judging by the quality of my backup Superlux HD 668B headphones). Z/Zx has rather decent DAC to being with. If you want a real difference put that money in different headphones.
     
  3. djsolidsnake86

    djsolidsnake86 Master Guru

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    are you sure of this?
     
  4. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    Yes. If you want to hear actual improvement or difference, buy different headphones.

    The thing is... I don't think very highly about my Superlux HD 668B's. I bought them originally when my Sennheiser HD 595's were being repaired. In terms of audio quality it's no contest - HD 595's annihilate the my Superluxes in every possible way (on top of that this particular model is pure torture to wear). So, consider this: You can get much, much better headphones with the money you would put in AE-5. X-AE5 has better headphone amp but even still, Z/Zx are good soundcards already and good match even for pricier headphones.

    Heck, here in Finland AE-5 costs the same as Sennheiser HD 599. In your case I would just pick those instead and be super happy.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017 at 6:22 PM

  5. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    The thing is, you won't know til you try. Never know the headphones may improve on the AE-5 or they might not. If the headphones are really as bad as what anarion is trying to say, then you may not.

    The Speakers on the other hand, they may allow you to hear the difference. But I don't know any thing about that brand or how those speakers sound. But sound performance wise, the AE-5 is an upgrade over the SB-Z from my experience with both cards.

    At most the only thing you would probably evidently do is upgrading your headphones to something that would do the card some justice. I just can't tell you if those headphones will be able to handle it or not handle it. But there is only one way to find out, and if it doesn't then you will know and can move on to headphones that will do the justice.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017 at 6:17 PM
  6. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Dont waste your money on upgrading soundcard, unless you in dire need of sound features.

    Always put priority on headphones 1st. Once soundcard is uncappable of driving headphones (which doesnt happen often with built-in amp), you may start looking into better audio equipment. To be honest, I’d rather consider standalone dac/amp than soundcard by then.

    What you trying to do is similar with improving your car by putting expensive gas in it. If you want better ride you need a new car.
     
  7. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    They are great for the money. But in the end they are they are 29 € headphones. Switching from Z to AE-5 is not going to make any real difference with those. at least here in Finland AE-5 costs roughly to 200 €. IMO, it would be a massive waste.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 7:07 AM
  8. DW75

    DW75 Master Guru

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    You are much better off upgrading your headphones. If you want a few choices for closed back headphones, I would suggest the following:

    Beyerdynamic T70, Focal Listen, Focal Spirit Professional, Shure SRH840

    Any of these would be a substantial upgrade for you.
     

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