Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium vs Sound Blaster Z

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Valagard, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. Valagard

    Valagard Guest

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HHKHJmTytQ

    Just thought I would make this its own thread, since this seems to be the biggest question I see asked these days, is what each one sounds like for games and if the positional sound is better with the Sound Blaster Z

    I think its incredibly better, I would also like to point out it sounds incredibly better to boot

    I use Sony MDR-V700 DJ's so these headphones are fairly high end (Sony removed them from the market actually, their only replacement from Sony is $350) and I am very impressed with this sound card.

    Why it sounds better for music etc I do not know, but I'm hearing things I never heard before in movies/music that my Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium never caught. Like I mention on the youtube video, the song Midnight Ride by The Midnight Riders I found out after first listening to it that he's actually tapping his foot at the start of the song, something my Sound Blaster X-Fi never picked up.
     
  2. flimbo

    flimbo Master Guru

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    Regular Titanium or Titanium HD??
     
  3. Nightmare

    Nightmare Active Member

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    I'm also curious if it was a Titanium or Titanium HD.

    I just pulled the trigger on a Sound Blaster Z as well, coming from a Titanium Professional Fata1ty, and your review makes me confident it was a good decision. I also saw in your video that you were using PAX Drivers on the X-Fi to boot, and still thought it sounded better. That also makes me happier. :D
     
  4. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    it's not better than the hd, but I've read reports that it sounds better than regular titanium.
     

  5. Valagard

    Valagard Guest

    Regular Titanium
     
  6. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    If you used "Entertainment Mode" or "Gaming Mode" with the X-Fi Titanium (non-HD)....it's not hard to get better sound as both "modes" seemed to muffle or distort sound pretty badly in my experience.
     
  7. Valagard

    Valagard Guest

    Default drivers from Creative yes

    PAX modified drivers? The X-Fi Titanium matches X-Fi HD using default Creative drivers. No joke.

    And that's with the X-Fi Titanium in game mode even.
     
  8. RagDoll_Effect

    RagDoll_Effect Ancient Guru

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  9. Tacoboy

    Tacoboy Master Guru

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    I would guess the SB-Z's (Sound Blaster Z) DAC chip (CS4398) is better then the Titanium's (non-HD) DAC chip (CS4385), and is at least one the reasons for better audio. quality.
     
  10. Nightmare

    Nightmare Active Member

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    Got the Z today and after a lot of tweaking I'm starting to enjoy it more over my Titanium card. I have to agree with Valagard that positional audio is MUCH better with this card. I always thought that the rear channels in games were muddy and often too low, who knew it was just the card itself?

    I'm curious what settings you guys are finding works best for you? I noticed that the "Surround" effect in SBX actually forces the surround effect in everything -- including native 5.1 sources. The result is some really weird echoy sounds to almost everything. I ended up putting the Surround effect off entirely and think it sounds better, especially in games. However, I have the Crystalizer way up and I feel it really helps enhance the audio. EQ I've messed with a bit but I find it seems better with it off.

    I'm using a receiver so I find DTS Connect w/ Neo PC is doing a much better job at upmixing when needed, and I can always force a stereo upmix using Potplayer for media files. I can't believe Creative would have the Surround effect force on everything. At least CMSS-3D was intelligent enough to disable on any 5.1 sources.
     

  11. Radical_53

    Radical_53 Ancient Guru

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    How did you have your stuff configured if you're saying positional audio is better now than it was before, with the older card? If I remember correctly positional audio was one of the key things X-Fi did right and was told to be better than its competition.
     
  12. Syidi

    Syidi Master Guru

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    I still thinks that my soundcard is still ok... but now I really envy to get the Z series...
     
  13. signex

    signex Ancient Guru

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    Man, i really loved my Titanium, great soundcard.
     
  14. Valagard

    Valagard Guest

    I found it only enables with stereo sources

    Have you updated the drivers? The ones on creatives site are not the newest I think
     
  15. Valagard

    Valagard Guest

    Set to gaming mode, using PAX drivers and CMSS-3D turned on

    It really is night and day, I was flat out amazed how much better positional sound was with my Z

    I wish my game audio recording software picked it up better

    FYI - PAX gaming mode has better quality then entertainment mode does. newest drivers anyways
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2013

  16. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    I own Titanium and Zx was IMO improvement over Forte which in turn was obviously better than the Titanium.
     
  17. Radical_53

    Radical_53 Ancient Guru

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    Interesting. I'm still very happy with my Titanium HD but better positional audio is always something that could turn into a selling point ;)
    I read somewhere that only some of the opamps were swappable so I guess I'll read up on some of the reviews to get a clear answer on that.
    Or maybe someone around knows?
     
  18. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    I don't mess with "modified" drivers. I used Audio Creation mode for everything.
     
  19. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    Also I'm almost certain that no so called "optimised" driver, especially PAX can improve sound quality. As far as I know, the guy just makes changes to driver ini and maybe tries to make them compatible by swapping some driver components from different packages. The so called improvement is either placebo or result of messing around with bass and treble settings or something similar in which case they would sound worse to me.

    Daniel K just tries to make 'em work properly without unfounded claims about better sound quality.
     
  20. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    yep, I've used these in the past and found them unconvincing. placebo happens a lot in sound department.
     

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