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Creative Sound Blaster Z PCIe 116dB SNR Gaming Sound Card with 600ohm Headphone Amp and Beamforming Microphone

  • PCI Express x1 5.1 Channels
  • TOSLink Optical Input and Output
  • Sound Core3D Processor
  • Beamforming Microphone
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Sound Blaster Z

Designed around the powerful Sound Core3D™ audio processor, the Sound Blaster Z series once again raises the bar for the industry standard of PCIe sound cards. Sound Blaster Z has been designed to meet the standards of those who want a vastly superior experience over motherboard audio. With external DACs delivering 116dB SNR, a 600 ohm audiophile-grade headphone amp, and massively customizable SBX Pro Studio technologies, Sound Blaster Z packs a serious audio punch.


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Sound Blaster Z

Sound Blaster Z

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"The Sound Blaster Z offers crystal clear sound that allows me to
completely focus on the game."
- Joshua "Trimaster" Niven

"The Sound Blaster Z is prefect for all gamers. It allows us to focus on what's most important. Winning."
- Kevin "qxc" Riley

"With SBX Pro Studio, the Sound Blaster Z has everything a gamer needs."
- Michale "goswser" Dobler

"Gaming with the Sound Blaster Z is truly a spectacular experience."
- Chad "Minigun" Jones

"The Sound Blaster Z has great sound quality and is ideal for casual
and hardcore gamers alike."
- Brendon "ryze" Walker

newegg


 



 
  • newegg 116dB SNR OF SUPERIOR EXPERIENCE Sound Blaster Z has been designed to meet the expectations of those who want a vastly superior experience over motherboard audio. With external DAC’s delivering 116dB SNR, a 600 ohm audiophile-grade headphone amp, and customizable SBX Pro Studio™ enhancements, this sound card packs a serious audio punch.
  •   newegg 3D Surround Sound SBX Pro Studio technologies allow you to control the level of audio immersion in music, movies, and games. Go beyond ordinary 5.1 and 7.1 solutions with an enhanced sense of audio depth and spaciousness by creating virtual surround sound channels via SBX Surround.
  •   newegg Crystal clear communication The CrystalVoice™ suite of technologies ensures you’ll experience crystal clear communications while using VOIP services, chatting or gaming, as well as providing a set of enhancements to ensure that recordings are of studio quality.
  • newegg Sound Blaster Beamforming Microphone The bundled beamforming microphone is optimized for use with CrystalVoice technologies. The dual microphone array enables implementation of advanced noise cancellation, creating superior recordings, and provides a voice transmission platform over a standard single mic solution.
  • newegg Sound Core3D audio processor The quad-core Sound Core3D audio processor was designed to offload SBX Pro Studio and CrystalVoice effects processing from your primary CPU, improving your overall PC performance, resulting in drastically superior audio and voice quality.
  • newegg High fidelity surround sound Connect to your home theatre system through a single digital cable and enjoy cinematic DVD movies by transforming any stereo or multi-channel streams into high fidelity immersive surround sound.
  • newegg Never unplug your headphones again With the Sound Blaster Z-series Control Panel, just toggle between your headphone and speaker system with a flip of a switch.

Sound Blaster Z


Product Name Sound Blaster ZxR Sound Blaster Zx Sound Blaster Z
Newegg Part No. 29-102-050 29-102-049 29-102-048
 
General  
Audio Processor Sound Core3D Sound Core3D Sound Core3D
Audio Resolution 24-Bit 24-Bit 24-Bit
Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR)
(20kHz Low-pass filter, A-Wgt),
@ 24-bit, 96kHz
124dB 116dB 116dB
Maximum Playback Quality 5.1 Mode : Up to 96kHz
Stereo Direct Mode : Up to 192kHz
5.1 Mode : Up to 96kHz
Stereo Direct Mode : Up to 192kHz
5.1 Mode : Up to 96kHz
Stereo Direct Mode : Up to 192kHz
Frequency Response @96kHz Front Channel Out : 10Hz to 45kHz
Rear Channel Out : 15Hz to 45kHz
Center Out : 10Hz to 45kHz
Headphone (33 ohms) : 10Hz to 45kHz
Front Channel Out : 10Hz to 45kHz
Rear Channel Out : 15Hz to 45kHz
Center Out : 10Hz to 45kHz
Headphone (33 ohms) : 10Hz to 45kHz
Front Channel Out : 10Hz to 45kHz
Rear Channel Out : 15Hz to 45kHz
Center Out : 10Hz to 45kHz
Headphone (33 ohms) : 10Hz to 45kHz
Frequency Response @192kHz (Stereo Direct Only) Front Channel Out : 10Hz to 88kHz Front Channel Out : 10Hz to 88kHz Front Channel Out : 10Hz to 88kHz
Maximum Recording Quality Up to 96kHz Up to 96kHz Up to 96kHz
I/O Ports (Main Card) Headphone : 1 x Amplified 1/4" jack
Speaker Out : 2x RCA (L / R)
2x 3.5mm jacks (Rear, C/Sub)
Microphone In: 1x 1/4" jack
Headphone : 1 x Amplified 3.5mm jack
Speaker Out : 3 x 3.5mm jacks(F/R/C-Sub)
Line / Mic In : 1x shared 3.5mm jack
Optical Out : 1x TOSLINK
Optical In : 1x TOSLINK
Headphone : 1 x Amplified 3.5mm jack
Speaker Out : 3 x 3.5mm jacks(F/R/C-Sub)
Line / Mic In : 1x shared 3.5mm jack
Optical Out : 1x TOSLINK
Optical In : 1x TOSLINK
I/O Ports (DBPro card) Line In : 2x RCA (L / R)
Optical Out : 1x TOSLINK
Optical In : 1x TOSLINK
Not Applicable Not Applicable
Connection PCI-Express PCI-Express PCI-Express
600ohm Amplified Headphone Output Y - 80mw TI TPA6120 Y - Maxim MAX97220A Y - Maxim MAX97220A
Swappable OP-AMPs Y N N
Included Acesssories Audio Control Module (with Beamforming Microphone Built-in) Audio Control Module (with Beamforming Microphone Built-in) Beamforming Microphone
 
Audio Technology  
SBX Pro Studio
- Surround™
- Crystalizer™
- Bass™
- Smart Volume™
- Dialog Plus™
Y Y Y
CrystalVoice™
- Noise Reduction
- Smart Volume
- Acoustic Echo Cancellation
- FX
- Focus
Y Y Y
Speaker/Headphone Switch Y Y Y
 
Music & Movies  
Dolby Digital Live Encoding Encoding Encoding
DTS Connect Encoding Encoding Encoding
Upmixing of Stereo to Multi-Channels SBX Surround SBX Surround SBX Surround
 
Gaming  
Scout Mode™ Y Y Y
EAX EAX 5.0 HD EAX 5.0 HD EAX 5.0 HD
Max. No. of 3D Voices 128 128 128
Creative ALchemy Y Y Y

Learn more about the Creative Labs Z

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year


Customer Reviews of the Creative Labs Z

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  • Harry C.
  • 7/26/2015 10:48:24 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsSAVE your Money

Pros: None that are any different from the Audigy card I replaced

Cons: No 2.1 configuration ( I was told there would be by support)
no volume control in program? have to manually crank down the Volume using knob on speaker?
In program like online video its either Full blast or no sound at all. ( never had this issue with the Audigy?)

Other Thoughts: The red Led is a stupid idea and does nothing for the Performance of the Sound Card!
If ya keep putting out cards like this Ill go elsewhere for my Soundcard needs.

0 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Thomas W.
  • 7/22/2015 4:06:18 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day

5 out of 5 eggsBlew me away!

Pros: KILLER sound. I had a pretty high end set of computer speakers and I was blown away at how much raw power was harnessed from them with the Soundblaster Z then with the default audio card. I know a lot of people think that sound cards are kind of a placebo but this is definitely progress that you can HEAR!

Cons: None so far

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Justin L.
  • 6/30/2015 5:28:15 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsSound Magick

Pros: Best sound I've gotten out of a sound card.

Cons: None that I've found.

Other Thoughts: So here's the thing, make sure you work on your sound settings to get the optimal experience. Not really a drawback, but I have a Razer headset, which required some adjustment to the microphone sensitivity. Serious power in the card.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Paul L.
  • 6/18/2015 10:43:08 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsNice Little Card

Pros: A Lot of features and a great sound for the price.Superior to on board sound in every way. I don't have to turn my volume up as much to hear even more sounds in games,

Cons: That red LED inside is rather annoying and bright. There should be a software option to disable it. You can take the shield off and either wrap it with electrical tape or dull it a bit with a black sharpie. The instructions are weak. My surround sound speakers actually plugged into different holes to correctly work than what is posted.

Other Thoughts: It is a small card and even right next to a GPU should not be a concern to hinder cooling. A lot of people don't realize this card will not only work in a PCIe X1 slot but also in the x4 & x8 so there are more mounting options.

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • A S.
  • 6/1/2015 11:15:49 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsSome Kinks, But Works

Pros: Great sound quality when it works

Cons: Very crackly, every now and then distorts ALL sound (defect?), red LED inside is bright and positioned at eye level...

0 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Peter B.
  • 5/27/2015 6:11:20 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsBuggy

Pros: Works good with older gen motherboards, somewhat.

Cons: With the z87 board there is nothing but issues. Before that it was ok, It will not take a 5.1 sound headset, it makes you use it as speakers, i hate that. And its set up for 2 channel headset.

Other Thoughts: Dont waste your money, Sound Blaster is now integrating their chips into onboard sound on motherboards, so you just have a bunch of driver issues.

0 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Mr. R.
  • 5/19/2015 10:57:54 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsSolid Card, Great sound

Pros: PCIe x1 so easy to fit in places.
EMI Shield is very nice to have.
Headphone jack AMP
Nice packaging.

Cons: The red light.

Other Thoughts: Had been using onboard sound and getting static in the right channel after the case heated up and fans went on, with this card its all gone away. Software does more than is needed.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Theodore K.
  • 5/16/2015 10:31:39 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsDisapointing

Pros: Great sounding audio when it feels like behaving. ASIO drivers.

Cons: Static noise that after a few reinstalls of the operating system and drivers may or may not go away until the next time you reinstall your operating system. Merely reinstalling the drivers and software for this product have not fixed the problem. Tech support seems to blame the motherboard. Motherboard manufacturer blames the audio card.

Other Thoughts: I honestly do not know what is the bigger disappointment, having a product that is not working right or getting the run around. I am done spending money on shipping to try and fix this issue. I am gong to file this audio card in the circular filing cabinet and call it a bad buy.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Russell J.
  • 5/16/2015 9:20:57 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsDecent for the price

Pros: Discrete cards will always be superior to onboard sound. Due to the separate processor for encoding and such. While I have had no issues with the card or the drivers/software, I will commend Creative for including 2.1 speaker setup in their software. The sound coming from the card is nice and clear compared to my onboard. Lots of options in the software and easily able to swap from headphones to speakers

Cons: the beamforming mic is completely worthless. the quality of the mic included is by far worse than a 10$ desktop mic from office depot. While they have updated the software, there are no explanations to what the different settings actually do.

Other Thoughts: While the card itself is a welcome upgrade to my rig, some might not like the super bright LED on the card. It happens to fit my color scheme for my build so no complaints from me. The removal of one egg is due to the labeling of the ports on the card no being clear enough and having to angle the card just right to get the right light on it to see the stamped shapes which label the ports. I havent had any issues with any of the software or drivers and configuring speaker settings is easy once you know whats doing what. Also the addition of 2.1 speaker support on the card is awesome. I would recommend the card if you're looking for a decent discrete card and dont want to shell out the money as the other SBz series are not much different than this card.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Alan L.
  • 5/7/2015 8:37:39 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsFantastic Sound Value

Pros: You want this sound card.

Cons: What's with the red led? Lasers aren't this bright.

Other Thoughts: Placed electrical tape over led and tamed it some. Non issue if no window or flaming red is your color scheme !

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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