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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

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the Creative Labs Z

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  • Ryan A.
  • 8/26/2015 11:55:10 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat DSP for Movies, Game and Music

Pros: In general, this card isn't much different than the X-Fi Fatal1ty card I had to replace which two critical exceptions: this card offers DTS Connect instead of DD Live only (DTS has a much higher fidelity potential), and this card supports actual full range audio.

The 24-bit Crystallizer continues to be a welcome feature which enlivens music quite nicely, provided your speakers and/or receiver support the quality. For added quality, I recommend configuring Windows to output a 24-bit audio signal of 96khz or better.

Cons: The Creative Audio Control Panel has been redone, and I personally find it less intuitive than previous versions. Like so many things, it's become over-simplified instead of offering a simplified view and an advanced view. If your intended use is for any kind of musical recording, I'd -strongly- advise buying an EMU series card that provides those I/O options now unavailable from SoundBlaster series cards. It's clear from what little settings are available for recording that it was intended for vocal recording.

Other Thoughts: I'm using this card in a system running both Windows 7 Pro and Windows 10 Pro and shares living space with a nVidia graphics card that also has a DSP in it for HDMI output, and I have had absolutely zero driver-related problems with this card on either OS. To ensure that your experience is also free from driver issues, be sure to purge your computer of any older CreativeLabs drivers and software before installing the latest drivers for this card. I didn't use the disc that came with the card, rather I downloaded the drivers directly from us.Creative.com for Windows 7 and Windows 10.

In order to do justice to this card's audio quality, I strongly recommend use of a home theater system instead of comparatively cruddy computer speakers. I'm using a Kenwood receiver with a frequency response well outside human hearing range in both directions with speakers with a response of 20 to 42000hz and a subwoofer with a response of 4 to 300hz. I've owned several Creative cards, including an EMU card, and none of them produced a signal that my receiver would actually recognize as full-range. The bass was previously present, but was being routed to the subwoofer automatically instead of allowing my receiver to dissect the signal itself. I've it configured to play in full-range, and I use the subwoofer for added fun with explosions and other such things.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Kadir S.
  • 8/14/2015 6:12:38 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggswin7 issues

Pros: None so far. Old Audigy was better

Cons: Why does soundblasters always with driver issues? The Control Panel takes literally 5 minutes to start after clicking on it. There is no intuitive way to set up for headphone jack detection.

Other Thoughts: After seeing bugs in performing simple tasks, I'm scared to plugin my guitar to this thing. I'd probably have to spend 2 weeks trying to get a sound out... Last SB I own for sure.

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  • Jody S.
  • 8/14/2015 3:03:40 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat card

Pros: I have an ASUS hero vii, with already great onboard sound, and I really can't tell much of a difference between the two unless you are listening to very high quality sound (which you should be). But I bought it so I can do Dolby, (the hero only has DTS). Everything worked perfectly out of the box, easy install, easy setup. Red LED matches my Hero perfectly and lights up the case nicely. Price is very reasonable. If you already have good onboard sound I wouldn't buy this unless you really want some features you are missing out on.

Cons: none so far

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  • michel S.
  • 8/11/2015 6:55:11 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsreally fast

Pros: fast service good product

Cons: na

Other Thoughts: nothing

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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 4 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.

2 out of 2 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 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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