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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

Model

Brand
Creative
Series
Sound Blaster
Model
Z
Part
70SB150000000

Audio core

Audio Chipset
Sound Core3D
Channels
5.1
Sample Rate
192KHz
Digital Audio
24-bit
SNR
116dB

Ports

Line In
Shared 1/8" mini jack with mic in
Line Out
3 x 1/8" mini jacks (Front,Rear,C/Sub)
SPDIF In
1 x TOSLINK
SPDIF Out
1 x TOSLINK
MIC In
Shared 1/8" mini jack with line in
Other Ports
Headphone: 1 x Amplified 1/8" mini jack

Spec

Interface
PCI Express x1
Operating Systems Supported
Microsoft Windows 8 (32/64-bit) ; Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
System Requirements
Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD equivalent processor, 2.2GHz or faster recommended.
Intel, AMD or 100% compatible motherboard
1GB RAM
>600 MB of free hard disk space
Available PCI Express (x1, x4 or x16) slot
Available CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive

Features

Features
116dB Signal-To-Noise Ratio

SBX Pro Studio technologies

Crystal clear communication

Sound Blaster Beamforming Microphone

Sound Core3D audio processor

Pristine audio recordings with ultra low latency

24-bit / 192kHz audio output

Advanced home entertainment audio

High fidelity multi-channel surround

Never unplug your headphones again

Packaging

Package Contents
Sound Blaster Z sound card
Sound Blaster Beamforming Microphone
Quick Start leaflet
Installation CD containing:
- Drivers for Windows
- Creative software suite
- User's Guide

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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  • Pirhan D.
  • 3/2/2015 4:48:49 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsSuperb

Pros: I am never going back to onboard audio. A dedicated sound card like this beast is amazing. Everything sounds so much better and clear. Worth every penny.

Cons: The microphone that comes with it is a dud but no reason to take a star off.

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

  • STEPHEN W.
  • 3/2/2015 2:28:39 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggs

Pros: Great sound card for the price

Cons: None that I can't think of right now

Other Thoughts: This is a replacement of a on board sound card of my MB. The first card I purchased I returned and glad I did. This is a monster of a card. Great sound quality even on older speakers.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 2/28/2015 7:37:21 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsA worthwhile addition to any computer.

Pros: Amazingly clear and full sound. Blows away any onboard sound solution easily. The card itself looks good too with its red LED.

Cons: Cable on included microphone could stand to be longer.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Randy S.
  • 2/19/2015 2:45:41 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: less than 1 day
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsSounnd Blaster Z series

Pros: card rocks...have it powering a set of Klipsch Promedia Ultra 5.1 speakers. made all my music new again. the onboard sound I switched from was on a Crosshair v formula z...which doesn't actually suck for onboard sound. but this card screams bloody murder. can't say nuff good things bout it. games are super clear and perfectly separated on this system. so far so good, we'll see how long it lasts, but for now...get you one if ya ain't already gots one!!!!!!

Cons: none..only typed here cause it forced me to......

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Samuel S.
  • 2/16/2015 2:15:13 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs

Pros: 1. Headphone Amp
2. Good SNR/DAC
3. Decent software design (especially for mics)
4. Al EFI shielding
5. Fine Gold Nichicon capacitors - decent quality

Cons: 1. No software switch for Headphone impedance
2. Front audio jack delivers subpar performance
3. No additional power needed beyond that from port
4. LEDs are silly, EFI shielding could be better designed/less gimicky

Other Thoughts: Make sure to use a PCI-E x1 port - otherwise you will over-power the card. Headphone impedance only accounted for by volume changes, so if you have 32ohm headphones, be prepared to run at 6% volume or so. The ZXR has a software switch for low impedance headphones, but not the Z. Really, Creative?

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

  • Anonymous
  • 2/2/2015 3:51:40 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

3 out of 5 eggsGood for headphones, bad for 5.1

Pros: Built-in amplifier is actually very powerful for it's price.
Exceptional sound quality.
Additional features for gaming makes me a better player (Scout mode).
Great features for movies, easier to understand dialogues.

Cons: Very poor 5.1 support, lacks some serious configuration and games thinks it's a stereo card. Zero surround/stereo for 5.1. Had to buy many adapters and other stuff to make surrounding realistic, because SBX Surround just fills speakers, but sound that's supposed to sound only on right speakers, sounds on every speaker.
Cinematic mode works only in stereo, but not 5.1.
Bass boost works only for headphones, but not 5.1.
Either way you have too big or too less bass for 5.1 subwoofer. Without gain, there's almost zero bass, with gain it pumps like crazy and I have to decrease the subwoofer volume to 30%.
Buggy draivers, some (rare) youtube videos or movies have no sound.
"Smart Volume" seems to be buggy and makes audio 5x louder with noise in the background.
Doesn't support USB microphones.

Other Thoughts: Very good for headphone users.
Very bad for home-threatre/5.1 users.

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

  • Dmitry M.
  • 2/1/2015 10:28:07 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggsI love this soundcard!

Pros: I definitely hear the difference between on-board Realtek and Creative Z. Much better music and gaming sound quality!
Buy this one and you would not regret! Absolutely compatible with Windows 8.1, no issues with drivers.

Cons: NOPE!

Other Thoughts: I had to replace originally received card. Red light was on, but BIOS and OS could not detect it, I tried different solutions and already thought that this is my Asus P67 motherboard's issue. But I decided to replace the card and the second one was immediately detected by OS and it now works like a charm!

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

  • kristyl s.
  • 1/30/2015 5:02:09 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsYOU ARE ON YOUR OWN

Pros: best card out there. flexible software allows for configuration to any 5.1 and smaller system. EAX support. superior surround sound distribution. ultra durable beamform microphone. this card outperforms every 7.1 card with similar specs.

Cons: if you use the 3.5mm jacks it will die within a year. first one had a resistor melt off the board and embed itself in the plastic. the second had a massive short after months of leaking unusual voltages to ground (7.5~12VAC) also their support people are worse than used car salesmen. first they demanded all interaction be in PDF format. next they nit picked data. then on approval they refused to send the RMA address for two weeks. now they are saying we have 15 days to send it before they will refuse to honor it. we can see by the UPS tracking number that it was received at the service center two days ago. I can't in good conscience recommend buying creative products until they clean their act up.

Other Thoughts: I have trusted this company for my audio needs for my whole life and never once had this kind of experience from them until now. I fear the current CEO will drive the corporation into the ground with his current management practices. I've talked to others who own these cards and they have had many similar experiences as late. this is truly disappointing as this is the best product on the market today and may be for several years.

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

  • Jim B.
  • 1/23/2015 11:28:46 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsWARNING - May cause hearing loss.

Pros: WOW ... ! This card is nothing short of amazing ... ! I can't believe how great it is. The bass is almost heart-stopped. The treble can be glass shattering. By far, this is the best sounding card I've ever owned ,and also the most POWERFUL ... ! I can only turn my volume up to 6% while using my Bose headphones before it's just to loud. The control panel is also very nice with almost every setting adjustable. Drivers were also great, with no bloatware. Installed in a snap. If you love power, and crisp, clean music/gaming ... then buy this card ... ! Best $100 bucks I've spent in a long time.

Cons: NONE.

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

  • Sam P.
  • 1/22/2015 6:33:44 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsCreative Sound Blaster Z

Pros: Decent features, I actually like the control panel, but that's about it.

Cons: Failed on me after 3 months. After I paired up with my Sennheiser G4ME Zero with the Creative Blaster Z, I could not stand how bad my headphone sounded... I thought something wrong with my headset so I tested on my friend's Asus Xonar.. SOUNDED WAY BETTER. This sound card is overrated, runs HOTTER than my portable heater next to me..

Lets talk about temperature.. Before the installation, my HD6870 was running at 48c idle, 65c at full load, now it' idles at 59c, full load at 75c. I've tried to move the Z all the way down, switch back and forth, but it made about 2c(plus 1 minus 1) difference... My HAF922 couldn't handle this thing..

Other Thoughts: I've been happy with using basic creative sound cards for a decade, until I bought this piece of junk.. Creative website is a piece of junk too.. I've sent them an email, so let's see how it goes..

1 Egg for Newegg service, 1 Egg for red LED (Looks great on my HAF922 case)

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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