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Creative Labs > 
Item#: N82E16829102048

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

  • PCI Express x 1, 5.1 Channels
  • TOSLink Optical Input and Output
  • Sound Core 3D Processor
  • Beamforming Microphone

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

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

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  • 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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  • barry s.
  • 4/29/2016 8:44:00 PM

5 out of 5 eggshelp somone

Pros: theis is a great card but asus makes the killer card, and other than the software there is no difference between the sound on the 3d card and the ZX

Cons: the guy that has garbled sound managed to install an extra driver unistall one you dont need a board. the guy that thinks he needs 3 more speakers ius just a moron, in the tab seting tak it off 5-1 and put it on sterio and you will have sound front and front only.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 4/29/2016 11:40:45 AM

1 out of 5 eggsPretty, but a huge pile of $#!^

Pros: -Pretty in my case (Even though the nice looking part faces down, so you can't really see anything except the PCB back anyway)

Cons: I've had this card for a couple years now.... but only because I'm too lazy or too nervous to spend another $100+ on a sound card after this one.
The program used with this device is the worst I've ever used. 99% of the time I try to open it to make some adjustments it freezes and crashes. If i want to play a game I have to restart the computer and then the SB program will work for an hour, but If I try to get back in and adjust something again it freezes and crashes.

I have re-downloaded the drivers and all several times. This card just refuses to work right.
The sound profiles are HORRIBLE.
Almost every feature except the Scout Mode (for hearing footsteps more clear in games) is worthless.

I don't think I could ever buy another SB card.

Other Thoughts: I would definitely NOT recommend this card.
$100-$120 is 4X what it's worth.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Brandon W.
  • 4/25/2016 3:05:49 PM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsEpic Sound Card for Music and Movies... Even better for gaming.

Pros: -Superior sound over any on board device
-Excellent software suite to customize audio quality/inputs/outputs
-Looks Cool
-Audiophile quality sound when connected to high quality headphones/headset or Hi Fidelity audio receiver/amplifier
-Really enhances the audio quality and positioning in Blu-rays and Games.
-FULL EAX SUPPORT NOT EMULATED!!!

Cons: -Driver updates are not often
-Using Alchemy to re-enable EAX in older games (however this is a limitation of MS windows and not Creative labs)
-Not 7.1 only 5.1

Other Thoughts: -Buy this now if you even have a half way respectable rig or if you enjoy high quality sound of any kind.
-A PC gamer who does not have a sound card is not a real PC gamer.
-If you buy this also get quality speakers/headphones/amplifier. It is only going to sound as good as the speakers/amplifier you connect it to.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Braden D.
  • 4/18/2016 1:20:43 PM

4 out of 5 eggsTook some doing, but it's working correctly now. Yaay!

Pros: - Sounds good, not great, but more than acceptable. Seems like great sounding audio cards cost $200 or more these days. Sheesh.
- It works but you got to make sure to install the right drivers, D'oh! (http://support.creative.com/kb/ShowArticle.aspx?sid=61105) NOTE: these are only for Windows 8.1
Go here for the Windows 10 Drivers: http://support.creative.com/Products/ProductDetails.aspx?catID=1&subCatID=1005&prodID=21402&prodName=Sound%20Blaster%20Z&subCatName=Z-Series&CatName=Sound+Blaster&VARSET=prodfaq:PRODFAQ_21402,VARSET=CategoryID:1

Cons: - The thing is overpriced for what it is; drivers have some weird channel swapping issue, at least on Windows 8.1; the front/rear channels, and the left/right channels and the sub-woofer channel are all jacked up. A LOT of people on the Creative forums are having this issue and Creative doesn't seem to be listening.
EDIT: I contacted Creative support, they sent me a fairly typical "check and make sure the cables are plugged into the right ports" and "update your BIOS and chipset" and "download and install these drivers"
as well as "install all available Recommended Windows Updates"
Well it turns out if you go to the Creative support and choose Sound Blaster, then My Product is Not Shown, and then Z-Series and Sound Blaster Z, the only driver that comes up is the Windows 10 driver and I am running Windows 8.1. The link in the support email was for the correct drivers. Now it works fine.

Other Thoughts: - While the reply from support wasn't stellar and fairly cookie cutter, it did solve the issue. Cheers Creative Support! Job well done!

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

  • Matthieu C.
  • 4/18/2016 12:13:46 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsVery easy to use!!

Pros: -Plug and play simplicity, no cables or etting up to do
-Easy installation with the disk
-The sound is exquisite with headphones (2.5mm Jack)

Cons: -Red LED, my system has a green theme, so it looks Christmassy*

Other Thoughts: -Would recommend, it's no as expensiv as a graphics card, so it's worth the try!!

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Matthew S.
  • 4/15/2016 12:54:01 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsCard stopped reading less than a month after installation

Pros: Great card, my sound was great, no EMI from my video card, and the microphone is fantastic

Cons: It broke in less than 30 days, my computer no longer detects the card in either of my two PCIE slots so I know it's not my computer. Not sure what to do about a replacement or return because I no longer have the packaging.

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  • Anonymous
  • 4/11/2016 8:33:19 PM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsMaybe not what I thought this would be.

Pros: Not sure.

Cons: Doesn't support anything other than 5.1. You must have front L/R, back L/R, Center/Sub Channels. To my knowledge this will not support a 2.1 setup. I now have to buy 5.1 speakers to fit my rig.

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  • Miguel A.
  • 3/26/2016 12:17:44 PM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat

Pros: -This card requires a little setup but once your set up its great.
-Microphone works very well.

Cons: None

Other Thoughts: I put this card into my x1 slot and have not experienced any issues. The card is in fact bright however, it should not be an issue unless you have a completely see through case at eye level.

This card is a great improvement over on board audio.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

1 out of 5 eggsDo not buy!

Pros: This is a very good looking card, the beam forming microphone is a good idea

Cons: When it made sound the sound that came from it was so distorted that it was painful to listen to. I do not recall the microphone ever working at all. At first I thought that it was because I had purchased a re-furbished motherboard, however after purchasing a brand new motherboard there was no change, so I switched back to on board sound.

Other Thoughts: I like the company, and have purchase several of their products over the years, but would be hesitant to recommend their products in the future

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

  • Anonymous
  • 3/23/2016 5:20:57 AM

4 out of 5 eggsMuch better than built-in audio, but not perfect

Pros: Amp can push just about any headphones out there, signal is super clean and crisp.

Cons: Amplifier is kinda bass-heavy(some people like that, though), EMI shielding could be better, two big red LEDs were too bright for my liking(you can cut them off without any problems) and the plastic cover on the processor was making it get awfully hot.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

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Item#: N82E16829102048
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