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Creative Sound Blaster Zx 116dB PCIe Gaming Sound Card with 600ohm Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module

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

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 Zx 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 Zx packs a serious audio punch.


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Sound Blaster Z

Sound Blaster Z

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"Onboard audio can't touch this."
- Kevin "QXC" Riley

"The SBX Pro Studio surround sound makes me feel as if my ears are inside the game."
- Brendon "Ryze" Walker

"With the Sound Blaster Zx I can clearly hear the cries of my defeated enemies."
- Joshua "Trimaster" Niven

newegg


 



 
  • newegg 116dB SNR OF SUPERIOR EXPERIENCE Sound Blaster Zx has been designed to meet the expectations 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 customizable SBX Pro Studio enhancements, this sound card is easily the best-in-class solution around.
  •   newegg Sound Core3D Audio Processor The quad-core Sound Core3D audio processor is 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 3D Surround Sound SBX Pro Studio technologies allow you to control the level of audio immersion in music, movies, and games. Go far 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 Sound Blaster Audio Control Module (ACM) The Audio Control Module (ACM) provides convenient desktop access to the powerful Sound Blaster Zx's 600 ohm, 80mW headphone amp, which allows any headphone or headset to reach its maximum potential in audio delivery. Equipped with a stereo beamforming microphone and coupled with exclusive Sound Core3D hardware-accelerated CrystalVoice voice enhancements, such as noise reduction and echo-cancellation technologies, the ACM lets users communicate or record even while audio is playing through desktop speakers.
  • 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.

Sound Blaster Zx


Product Name Sound Blaster ZxR Sound Blaster Zx Sound Blaster Z
  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
Digital Audio Convertor (DAC) TI BURR-BROWN Cirrus Logic Cirrus Logic
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 : 1x Amplified 1/4" jack
Speaker Out : 2x RCA (L / R)
2x 3.5mm jacks (Rear, C/Sub)
Microphone In: 1x 1/4" jack
Headphone : 1x Amplified 3.5mm jack
Speaker Out : 3x 3.5mm jacks(F/R/C-Sub)
Line / Mic In : 1x shared 3.5mm jack
Optical Out : 1x TOSLINK
Optical In : 1x TOSLINK
Headphone : 1x Amplified 3.5mm jack
Speaker Out : 3x 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 built-in Beamforming Microphone) Audio Control Module (with built-in Beamforming Microphone) 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 70SB150600000

Model

Brand
Creative
Series
Sound Blaster Zx
Model
70SB150600000

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
SPDIF In
TOSLINK
SPDIF Out
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
1 GB 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

Pristine audio recordings with ultra low latency

24-bit / 192kHz audio output

Advanced home entertainment audio

Sound Core3D audio processor

Accessible Audio Control Module (ACM)

High fidelity multi-channel surround

Never unplug your headphones again

Packaging

Package Contents
Sound Blaster Zx sound card
Audio Control Module (ACM)
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 70SB150600000

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  • John L.
  • 9/6/2014 3:19:20 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsGreat sound, terrible drivers.

Pros: -Sound quality, by my ear, is great, especially with a decent set of headphones.

-The card looks pretty good, though the EMI shield may potentially make for a tight fit in some systems if you have all of your slots occupied.

-The beamforming mic is actually pretty neat when set up properly. It can be a bit finicky however, depending on where you place it.

-The UI for the Pro Studio application is slick, decently laid out, a bit slow to start up sometimes but otherwise a functional "all in one" application for configuring the majority of your sound settings.

Cons: -Drivers are, as is typical with Creative, subpar at best. They have not realeased new drivers since January 2014, and these drivers only updated ALchemy and OpenAL, the remainder of the drivers do appear to be untouched since mid 2013, based on file dates.

-I have had constant issues with channels randomly switching, sound clicking, popping, random volume changes, etc. I have effectively been told to "deal with it" and Creative refuses to acknowledge that this is even a problem (the forums are littered with others with similar issues as far back as the release date for the card.) There is NO support for this issue and I have seen no official acknowledgement of the issue. Creative seems oblivious, unfortunately.

To that end, it feels as though Creative has effectively abandoned support for the Z series cards, at least as far as drivers go. Nobody with Creative seems to know if they're releasing any new drivers any time soon, if at all.

-The included ACM is a great little piece of hardware, but I've noticed static developing as I turn the volume knob (probably due to the rheostat design, turning it back and forth to clean the contact strip fixes the issue for a while) and it has been confirmed that running your headphones through the ACM WILL degrade sound quality. For some this may not be an issue but I very much prefer a direct connection for music and movies.

Other Thoughts: I really like the card - I do. I just can't stand the constant problems. I've tried every "fix" imaginable but nothing works consistently for everyone, some argue its a driver problem some say its a PCI issue, but nothing consistently fixes the issue. The first agreed step is to revert to the .16 drivers, the FIRST drivers that released for the card.

Get it together, Creative. I've bought a LOT of your products over the years and this is the second time I've been burned. I will no longer be buying or recommending your products any longer as I do not feel confident that you will continue to support your products with decent, regular driver releases or acknowledge common problems with said products.

The card sounds outstanding, sound quality-wise, I regret nothing, but the random sound channel switching problem more or less negates the sound quality benefits when I'm losing channels randomly or having them all reversed at random.

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

  • Ryan F.
  • 8/27/2014 2:51:53 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggs

Pros: Great card and produces quality sound. I havent had any issues with it and setup/installation was simple.

Comes with a connector in the back of the card that allows you to plug in audio cables from your case

Cons: Hard to see where you plug in speaker jacks (left/right/center). Wish it was color coded. Just be sure to pay attention when installing the card so you know where to plug each speaker into.

No difference from the card that is currently 82 bucks on Newegg. You pretty much pay the extra 60-70 bucks for the desktop control module. Technically the card without the module is 119 but it has been on sale for 82 for a long time now.

Other Thoughts: The thumbnail picture used or the product leads you to believe the desktop control module is wireless which wouldnt really make a whole lot of sense anyway but just know you do have to connect the module to the card.

Unless you really really want the desktop control module I would get the card without it while its on sale for only 80 bucks.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Daniel H.
  • 7/20/2014 9:04:15 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsDon't get this

Pros: The sound quality for playback is excellent.

Cons: No linux driver support. You can play around with the snd_hda_intel module to get only the front panel to work, rear still doesn't work.

The microphone port doesn't record clear audio in Windows. Other people say I sound like I'm underwater when i use it. Played around with all the settings as recommended by some forums and couldn't get an acceptable resolution. This is using a few different types of microphones and the latest drivers by creative.

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

  • Aaron B.
  • 7/11/2014 12:30:29 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day

2 out of 5 eggsWanted to like it

Pros: Creative brand name. Wanted to like it. Intended to replace a still working SB0460 X-FI card (PCI 32bit card).
Went back to the old card and the problems with the new card went away.

Cons: Experience ...
Seems buggy and prone to software crashes. Might be board compatibility, not sure.
Plugged into lowest PCIE_8 slot on my z68 board.
Driver it up.

Strike 1:
In experimenting with the different profile settings, encountered logged service stopped responding in "Creative Audio Service" and it's parent "Windows Audio" (NT Services). The profile panel would go blank.

Strike 2:
There is a red desktop knob with with built-in microphone. I cannot use it due to feedback over the speakers I have even with all of the "CrystalVoice" smart volume, noise reductuion, acoustic echo cancellation and focus settings being used. It's basically an expensive volume knob on my desk.

Strike 3:
I was considering trying to troubleshoot further, but my breaking point was popping noises I get while in headphones and a maximized Chrome browser window with Adobe Flash content running. The previous card doesn't do that.

Glad I didn't mail order this card and went to an actual store to buy it.

See other thoughts.

Other Thoughts: I may be running into a strange partial compatibility issue. This card occupies the bottom-most PCIE_8 slot in an SLI PCIE_16 setup using an NF200 chip to multiplex the PCIE lanes.

I DID NOT BUY THIS FROM NEWEGG. Got it from a store that 'flies' (sounds like).

Been running Creative Labs hardware since the SB16 ISA cards. Loved the AWE32 back in the day. Simpler, I guess.

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

  • Daniel H.
  • 7/8/2014 2:02:59 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsI'm a gammer

Pros: looks good sound good just as long you have good or better pair of speakers.

Cons: worked for 4 months . Sounds great , looks great . but none of that matters unless it works.

Other Thoughts: I wish Creative had a phone number instead of e-mailing it seems like people don't talk anymore.
I sent an e-mail just now lets see what kind of a response I get.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Dale L.
  • 6/21/2014 4:35:03 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsSoundBlaster Zx

Pros: Cleaned up Creative drivers & software pack.
Packaged very well.
Solid product design & feel.
EXCELLENT SOUND--WOW!
Good looking product EMI shield & ACM module....love the red LED's!
Got it on sale!

Cons: The beamforming mics in the ACM module are very touchy & are hard to set up & adjust....pick up too much acoustical background feedback for my taste but this may be due to where I have the module placed in relation to my speakers & so I won't dock an egg because of this as the mics DO work..

Other Thoughts: Creative has come a LONG way since the SB Live! series cards (last time I owned a Creative product) as I was sick of the driver/software bloatware which caused SOOO many issues w/ using the product so I switched to Asus Xonar series as soon as I could. This product is the REAL DEAL! You got me back now Creative! Newegg is just the best.......nuff said.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Ruth M.
  • 5/21/2014 2:28:28 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsDoes not work properly

Pros: Bought this card the 21 of April 2014, which today makes it a month, I received it the 23.04.2014, very happy well packaged and happy of the speedy delivery. Happy to have spend that amount of money on a good soundcard.

Cons: the list is too long so I will try to keep short:
My current speaker/subwoofer system is not compatible with it (although is it also Creative brand name), Channels go dead, and the surround sound will get the speakers out of order, they make a shrieking noise combined with statics and to top it all of, the little red device worked only on the left ear. The headphone output is terrible both with headphones plugged into external volume control...I have to stop don t have enough place to write the rest!

Other Thoughts: Now when I started to prepare the package to request a RAM, would you not know it, they say I passed my 30 days guarantee I just order it the 21 of April had it delivered the 23 I still have two days to send it back...what s with Newegg policy.. .I want someone from the head office to get in touch with me because I am pretty mad as it is! This is the fourth item I return to Newegg all the others were either DOA, or incompatible with my system. My specs: MB:Asus Rampage IV Extreme Black Edition, Case: Cosmos II CoolMaster, CPU: Samsung840 EVO 1TB 2.5 SATA III, PSU: Seasonic 1250, Water Cooling: Corsair Hydro series H105 liquid cooler, RAM: 8gb x 4, Crucial Ballistix 240 pin, DDR3, 1600, 1.5 volts, HDD: 2 x 3TB, 2 X 2 TB. 1 X 1TB, and one external 3TB, Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster zx, 116db, ....all I want is another card and the system won t allow me the request of RAM

Manufacturer Response:

Hello there!

There was an issue with certain motherboard firmware that would cause our cards to become unstable. It sounds like you were affected by this issue with your system. If you are still having an issue with the RMA please contact us at socialmedia@creativelabs.com and we will take care of you.

We'd also like to hear about the speaker incompatibility that you've mentioned above since that is highly unusual and should definitely NOT be happening.

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

  • M M.
  • 5/15/2014 5:43:38 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggsFinally good sound!

Pros: The the onboard Realtek ALC1150 chipset on my Asus X79 Deluxe sounded like an old and dirty LP. This card cleaned everything up. I don't use the mike at all so can't comment on that. On my setup, this card outputs to a (brand name redacted) A/V receiver driving some old but sweet Polk SDA's.

Cons: You must go to Creative's software to change output from headphones to another sound system... should have a manual switch on the mike/headphone gizmo to make it one step.

Other Thoughts: These are going on sale these days, so check many sites.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 5/14/2014 5:10:12 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsgreat Sound

Pros: Has a great sound. I believe it was 600 ohm headphone amp. I have had it for about 5 months and it's been a huge improvement over on board. I can hear people creeping up on me in battlefield with Scout mode. It cancels a the other sounds out except for footfall sounds and gives them to you from the proper direction with the 3d sounds so you can Orient to where the attack is coming from. I like listening to music as well, these are making that sweet sound in my ear holes much crisper and deeper, The way it's supposed to be.

Cons: I cut the red led out, there is a video on how to do it, I Removed the shroud and snipped off the lights. Other than that... It's a great sound card. I would have liked to have a manual, analog switch on the controller itself instead of going into the software to change it between speakers and headphones.

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

  • Harold M.
  • 4/20/2014 9:30:22 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsI'm sure it's great...

Pros: Hardware and software installed with no issues (except below)

Cons: Con 1: The 'seating' of the card wasn't 'flush' with the motherboard / back of the case. When it was flush with the motherboard (pushed all the way in), it had a small space from the back of the computer case (coolermaster HAF 932). When it was fastened correctly into the back of the case, the seating lifted slightly from the PCI slot. After screwing it it, it was pushed back down into the card which created a small open space in the back of the card.

Con 2: My current speaker/subwoofer system apparently wasn't compatible because I'm not able to use any of the Zx functionalities. Have to get new speakers I guess...

Con 3: The small red device didn't work with my headphone set up because my headphone was USB and this device had no USB adapters to plug into it.

Other Thoughts: I'm sure it'll all sound great...when I buy supporting hardware to go with it...

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

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