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Creative Sound Blaster Z Series ZXR (70SB151000000) PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card

  • PCI Express x1 5.1 Channels
  • 124dB SNR of Superior Experience
  • 600 OHM Headphone Amp
  • Sound Core3D Audio Processor
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Sound Blaster ZxR

One card to rule them all. The Sound Blaster ZxR embodies the design and engineering philosophy of "Total System Performance" that Sound Blaster has employed by combining audiophile-grade componentry with exclusive audio playback and recording technologies into a technical masterpiece. The Sound Blaster ZxR has refined audio playback and staggeringly high-fidelity recording capabilities that few if any other PC audio cards can even dream to aspire to.


Sound Blaster ZxR


Sound Blaster Z Sound Blaster Z

"With the Sound Blaster ZxR, my game audio is crystal clear and no sound goes unnoticed."
- Chad "Minigun" Jones


 



 
  • newegg 124dB SNR OF SUPERIOR EXPERIENCE Sound Blaster ZxR has been designed to meet the expectations of those who want a vastly superior experience over motherboard audio. With external DACs delivering 124dB SNR, a 600 ohm audiophile-grade headphone amp and customizable SBX Pro Studio™ technologies, Sound Blaster ZxR is the most advanced PCIe sound card ever made.
  •   newegg Ti Burr-Brown Digital Audio Converter The TI Burr-Brown Digital Audio Converter (DAC) converts digital signals to analog while preserving digital purity, and delivers an audio signal rated at an incredible 127dB SNR (DAC output).
  •   newegg 600 ohm Headphone Amp Sound Blaser ZxR delivers the power needed to drive even the highest end headphones, allowing these headphones to reach their full playback potential. With its built-in 600 ohm, 80mW TI TPA6120 headphone amp, the sound card boasts a dynamic range of more than 120dB. This ensures no audio is lost from the amplifier as it exceeds the range of hearing for the human ear.
  • newegg "Multiple Layer Super Grounded" PCB design with EMI shielding With multiple layer super grounding, layers of PCB and materials are dedicated to shielding signals that are travelling across the board away from possible interference points. EMI shielding adds yet another level of protection from analog interference by shielding the card from potential outside signals. This yields an extremely pure analog output signal.
  • newegg True Audio Customization The Sound Blaster ZxR main board is equipped with top-of-the line swappable Op Amps that allow users to further optimize their listening experience by customizing their sound coloration at the hardware level.
  • newegg Nichicon "Fine Gold" Capacitors These are used throughout the card, allowing for a rich and full base register without sacrificing clarity of high end tones.
  • newegg DBPro Studio-quality Daughter Card While the main board of Sound Blaster ZxR focuses on audio playback, the DBPro daughter board focuses on pristine recording and input. The DBPro board connects via a header on the main board and does not require an additional PCIe slot nor additional power.
  • newegg Sound Blaster Audio Control Module (ACM) The Audio Control Module (ACM) provides convenient desktop access to the powerful Sound Blaster ZxR 600 ohm, 80mW headphone amp, which allows any headphone or headset to reach its maximum potential in audio delivery. Rotary volume knob allows for smooth volume control. 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 Sound Core3D Audio Processor The multi-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 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 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.

Tech Information


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 ZXR (70SB151000000)

Model

Brand
Creative
Series
Sound Blaster Z Series
Model
ZXR (70SB151000000)

Audio core

SNR
124dB

Ports

SPDIF In
Optical
SPDIF Out
Optical
CD/Aux In
Yes

Spec

Interface
PCI Express x1

Features

Features
SNR 124dB
A signal to noise ratio or SNR of 124dB means your audio will be > 99.99% pure audio which is 34.4 times better than the average sound cards.

Crystal clear communication
Experience crystal clear communication with your teammates with the CrystalVoice suite of technologies that removes echoes, ambient noises and picks up your voice from within a zone (Voice Focus). It also maintains your voice level even if you are near or further away from the microphone.

Studio-grade content creation
Add studio quality audio sound tracks or voice tracks to your video clips or home videos created with hardware that uses only audiophile-grade components such as 123dB analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) with RCA Aux-in and optical inputs for outstanding recording quality. With the 600 ohm headphone ampflier, you can do studio-grade monitoring as well.

High-quality DBPro daughter board
It offers optical output for outstanding audio playback, plus professional-grade ADCs with RCA Aux-in and optical inputs for studio-grade recording quality.

SBX Pro Studio technologies
SBX Pro Studio sound technologies create unprecedented levels of audio realism, including stunning 3D surround effects for your speakers and headsets.

Accessible Audio Control Module (ACM)
Take control in style and ease with the ACM that incorporates a built-in microphone array and mic/headphone I/O connections. The knob on the ACM lets you conveniently adjust the headphone levels.

Sound Core3D audio processor
We designed the quad-core Sound Core3D audio processor 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.

High fidelity multi-channel surround
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.

Packaging

Package Contents
Sound Blaster ZxR sound card (main card)
Sound Blaster ZxR sound card (daughter board)
Audio Control Module (ACM)
Quick Start leaflet
Installation CD containing:
- Drivers for Windows
- Creative software suite

Quick Info

Warranty

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


Customer Reviews of the Creative Labs ZXR (70SB151000000)

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  • Russell W.
  • 4/9/2014 1:13:47 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsSolid but Warm

Pros: Swappable op amps mean that the audio warmth can be fixed. RCA in and out. 8mm headphone and mic out. Decent software for recording from vinyl(automatically starts and when its over cuts the tracks). Decent EQ built into the UI.

Cons: I bought the card expecting it to be something else, I love listening to audio however the card colors the music so i find I am bypassing it and still running to my Fiio X3 for the DAC and Amp and only using the Headphone out and RCA for my Stereo setup. If you are looking for a true hifi audio experience from the card look for the Asus Xonar line. This card is optimized for gaming and media consumption, not as a reference component

Other Thoughts: Its a good card, not the best I have heard, but a significant upgrade for those who want better sound over onboard sound. I don't do a lot of recording but I think this card would be good for that because of the Inputs, and basic audio editing package that it comes with.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Michael H.
  • 3/19/2014 1:41:39 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsDisappointing

Pros: You can plug both your 2.1 speakers and headphones into the card and switch between the two without having to plug/unplug anything.

Good quality sound for music and movies.

Good AMP.

Cons: Poor quality surround sound in the main games that I play (CS 1.6 & CS:S). It's not great in 1.6, and in CS:S it's even worse.

Paired with an ATH AD700, people with inferior/no sound cards can tell where people are better than me (IE: planting lower rather than upper) while spectating me, so we were both getting the same sounds.

Footsteps in CS:S were much quieter than with my xfi xtremegamer. Even after playing with all the settings and EQ.

Additionally, the card would randomly go dead when playing CS 1.6, until I would restart my computer. RMA'd my card and still had the same problem.

Creative support's reply was:
"It is possible for the sound card to go dead if there is a driver conflict between the game and the sound card. We regret to inform you that Creative sound card cannot guarantee that our sound card will work with all games and software applications."

Other Thoughts: CS 1.6 is one of the most popular games of all time, and one of the most popular esports games till recently. Seems like esports/competitive FPS gaming is their target demographic. So it's strange that the card wouldn't work well for those games.

I've been playing high-level competitive CS for 8+ years with an xfi xtremegamer & ATH AD700.

I guess I'll try the TiHD as an upgrade from the xtremegamer, and I'll have to constantly plug and unplug my speakers till a new sound card comes out in a few years...

FYI, the Bass setting is terrible. UNCHECK it and use the EQ to adjust bass.

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

  • John S.
  • 3/17/2014 1:36:11 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day

4 out of 5 eggsStill Waiting

Pros: PCIe
High SNR

Cons: No 7.1 channel analog outputs
No 5.1 or 7.1 192/24
No multi-channel 24-bit / 192kHz audio fidelity

Other Thoughts: Initially I was excited about this card and eagerly checked the specs:

My requirements are:
1) 120-124 dB SNR (or close to it) DAC for all analog channels
2) Built-in headphone amp
3) 7.1 channel analog outputs (with or without a daughterboard)
4) PCIE slot connection
5) Full Windows 8.1 driver compatibility.
6) 24-bit / 192kHz audio fidelity for all audio channels

Sadly, this product fails on #3, and #6 (I checked, the ZxR supports only 24-bit / 96kHz in 5.1channel mode). So why don’t I settle for either an

1) Asus Xonar Essence ST
or an
2) HT Omega Claro Halo XT?

Because they’re both obsolescing PCI slot boards, 6 years old tech, and overpriced considering how ancient they are.
The wait continues….

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Devon A.
  • 3/5/2014 5:07:39 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat Sound Card

Pros: Sounds better then built in audio
Gives you a lot of recording optoins

Cons: When using Shadow play from nVIDIA it does not record the sound, but that is a problem on nVIDIA's side.

Other Thoughts: It is a really nice piece of equipment.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Robert A.
  • 2/28/2014 7:01:14 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsBest Sound Card for Pro Tools

Pros: This baby does it all!
Creative cut no corners when they assembled this.

Cons: none

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

  • Christopher B.
  • 2/25/2014 1:48:34 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggs

Pros: Excellent Quality, Socketable Op-amps, built in headphone amp. ACM with built in beamforming microphone. DBPro daughterboard with TOSlink/SPDIF optical input and outputs and RCA stereo inputs has it's own Soundcore 3d processor

Cons: Built in headphone amp was underwhelming to me. While decent, it does not drive my Sennheiser HD 590 (300ohm Headphones) anywhere near as well as my CmoyBB amp does.
Price is also a con.

Other Thoughts: First card I got had a problem with the Front analog outputs, they were very badly distorted rendering the card unuseable.
Newegg shipped me a replacement quickly which works perfectly.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 2/9/2014 3:16:56 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggsVery Goo

Pros: Very well made, very well constructed and the extra features are pretty awesome.

Cons: Barely considered a con, but size. It may not be able to fit another component to a neighboring PCI port.

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

  • Anthony A.
  • 1/24/2014 1:59:00 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsHow it should be

Pros: been using SB since audigy and got every soundcard next gen they had except a couple I didn't go for I think it was titanium cause recon3d was out after xfi

The sound quality of this vs recon3d and anything else I've used is how sound should sound. It sounds real clear and crisp. Of course with my settings of EQ set to V shape from 24 to the middle 2 0 and the 2nd minus 2 from the sides and crystal 100 and surround 100% or 0%. With surround with recon3d the bass is gone but with this the surround set to 100% the bass is lessened by pro 5-10% but the quality is better.

With my Bose qc20 headphones and this I would say sound out of this setup can be a lot better than hearing it in actual real life. I heard a violin play at church and thought it was a CD cause it wasn't that good but it was a real violin. PC sounds better.

Cons: none

Other Thoughts: got it for $189 when I was going ot get it at $299 but it was too much money : p

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

  • David E.
  • 1/20/2014 10:14:11 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggsPay attention 124 S/N front analog out

Pros: The best quality sound from all these high S/n cards comes from the analog output not the digital. Once you use a digital out, your sound will be dependent on the audio system used not the card. The analog outs have the DAC done already by the card, this is where you will hear the main difference.

Cons: Bass will be heavier as you have more frequency response going down to 10 hz vs onboard audio which is no where near. You need to get use to hearing more. You can equalize the sound to your liking. Darn good card with texas instruments DAC.

Other Thoughts: This is the response by soundblaster to finally match Asus Xonar STX 124 db card, which i use and love.

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

  • Brad H.
  • 1/19/2014 10:59:07 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsLove this card

Pros: The included beam microphone device is wonderful, I use it daily. The quality of this microphone is actually rather good, so much in fact that I stopped using the one in my turtle beach gaming headset, and started to use this instead as I could make no discernible difference between the two.

Scout mode is also pretty nice. Makes enemy footsteps louder

Cons: The software has a section where you can configure hot-keys to enable/disable scout mode. For whatever reason, the hot-keys for me don't work, not matter which keys/combo I choose. Not to big of a problem as I've gotten used to leaving scout mode enabled when I game.

It takes a little away from the explosions but I would much rather hear footsteps than a nice loud explosion. It would be nice if the hotkeys worked, but oh well.

I'm not even going to deduct an egg for it.

Other Thoughts: I'm very happy with his card

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

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