- PCI Express x1 5.1 Channels
- 124dB SNR of Superior Experience
- 600 OHM Headphone Amp
- Sound Core3D Audio Processor
- $249.99 249.99
- $230.99 –
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Worth every penny 04/27/2014
The sound is incredible, and im not switching from on-board audio, im switching from an X-Fi Fatality Champion card, which was a wonderful card during it's 8 year lifetime.
Using the AKG 701 headphones I can distinguish sounds that I couldn't with the previous card and that's no small thing.
I miss the front panel of the previous card but the Volume Control Module of the ZXR makes up for it to some extent.
Its very well built, the control knob has a great feel to it and its very precise and sensitive. The incorporated stereo microphones are a big plus and you can plug two headphones for comparison purposes.
The software installed easy and worked fine without any issues....pretty basic compared to what the previous card had though....oh well.
Swappable op-amps is a great feature to adjust the "voice" of the card to personal taste.
No Alchemy and no EAX support despite the fact that there are EAX and Alchemy logos on the back of the box.
I sent an email to customer support asking about this but I got no answer.
The connector cable of the Volume Control Module while very good quality, could have been a bit longer. Its barely enough for me and my PC is close to the KB.
Its very hard to make a decent review for a sound card, there are so many variables in the chain: the recording, the player used, the headphones/speakers, and last but not least our subjective ears and mind perception.
For the first few days I used this card I didn't like it very much because I was so used to the way the previous card sounded, and it was a wonderful card indeed.
After giving it a couple weeks of heavy testing I love this card, for music listening its a definite improvement.
What I noticed is that the good recordings sound better with the ZXR but the average and bad recordings sound worse than the X-Fi. This is particularly noticeable with the AKG 701 headphones. The Sennheiser HD 280 are a lot more forgiving.
Its sad that EAX is not supported anymore, it was a great technology. According to Creative themselves EAX is "deprecated" but I don't understand how a technology can become obsolete when there is no new technology that can do even remotely what EAX could do.
Contrary to what they claim, SBX and Dolby are good for movies but NOT for games.
There are motherboards that claim to have top sound qualities including swappable op-amps...cool but don't forget you are paying at least $150 extra for this feature and when its time to change the motherboard....you have to pay again if you want good sound.
With a soundcard you just re-use it in your new rig.
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