1. Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Just bought a Sound Blaster ZxR. Would i regret it?

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by naraku, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. naraku

    naraku

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    191 (0.17/day)
    Thanks Received:
    22
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    I just got one for $166 and I think I got a good deal.
    Would i regret it though?
    Would a noob like me notice the difference on sound quality?
    I only have a Bose Companion 2 for the speaker and ATH M50 for the headphones.
    :respect:
  2. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Messages:
    39,156 (13.80/day)
    Thanks Received:
    13,608
    Honestly it's either too early or too late to be asking this. Too late because you already bought it and too early because you haven't even tried it.

    You can look at this if it helps you feel better: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Creative/Sound_Blaster_Z/
    naraku says thanks.
  3. naraku

    naraku

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    191 (0.17/day)
    Thanks Received:
    22
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    Yeah... It's just that I thought the deal is too good to pass. It hasn't arrived yet and i can return it if ever i got convinced by the pros here on TPU.

    Does anyone here have this card?
    If it helps, i watch movies all the time and plays a lot of FPS games.
  4. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse Crazy Dogmatic Bullsh!t!

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    13,077 (5.10/day)
    Thanks Received:
    2,081
    Ive had mine for around 3 months - I have noticed that the drivers are slightly buggy though not half as bad as almost a decade ago when creative was banging the drum for the XFi series of audio cards.

    Sometimes audio levels go from being quiet to loud. I was playing guild wars and i had to turn the volume down part way through the game, the sound of the effects and other battle sounds especially when i was all up in another players face in PvP still sounded extremely loud prompting me to turn the volume down again. and once i did that, i couldnt hear my skills activate anymore after i took a few steps back from the fight to heal up.

    This problem could be down to how the card handles EAX/DirectSound.

    I play quite a few older titles that make use of EAX and they work perfectly fine.

    The second bug ive noticed is with their control panel and how Dolby Digital or DTS doesn't work.

    You can select DD or DTS if you have a decoder (which i have) but the sound will come out really fucking loud like as if the PCs volume is set to 80% and the audio output is only to the front speakers and not 5.1

    I have spent hours trying to get it working but I havent had any luck. and DD or DTS decoding is done on the CPU. I would say soundcard to but SB-Z is a software based DSP not hardware based like the oldskool XFi's of the previous generation.


    Just gotta wait till they fix it. Other then that theres nothing wrong with the card at all
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2013
    naraku says thanks.
  5. Jstn7477

    Jstn7477

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,721 (2.19/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,435
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida, USA
    Despite all the flack that Creative has gotten over the years for drivers, I think they have turned that around with this generation. The Sound Blaster Z got a 9.0 on TPU's review. It should be a lot better than your board's ALC 892 which is beaten by Realtek's ALC 898 and the new ALC 1150, so unbox it and enjoy!
    naraku and fullinfusion say thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  6. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    7,789 (3.39/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,715
    Amplified @ 600 Ohm... will rattle your teeth with a good set of headphones :D

    I have a Xonar Essence STX PCI-E Sound Card that runs 600 ohm and bloody hell bat man!!

    If I crank it up with my cans over my ears it's actually vibrating on the side of my head.. Kinda tickles. And give it a shot, I betcha you'll be happy as all hell with that card. :rockout:
    naraku says thanks.
  7. naraku

    naraku

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    191 (0.17/day)
    Thanks Received:
    22
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    Thanks for the honest opinions. Now the hard part: waiting...
    fullinfusion says thanks.
  8. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    7,789 (3.39/day)
    Thanks Received:
    1,715
    @ 600 ohm it be worth the wait :roll:
  9. Frederik S Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,158 (0.39/day)
    Thanks Received:
    355
    The newest generation of Sound Blaster Z-series cards all run pretty much the same headphone amplification setup as the Xonar ST/STX with only minor tweaks to it. The headphone amplification stage is designed by TI and works well with high impedance headphones. It has around 10 Ohm output resistance which is high enough to interfere with the frequency response of in-ears and other low impedance headphones. Usually you want the output impedance to be 1/10 of the impedance of the headphones in order to avoid sound oddities.

    The high output resistance is probably there because of a stability problem with the TI circuit, however, that circuit delivers the highest performance ever seen on pretty much all other aspects.

    So if you have a set of high impedance headphones, medium to low efficiency headphones and play a lot of games it is a no brainer. The sound quality difference between the Z/Zx/ZxR are minute and probably below the audibility threshold.
  10. Octopuss

    Octopuss

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Messages:
    753 (0.44/day)
    Thanks Received:
    69
    Location:
    Czech republic
    I have the ZxR. Bought it about month ago, and haven't had a problem with it. It sounds just as good as Phoebus (but I am essentially deaf :p). The drivers seem pretty good (for Creative) - no bloatware and no obvious bugs.
    Of course I only have stereo setup, and just listen to music and play BF3, so more demanding users might find something bad about the card, but if anyone else was just as basic user as me, I could only recommend it.
    naraku says thanks.
  11. naraku

    naraku

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    191 (0.17/day)
    Thanks Received:
    22
    Location:
    Porterville, CA
    Thanks Octopuss. Your post is the one i can relate the most.
    I just got the card yesterday and I was blown away.
    Mostly because I am really a noob about this.
    I am hearing sound effects on the movies that i haven't heard before.
    Haven't tried on games though. It's almost weekend so i can't wait! Thank everyone.
  12. RejZoR

    RejZoR

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,298 (1.23/day)
    Thanks Received:
    841
    Location:
    Europe/Slovenia
    http://my.opera.com/rejzor/blog/2013/04/26/creative-sound-blaster-z-review

    My review. Now, 2 months later and i'm very happy with my purchase. I have the basic SB Z and i love it. Yes, 3D is a bit weird in Killing Floor, but i can live with that. I was just tired of constant mode switching on old X-Fi's...

    And i like the software part. It's so well designed and responsive it's really nice to use it.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guest)

Share This Page