Tuesday, January 6th 2015

Creative Unveils Sound Blaster X7 Limited Edition

Creative Technology Ltd today unveiled a limited edition of its latest Sound Blaster X7 at CES 2015. Recently named a double 2015 CES Innovations Awards Honoree in both the 'Home Audio/Video Components and Accessories' and 'Computer Hardware and Components' categories, the feature-packed Sound Blaster X7 which is an ultra high-resolution external USB DAC and powerful audio amplifier now comes in an exclusive pearl white color, includes a 144W power adapter that is capable of delivering up to 100W output to passive speakers, and has a very low headphone amplifier output impedance of 1 ohm to effortlessly drive even the more sensitive in-ear monitors (IEMs) on the market.

The Sound Blaster X7, showcasing at the 2015 International CES, is designed to connect with a range of gaming and entertainment systems as an ultra high-end external Sound Blaster audio solution with an impressive 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution 127dB digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and a powerful 100W audio amplifier. It provides a superior, pure and lossless listening experience for games, music and movies -- meeting the most discerning demands of audiophile listeners and enthusiast gamers alike.
Superior Ultra HD (High-Resolution) Listening Experience
The 144W (24V 6A) power adapter bundled with this limited edition Sound Blaster X7 is capable of harnessing the full potential of the built-in Texas Instruments TPA3116D2 Class-D amplifier inside to efficiently deliver up to 100W (2 x 50W RMS @ 4W) to passive bookshelf and tower speakers -- giving users a more superior high-resolution audio listening experience.

Coupled with Sound Blaster's proprietary multi-core DSP, the SB-Axx1, and other high-end audiophile-grade components, such as the Burr-Brown PCM1794 127dB DAC, Nichicon "Fine Gold" capacitors, and the Texas Instruments TPA6120A2 headphone amplifier that can support up to 600W headphones, this Sound Blaster X7 will greatly enhance audio quality, delivering a powerful mind-blowing immersive gaming or movie audio experience as well as perfectly reproducing the full range of sounds from music recordings with high-fidelity and pristine detail.

Linear Frequency Response for Low-Impedance In-Ear Monitors (IEMs)
Using one of the lowest-rated impedance IEM in the market with the limited edition Sound Blaster X7 at 1 ohm headphone amplifier output impedance, the Shure SE846 IEM which has a rating of 9 ohms at 1 kHz is able to achieve one of the most linear frequency responses ever. With a small overall variance between +0.5 dB and -1.0 dB, the Sound Blaster X7 is able to reproduce audio almost faithfully. Compared to a typical headphone amplifier using the standard reference design of the Texas Instruments TPA6120A2 headphone amplifier chip at 10 ohms output impedance, one can see from the graph that the frequency response is non-linear with a significant variance between +2.25 dB and -3.8 dB. The frequency response fluctuation shows an increase in low frequencies and loss in mids at 5 kHz which results in coloration of sound when used with low-impedance IEMs like the Shure SE846.

"The Sound Blaster X7 is the most technologically advanced Sound Blaster we have ever created. We combined our decades of expertise in audio with the finest of the finest audiophile-grade components to deliver the most powerful high-resolution audio experience for games, music and movies. The original black edition of the Sound Blaster X7 comes with a headphone amplifier output impedance of 2.2 ohms which is good enough for most IEMs in the market. Now, our engineers have pushed the boundaries further by specially engineering the headphone amplifier circuit with an even lower output impedance of 1 ohm," says Long Chye Low, General Manager of Sound Blaster. "The limited edition Sound Blaster X7 can accommodate both extreme ends of headphones in the market -- from the most demanding high-impedance studio headphones to the most sensitive low-impedance in-ear monitors -- with minimal distortion to audio content caused by variance in frequency response."

Pricing and Availability
The Creative Sound Blaster X7 pearl white edition with the 144W power adapter and 1 ohm headphone amplifier output impedance will be available at the end of January 2015, priced at US $499.99.
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7 Comments on Creative Unveils Sound Blaster X7 Limited Edition

#1
RejZoR
What I really wish is that we'd go back to HW accelerated sound again and Creative pushing out a 256 3D sound soudcard. All they make these days are some crap wireless speakers. It's what everyone does. Freaking zero innovation in audio segment. And things were sort of moving forward before Vista, but with removal of then old audio stack, it was just all gone and now we are left wih thee crappy software reverb engines which sound like turd sliding down the toilette... Argh.
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#2
Prima.Vera
Agreed. M$ just basically destroyed all 3D sound in games. Is really sad that 15 years old games, like Unreal, Thief, FEAR, had such an astonishing sound engines which sounded 1 billion times more better than any AAA game nowadays. Is really really sad that nobody is pursuing an alternate solution for 3D sound in today's games.
I miss A3D; I miss EAX;...
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#3
ZeDestructor
And that's why I still run an older X-Fi Titanium. I demand my high-quality EAX sound on my older games!
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#4
natr0n
I still use my x-fi xtreme music with openal plugin for winamp.


I know I read windows 8.1 and beyond was supposed to bring back hardware acceleration. In my testing that is not the case.
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#5
ZoneDymo
Think most of you people have a bit skewed views and see the past as more then it was.
Audio's problem has always been that it was given a backseat to everything else (which is sad because its 50% of the experience).
My hope was that Mantle and its audio improving solution would take hold but that has yet to happen.

At any rate. read any review and you would find a card like the Asus STX (2) sounds pretty darn sweet.
And if you do not believe in audiocards anymore, get yourself a proper receiver and let it process the audio by hooking it up via sp-dif.

on to the product we should be actually discussing here, to me this just screams "moar money plz" by Creative.
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#6
Thefumigator
Hey, this one has an amp!

I miss my E-mu 0404, it just stopped working :(
with Asio 2.0 and that E-mu chip I could play my keyboard with 0 latency, and monitor a specific channel and mute the channels I didn't want to hear (also while I was recording I could hear whatever else without monitoring anything). Also the chip had a lot of effects. Still not a gaming sound card.
Posted on Reply
#7
ZeDestructor
"ZoneDymo said:
Think most of you people have a bit skewed views and see the past as more then it was.
Audio's problem has always been that it was given a backseat to everything else (which is sad because its 50% of the experience).
My hope was that Mantle and its audio improving solution would take hold but that has yet to happen.

At any rate. read any review and you would find a card like the Asus STX (2) sounds pretty darn sweet.
And if you do not believe in audiocards anymore, get yourself a proper receiver and let it process the audio by hooking it up via sp-dif.

on to the product we should be actually discussing here, to me this just screams "moar money plz" by Creative.
I think it's more a failure of Creative to market and, especially, license EAX3 and beyond (and HW OpenAL later on) that set sound back to stupid pure software audio. And they had a whole extra 3 years from everyone hating Vista to do it as well. :x

This thing is definitely a gibmoneyplz item by Creative, but what can you tell them besides bring back X-Fi and watch them keep ignoring you?

"Thefumigator said:
Hey, this one has an amp!

I miss my E-mu 0404, it just stopped working :(
with Asio 2.0 and that E-mu chip I could play my keyboard with 0 latency, and monitor a specific channel and mute the channels I didn't want to hear (also while I was recording I could hear whatever else without monitoring anything). Also the chip had a lot of effects. Still not a gaming sound card.
Get an X-Fi... Actually, I have an unused TitaniumHD in the closet right now, if you're interested......
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