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Creative Announces Sound BlasterX AE-5 Audiophile-grade Gaming Sound Card

Creative Technology Ltd today announced at E3 2017 the latest addition to its Sound BlasterX Pro-Gaming Series, the Sound BlasterX AE-5. E3 is the world's premier event for computer, video and mobile games and related products, making it the perfect place to debut the next era of PC audio.

The sound card features the world's best gaming headphone amplifier for PCs. The Sound BlasterX AE-5 delivers the ultimate audio performance with the full force of a 122 dB 32-bit / 384 kHz ESS Sabre DAC, a kick-ass custom-designed 600Ω discrete headphone amp, audiophile-grade components, and proprietary Sound Blaster audio enhancement technologies.

ASUS Unveils ROG Centurion 7.1 Headset with HDMI Input

ASUS showed off its flagship gaming headset, the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Centurion 7.1. This headset lets you have true 7.1-channel audio even when you don't have 8-channel analog jacks, the headset takes input from HDMI ports. Almost all modern graphics cards and motherboard integrated graphics solutions these days come with 7.1-channel digital audio routed through HDMI. This headset lets you plug into those, so you can enjoy some of the DSPs exclusive to those solutions, instead of ASUS having to certify its USB DACs with them. NVIDIA, for example, recently added Dolby Atmos to its GPU-integrated audio through a recent driver update. Both NVIDIA and AMD support top of the line DSPs.

The headset feature 10 independent sound drivers - 40 mm fronts, 40 mm (low-tuned) sub-woofer, 30 mm centers (there have to be one in each ear), 20 mm sides, and 20 mm rears. ASUS guarantees at least 90% environmental noise cancellation, although it didn't mention if it was an active setup (using destructive interference) or just good insulation. The drivers are powered by an ESS 9601 amplifier chip. Don't have an HDMI port to spare? No problems, just use the included DAC pod with a USB connection. You might not get access to the GPU's DSPs, but you still have good quality audio.

Creative Intros Tournament Edition Variants of its SoundBlasterX H7 and H5

Creative announced retail availability of new Tournament Edition variants of its SoundBlasterX H5 and SoundBlasterX H7 gaming headsets. The variants are characterized by large 50 mm drivers and cushioning designed for extended periods of gameplay (as in tournaments). Both are stereo headsets, but the H7 comes with a USB DAC that puts out virtual 7.1-channel audio, with support for 24-bit/96 kHz audio formats. The 50 mm drivers range between 20 Hz to 22 kHz, with 32Ω impedance, and 118 dB/mW sound-pressure sensitivity. The retractable microphone ranges between 100 Hz to 15 kHz, with 2.2Ω impedance. The company didn't reveal pricing.

ASUS Also Announces the Xonar U7 MkII External Sound Card

ASUS today announced Xonar U7 MKII, a high-quality USB sound card and headphone amplifier. The compact Xonar U7 MKII is an upgraded version of the acclaimed Xonar U7 and features true 7.1-channel,192kHz/24-bit high-definition (HD) surround-sound output for incredible audio performance. Xonar U7 MKII comes with ASUS Sonic Studio, a software utility with an intuitive single-screen interface that provides complete control over a wide range of audio features, and Sonic Radar Pro, a feature for gamers that visually maps in-game sounds in first-person shooter (FPS) games to provide a competitive advantage.

ASUS Xonar U7 MKII retains the compact USB-powered design that was a highlight of the original Xonar U7 and delivers true 7.1-channel, 192kHz/24-bit HD audio, outperforming most available USB-powered audio devices. With a high-quality Cirrus Logic CS4398 digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and exclusive ASUS Hyper Grounding technology, Xonar U7 MKII has a 114dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), ensuring ultra-pure sound for the best listening experiences. The small size of Xonar U7 MKII takes up minimal room on a desk, and makes it easily portable, so laptop users can enjoy great-sounding audio anywhere.

Razer Announces the ManO'War 7.1 Wired Gaming Headset

Razer, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, today announced the launch of the Razer ManO'War 7.1. This analog-digital gaming headset is an encore to the recent debut of the wireless Razer ManO'War, an editor's choice among the ranks of TechRadar, Tom's Guide, VentureBeat and more. Powerful 50 mm drivers deliver virtual 7.1 surround sound to the listener. The Razer Synapse configuration software allows gamers to customize the sound. The Razer ManO'War 7.1 is equipped with sound isolation technology, while in-line volume controls and a retractable MEMS boom mic offer a streamlined gaming audio experience.

An included USB digital-to-analog convertor (DAC) allows the Razer ManO'War 7.1 to deliver crisp, outstanding audio on PC and Mac platforms. The pure analog connection (3.5mm audio jack) offers universal compatibility for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and other platforms. "The Razer ManO'War 7.1 is a fantastic addition for any gamer, especially those that play on both PC and console," says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. "There may not be a more versatile high-performance headset available today."

Ozone Ekho H80 Spectra Gaming Headset Pictured

Ozone introduced a new premium gaming headset this Computex, the Ekho H80 Spectra. Featuring a large around-the-ear design with oval cans (a la Sennheiser G4ME). The stereo headset features a USB DAC with a virtual 7.1 surround DSP, a retractable microphone, and multi-color RGB LED lighting on the cans and the microphone, which is configurable using the included drivers and software for the DSP.

Creative Intros Sound BlasterX G5 71 HDA Portable Sound Card and Headphone Amp

Creative Technology Ltd today announced the availability in the U.S., as part of the Sound BlasterX Gaming Series, the Sound BlasterX G5, a 7.1 HD audio portable sound card with built-in headphone amplifier. The Sound BlasterX G5 is an external sound card that comes with the built-in SB-Axx1 multi-core chipset for hardware accelerated SBX Pro Studio enhanced audio and transforms even basic stereo into 3D positional surround sound on your headset. The Sound BlasterX G5 also supports multi-channel content, delivering true 7.1 audio for ultra-realistic surround sound.

Built with precision audiophile components, the Sound BlasterX G5 is also a 24-bit/192kHz, 120dB USB DAC and headphone amplifier with 2.2 ohm output impedance for high fidelity playback -- driving studio-grade headphones up to 600 ohms and sensitive in-ear monitors. The illuminated volume control knob and dedicated SBX and Scout Mode buttons also allow for quick volume or audio adjustments during gaming sessions.

ASUS Announces STRIX Series Sound Cards

ASUS today announced Strix Raid DLX, Strix Raid Pro, and Strix Soar, gaming sound cards that deliver sensational, high-definition 192kHz/24-bit audio, 7.1-channel surround-sound, and Perfect Voice noise-cancellation technology for incredible gaming experiences.

Strix Raid DLX is a premium soundcard built with high-end components to satisfy gamers who demand the ultimate audio performance. Strix Raid DLX features an ESS SABRE9016 digital-to-analog converter (DAC) - the world's highest performance 32-bit and 24-bit audio DAC - to deliver rich, immersive, and clear sound with an incredible 124dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Designed for enthusiast gamers, Strix Raid Pro and Strix Soar come with the high-performance ESS SABRE9006A DAC for pure, full-sounding audio with an impressive 116dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Low-dropout (LDO) regulators and Hi-Fi-grade Nichicon FineGold, Nichicon Muse, and German WIMA capacitors ensure optimized power delivery.

MSI Selects ESS SABRE HiFi Audio DAC for Gaming Notebooks

ESS Technology today announced that MSI, the leading gaming notebook manufacturer and innovator, has selected ESS Technology's SABRE HiFi Audio DAC for the first notebooks featuring Intel's latest sixth generation Intel Core i7 Skylake processors. Targeted at hardcore gamers, these hotly anticipated MSI notebooks will be available through MSI e-Commerce channels on September 1, 2015.

"MSI is thrilled to work with a technology leader like ESS on the most innovative gaming notebooks we have ever introduced," said Eric Kuo, Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing with MSI. "The entire SABRE brand is revered by audiophiles around the world as the pinnacle of audio excellence. It's the perfect choice for our hardcore gamers who look for the best features and the best systems to deliver an unparalleled gameplay experience."

Creative Also Announces Sound BlasterX G5: 7.1 External Sound Card and Amplifier

Creative Technology Ltd today announced at gamescom 2015 , as part of the Sound BlasterX Gaming Series, the Sound BlasterX G5, a 7.1 HD audio external sound card with built-in headphone amplifier. The Sound BlasterX G5 is an external sound card that comes with the built-in SB-Axx1 multi-core chipset for hardware accelerated SBX Pro Studio enhanced audio and transforms even basic stereo into 3D positional surround sound on your headset. The Sound BlasterX G5 also supports multi-channel content, delivering true 7.1 audio for ultra-realistic surround sound.

Built with precision audiophile components, the Sound BlasterX G5 is also a 24-bit/192kHz, 120dB USB DAC and headphone amplifier with 2.2 ohm output impedance for high fidelity playback -- driving studio-grade headphones up to 600 ohms and sensitive in-ear monitors. The illuminated volume control knob and dedicated SBX and Scout Mode buttons also allow for quick volume or audio adjustments during gaming sessions.

PowerColor Devil HDX Sound Card Detailed

PowerColor rolled out the Devil HDX PCI-Express sound card. Designed with a strong focus on output quality, and targeted at PC enthusiasts with high-end headphones, the card is driven by a C-Media CMI8888 native-PCIe master processor, wired to Wolfson WM8741 primary DAC, with 124 dBA SNR, driving the headphones and front-out channels. Amplifying this, is a TI LM4562 OPAMP, which is swappable.

Nichicon Muse electrolytic, and metalized polypropylene caps man all channels, reducing signal loss. Only the electrical portion features solid-state capacitors. The card draws power from a 4-pin Molex input. The entire audio area is electrically isolated from the PCIe slot power input. The main PCB features a 6.3 mm headphones jack, supporting cans with up to 600Ω impedance, stereo RCA out, and 7.1-channel optical SPDIF (TOSLINK) outputs. A daughterboard gives out additional analog channels and inputs via 3.5 mm jacks. On the software side of things, you get C-Media's Xear3D software customized by PowerColor, with ASIO 2.2 support.

Gigabyte Launches X99 Champion Series Motherboards

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards is proud to announce today the addition of 4 new high performance motherboards to their comprehensive Intel X99 chipsets offering with the X99 Champion series. The new motherboards consist of the X99-Gaming 5P, X99-UD4P, X99-UD3P and the already famous X99-SOC Champion.

DDR4 memory modules are available at a stock frequency of 2133 MHz, but memory vendors encode XMP profiles which can automatically modify the frequency and timings of the supported memory modules to work in par with your CPU. With the X99 Champion Series, GIGABYTE is offering a tested and proven platform that ensures proper compatibility with profiles up to 3200 MHz, and exclusively 3400 MHz for the X99-SOC Champion.

ASUS Announces Xonar U3 Plus External DAC with Headphones Amp

ASUS today announced the Xonar U3 Plus, a pocket-sized USB-powered sound card with a 150-ohm headphone amplifier, studio-grade vocal effects and a full suite of audio enhancements. The Xonar U3 Plus is designed for PC and notebook users who are looking for an easy-to-use solution that caters to their high-fidelity audio playback and home recording needs.

Xonar U3 Plus has a high-performance headphone amplifier with adjustable gain levels that can drive up to 150ohm-impedance headphones and headsets. It enhances treble and bass to add dynamic details to low and high frequency sounds like explosions and footsteps in movies or games.

Creative Unveils the Sound Blaster E5 USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier

Creative Technology Ltd today launched the Sound Blaster E5 - Flagship of the "Sound Blaster E-Series", and a new audio solution for USB DAC and headphone amplifier. Boasting audiophile-grade specifications and components, the Sound Blaster E5 is designed to deliver bit-perfect audio, allowing mobile users to experience audio as the artists intended.

The new flagship product is an extension of Sound Blaster's E-Series line of compact portable USB audio solutions. Launched in May 2014, the Sound Blaster E-Series includes the Sound Blaster E1 and Sound Blaster E3.

MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC Now Available

MSI, world leading in motherboard technology, is pleased to announce its unleashing of the Z97 GAMING 9 AC motherboard to the public. The Z97 GAMING 9 AC from MSI is a custom designed motherboard, decorated with luscious new heat-sinks and unique Dragon Armor that highlight an arsenal of new features found on the board. It's masterpiece being Xtreme Audio DAC, a premium dedicated onboard sound card with specially selected high quality audio components, set up and tuned by professionals delivering 120dB Signal-to-Noise-Ratio (SNR) 192kHz / 32-Bit of purest sound quality for studio-grade Hi-Fi solutions and gaming headgear. The MSI Z97 GAMING 9 AC also comes with an Intel Wi-Fi AC module with Bluetooth 4.0 and Intel WiDi support.

Having superior sound quality while gaming is the decisive factor between a kilI or be killed. The MSI Z97 GAMING 9 AC motherboard comes with a premium Hi-Fi sound card, delivering 192kHz / 32-Bit 120 dB SNR bit-perfect audio quality, onboard! Premium audio components like a C-Media HD Audio Processor, Wolfson WM8741 DAC and Texas Instruments TPA6120A2 amplifier are selected for the truly amazing sound quality. Enjoy pure sound quality and a breathtaking, never heard before, gaming sound experience that gives you the upper hand on your enemy.

Creative Launches the Sound Blaster E Series USB Audio Solutions

Creative Technology Ltd today launched an all-new series of small but powerful USB audio solutions for PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets -- The Sound Blaster E Series. Consisting of the Sound Blaster E3 and the Sound Blaster E1, the Sound Blaster E Series builds upon the popularity of the Sound Blaster X-Fi Go!Pro. They utilize USB plug-and-play connectivity to provide PC, and now even Mac users, with access to a powerful USB audio experience through real-time advanced audio processing.

Top audio quality is ensured even on smartphones and tablets through the Sound Blaster E Series' high SNR levels and 600Ω headphone amplifiers that supply more power than a standard headphone jack. The Sound Blaster E3 can also function as a high performance USB DAC for selected smartphones and tablets, and users can alternatively enjoy high quality wireless audio by pairing with smartphones and tablets via Bluetooth.

STREAMZ Introduces World's First Smart Streaming Headphones

STREAMZ, a Mozaex spin-off company, announced today it has released the world's first smart streaming headphones called STREAMZ. STREAMZ are breakthrough headphones that allow you to play music and audio from multiple sources, including onboard stored music, streaming online radio, streamed phone music, plus audio from your TV, movie, and game player.

The company will be demonstrating STREAMZ and their BLUWAVS 7.1 HDMI Surround headphones during the 2014 CES Expo, held in Las Vegas from January 7-10, booth #54009 (inside the iLounge of the LVH Hall).

Audioengine Introduces New Desktop Speakers

Audioengine today announced the Audioengine 2+ (A2+) Premium Powered Desktop Speakers. The award-winning Audioengine 2 speakers just got better. With a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC), the Audioengine 2+ allows you to bypass your computer's headphone output and send music directly through USB for improved sound.

Upgrade your audio
The Audioengine 2+ sets a new standard for computer audio and these small, but high-performance speakers are the perfect upgrade for your computer.

ASUS Xonar Essence STU USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier Launched

ASUS today announced the Xonar Essence STU USB external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier, based on the acclaimed design and quality of Xonar Essence ST/STX internal sound cards and going beyond their already high standards. Offering audiophile-grade performance, Xonar Essence STU delivers USB connectivity and accessible external controls.

It offers clear sound with a 120dB signal to noise ratio (SNR), strong 600ohm headphone amplifier, asynchronous USB audio and swappable Op-Amps for DIY sound modification. Precision clock tuning technology further enhances audio fidelity, making Xonar Essence STU a great choice for discerning music lovers who need a quality DAC and headphone amplifier to drive the full capabilities of high-end headphones.

OPPO Digital Shows Off New Headphones and Headphone Amplifier

Like many technology companies in Silicon Valley, OPPO Digital is continuously working on bringing new ideas and new products to customers. Over the past 8 years, OPPO has developed and released a series of award-winning universal DVD and Blu-ray players. We have built a team with experience and expertise in designing high performance audio and video products. Just as video has entered an Ultra HD era, audio is evolving with the rise of high-resolution music and a renewed interest in personal audio. We believe that our knowledge in high performance product design and quality manufacturing can bring benefits to customers in the personal audio space. The first two products in this category will be our PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphone and HA-1 Headphone Amplifier.

ASUS Launches Essence III Preamplifier, USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier

ASUS today announced Essence III, a USB digital-to-analog (DAC) converter with a fully balanced design and the latest Direct Stream Digital (DSD) playback designed for those who demand the purest audio quality and listening flexibility.

High-precision clocks and asynchronous USB virtually eliminate jitter, while separate printed-circuit boards for digital, analog and power ensure that the Essence III's audio delivery is crystal-clear and free of crosstalk. Remote-controlled volume driven by stepped attenuators allow output levels to be set with great precision - even from the far side of the listening room.

GIGABYTE Introduces the H81.AMP-UP Motherboard

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today announced the latest addition to its 8 series motherboards, the GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP. Supporting the latest 4th generation Intel Core processors, the GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP motherboard boasts outstanding audio features never seen before on an mainstream platform motherboard. These include an upgradable onboard OP-Amp, exclusive USB DAC-UP which provides noise-less USB power for digital-to-analog converters, switches to boost overall gain levels, high-end Nichicon capacitors and more.

"The GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP is like no other motherboard currently available, addressing the important market of audio enthusiasts that don't necessarily require high-end PC gaming features," commented Henry Kao, Vice President of GIGABYTE Motherboard Business Unit. "Delivering a potent combination of our exclusive audio technologies, and backed by our signature Ultra Durable design philosophy, the GIGABYTE H81.AMP-UP has certainly upped the ante in terms of must have features for mainstream H81 motherboards."

ASUS Unveils ROG Maximus VI Impact Mini-ITX Motherboard

ASUS announced its first Republic of Gamers (ROG) motherboard in the mini-ITX form-factor, the Maximus VI Impact, which could go on to become choice number one for SFF gaming PC builders. Arguably the most feature-rich mini-ITX motherboard ever made, the Maximus VI Impact is a socket LGA1150 motherboard based on Intel Z87 Express chipset, which supports 4th generation Core "Haswell" processors.

The board draws power from a combination of 24-pin ATX and 8-pin EPS connectors, and conditions it using a 10-phase VRM that off-shoots into its own little PCB, with heatsink. The other three daughterboards on the Maximus VI Impact include the SupremeFX Impact, a sound-card with an audiophile-grade 115 dBA DAC, OPAMPs, and audio-grade capacitors; and an mPCIe combo card that lends it 802.11 ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0; and an ImpactControl card that gives overclockers POST diagnostic readouts and CMOS reset/restore at the push of a button, right from the rear panel.

ASUS Announces Xonar Essence STU External Sound Card and Headphones Amplifier

ASUS today announced the Xonar Essence STU USB external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier, based on the acclaimed design and quality of Xonar Essence ST/STX internal sound cards and going beyond their already high standards. Offering audiophile-grade performance, Xonar Essence STU delivers USB connectivity and accessible external controls.

It offers clear sound with a 120dB signal to noise ratio (SNR), strong 600ohm headphone amplifier, asynchronous USB audio and swappable Op-Amps for DIY sound modification. Precision clock tuning technology further enhances audio fidelity, making Xonar Essence STU a great choice for discerning music lovers who need a quality DAC and headphone amplifier to drive the full capabilities of high-end headphones.

ASUS Introduces the Xonar U7 USB Soundcard and Headphone Amplifier

ASUS today announced the compact Xonar U7 USB external soundcard and headphone amplifier, which offers powerful and clear 114dB SNR audio with USB convenience. It incorporates a headphone amplifier, Dolby Home Theater v4 support, plus dedicated microphone and volume controls.

Xonar U7 serves the needs of PC gamers who want to enjoy strong and clear sound via headphones, and is also ideal for listening to music as it produces much more impactful and detailed audio than onboard hardware. Connecting via USB, it requires no standalone power supply and works instantly setup-free with no need to open the PC case.
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