Creative Sound Blaster X3 Review - Amazing USB Sound Card 32

Creative Sound Blaster X3 Review - Amazing USB Sound Card

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Introduction

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Creative recently introduced one of the most interesting USB sound cards in the company's history, the $120 Sound Blaster X3. Creative refers to it as a "Hi-Res 7.1 external USB DAC and amp sound card with Super X-Fi for PC and Mac". This short description doesn't really do the Sound Blaster X3 justice. It's a feature-packed external sound card equipped with a couple of interesting technologies and an intuitive controlling scheme, which lets us tap into most of its features by using the on-board controls. Many of its capabilities can be accessed through a mobile app as well, which comes as great news to anyone who is after an external sound card for their PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch since they'll still be able to make use of most of what the sound card offers. That isn't the case with sound cards that depend solely on a Windows/MacOS driver.



The Creative Sound Blaster X3 can be combined with headphones, gaming headsets or active speakers—2.0, 2.1, 5.1, and 7.1 speaker configurations are supported. Thanks to the built-in TOSLINK connector, it can also be connected to any newer external AV receiver, stereo amplifier, or a pair of higher quality active speakers. That gives the Sound Blaster X3 a lot of potential uses, although the proximity to a PC is obviously its natural habitat. In this review we'll examine the design, extensive features, and input/output quality of this interesting sound card. Read on to find out what you're getting for your money!

Specifications

Creative Sound Blaster X3
DACPlayback Resolution (Stereo): PCM 16/24/32-bit / 48, 96, 192 kHz

Playback Resolution (Optical Out): PCM 16/24-bit / 48, 96, 192 kHz

Surround 7.1: PCM 16/24/32-bit / 48, 96, 192 kHz

Dolby Digital Live: 16-bit, 48 kHz
Headphone AmpLow Gain: 32–149 Ω (1.2 V RMS @ 32 Ω, 1.5 V RMS @ 150 Ω)

High Gain: 150–600 Ω (2.3V RMS @ 150Ω, 2.9V RMS @ 600Ω)
Signal-to-Noise (SnR) / Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)115 dB / 0,0004%
ADC (Mic-In) Dynamic Range104 dB, THD+N: 0.0017%
Recording QualityLine-in: 16/24-bit, 48, 96, 192 kHz

Mic-in: 16/24-bit / 48, 96, 192 kHz

What-U-Hear: 16/24-bit, 48, 96, 192 kHz
Outputs1x TOSLINK, 4x 3.5-mm linear (front, rear, side, central speaker, active subwoofer), 1x 3.5-mm (headphones)
Inputs1x 3.5-mm microphone, 1x 3.5-mm AUX
Dimensions & Weight129 x 129 x 40.6 mm, 330 g
Supported PlatformsPC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch (+ Android/iOS mobile app)
Interface & Power USB-C
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