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Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Champion PCIe Sound Card
The next-generation pro-gaming sound system
Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Champion is the ultimate pro-gaming sound card powered by Sound Core3D™, and it heralds a new age in 3D gaming audio and online voice communication. Hardware-accelerated THX TruStudio Pro audio technologies deliver unsurpassed audio playback quality, while the innovative CrystalVoice™ processing, coupled with the included beamforming microphone, gives you the edge in multiplayer games with crystal clear vocal fidelity.
Engineered for low power consumption and high performance, the Sound Core3D processor is Creative's first sound and voice processor to integrate a quad-core high-performance digital signal processor (DSP) and high-quality converters onto a single chip.
The sound card is shielded in a specially designed casing and comes together with the I/O Drive to give you convenient access to headphone and microphone inputs, as well as volume and THX TruStudio Pro controls.
Chosen by professional gamers, certified and tested to achieve peak gaming performance.
The revolutionary Sound Core3D Audio and Voice chipset accelerates THX TruStudio Pro and CrystalVoice processing effects, drastically improving your gaming experience with faster frame rates, more immersive gaming audio, and crystal clear voice communications.
THX TruStudio Pro sound technologies create unprecedented levels of audio realism, including stunning 3D surround effects for your speakers and headsets.
Dolby Digital Live encoding allows you to connect to your decoder or home theatre system through a single TOSlink for compelling 5.1 surround sound.
Supports studio quality headphones and headsets of up to 600 ohm impedance.
This proprietary technology allows you to hear your enemies from further away, giving you a distinct tactical advantage in combat.
When used with CrystalVoice™ Focus, the included stereo microphone creates an acoustic zone and suppresses noise outside it, enabling you to be heard with amazing clarity.
We have updated audio drivers that will allow you to enjoy the ultimate in Sound Blaster performance in Windows 8.
to download the latest drivers.
Connect your favorite audio equipment to the sound card or the front panel I/O Drive, which also gives you easy access to dedicated headphone and volume controls.
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 40 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 40 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 found the following review helpful:
Excellent soundcard! Works perfectly out of the box.Jan 26, 2012
By John E Trussell
First let me say I've been building systems for 20+ years, and have been using Sound Blaster products since day one. I have had all of the latest, including soundcards from other brands. IF you want to use this with high end headphones - stop right here and buy an Asus Xonar or something else. IF you want a fantastic sounding card that is going to be used primarily for gaming, then this is a great product. Some will say the X-fi cards are better...maybe...but sound is such a subjective thing that I couldn't possibly tell you what works best for you. For me, I'm using Polk floor standing speakers, a Martin Logan Vignette center channel, Mirage 10" Powered sub and Mirage wall mounted rears on an Onkyo 7.1 receiver using all Audio-quest cabling. I used to sell high-end home audio equipment so let me describe it's sound qualities:
I use this for music listening and gaming, and this sound card is miles ahead of the Realtek onboard on my Rampage IV Extreme. It has a very warm tonal quality to it, but excellent channel separation. Some may think it's too warm, but you can adjust the tonal balance using the included software. They say it can drive up to 600ohm headphones, and it had no problems driving my Sennheisers. However, you will notice it does not have 1/4 jacks so like I said, buy something with replaceable Op-Amps if you want a true "audiophile" soundcard. Personally, I couldn't tell you if there is a huge difference.
I will say this software is the BEST that Creative has packaged in years. Don't bother looking online, you need to use the CD drivers as they are the only ones you can get. As of this writing there are none online. The included beam-forming microphone works amazingly well with the Crystalvoice software options. I had music playing and tested it using X-fire on max bit-rate, and my friend could barely hear the music. It has fun voice effects too, and adjustable noise canceling features.
Back to the software...this soundcard was instantly detected and worked on my first boot into Win7. Impressive! Plus this processor is the first new Audio silicon in many years. I believe it. It's well built, does exactly what it says and sounds fantastic!
53 of 67 found the following review helpful:
Creative is no more... Time to move on!Jun 22, 2012
I've owned the X-Fi Platinum Champion for close to 6 years. I've held on to the card and refused to trade it off simply because it came with everything I need. 5.1 in the back, SPID/F and RCA in the front, I had all of my gadgets plugged in, sound bit-matched at 24-bit 192k/Hz. Life was good. Granted, I had to go through sleepless nights of researching, patching and playing with everything from drivers, the various utilities creative made for various cards, various version of the THX console, even using various 3rd party drivers until I got the sound and functionality that the card was actually capable of.
Well, sadly, the card died after all these years.. and this is not a SoundBlaster X-Fi Platinum review.. this is a review of what Creative decided to be the newest family of that very specific product line. Except the first thing that you will notice is the absence of "X-Fi", this is because Creative is now using their new dubbed "Recon3D" chip which is supposed to be the reinvention of sound! In reality, its the reinvention of disappointment.
I'm not really sure where to begin, I can start with the features and get down to the nitty gritty.. Lets see. To make this easier for you, I copied and pasted the Output choices available between the Recon3D Champion and the Platinum Champion:
>> Back of card:
> 3.5mm Rear-L, Read-R
> 3.5mm Center, Sub
> 3.5mm Front-L, Front-R
> TOSLINK/Flexijack(I/OU Switchable)
> Coaxial/Optical S/PDIF I
> Coaxial/Optical S/PDIF O
> 1/4" Headphone Jack
> 1/4" Line-In/Mic Jack
> mini MIDI Input
> mini MIDI Output
> RCA Aux Input
> IR Receiver Port (For Remote)
> 1/4" Headphone Volume Knob (Independent)
> 1/4" Microphone Volume Knob (Independent)
>> Back of card:
> 3.5mm Rear-L, Read-R
> 3.5mm Center, Sub
> 3.5mm Front-L, Front-R
> 3.5mm Side-L, Side-R
> TOSLINK IN
> TOSLINK OUT
> RCA In
> 3.5mm Headphone
> 3.5mm Microphone
> Volume Knob (Dependent on Windows)
Notice how many features Creative stripped out from the card.. Just look at the list for yourself. That's not how products progress. This is a clear sign in the decline of quality.
For those who are more versed in Audio, this is another comparison between general audio reproduction of both cards:
192 kHz Analog Playback
24-bit Analog-to-Digital conversion of analog inputs at 96kHz sample rate
24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion of digital sources at 96kHz to analog 7.1 speaker output
16-bit to 24-bit recording sampling rates: 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 and 96kHz
24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion of stereo digital sources at 192kHz to stereo output
92 kHz Analog Playback
You can clearly see the giant drop in SNR as well as the sample rate from 192kH to 92kHz...
Do I need to even begin to describe the terrible muffled tin-can sound that Recon3D makes?
> Surround (5.1 and 7.1 Setups) Will suffer a major hit in the Rear and Side speakers, since the card has to virtually direct sound and you end up with half of the frequency range being chopped in the process so you only hear highest highs on the rear speakers. The DAC in this thing is practically non-existent.
> BASS: You cannot control Bass and Treble independently like you used to do with all other Creative cards.. >.< You have to use the EQ which is absolutely atrocious in sound reproduction.
> Crystalizer: Gone are the days of the X-Fi Crystalizer, Creative tried hard to recreate this feature with this card and they failed. The highs are stingy and make acoustic tracks sound like metal shredding.
Overall, I am EXTREMELY disappointed with this card. This should NOT be labaled as a Hi-Fi or even a Gamer card. This is a disgrace to the SoundBlaster product line that USED TO be a feat of audio engineering. Creative has been on a constant decline since 2006. It is not just apparent in these products, but also in their portable devices that used to lead the PMP market.
I have returned this card back to Amazon and purchased an ASUS Xonar ST (PCI) instead. I highly recommend for anyone interested in perfect audio for their PC to avoid any PCI-E solutions as they have major problems with jitter clocks and accurate sound reproduction. PCI is more natural for Audio and unfortunately the socket is on its way of being phased out from all motherboards. Until someone can make a truly good PCI-E Audiophile card. PCI is the only way to go.
If you have a PCI slot in your motherboard, I highly recommend that you buy either a X-Fi Titanium HD or a Xonar. Don't be fooled by the pretty marketing. New is no longer better. It's quite the opposite these days actually.
My 2 cents.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
Almost perfectMay 11, 2012
I upgraded my X-Fi card for this one due to some weird hissing and CPU issues with the X-Fi. The hissing was only in one speaker and would come and go without cause. I assumed it was interference from the video card (GTS250X2) I'm not sure if the shell on this Recon3D card helps but the hissing is gone. I have dual quad xeons and the processor would jump to 15% when I jacked in the sound from my DTV box. No hit at all with the Recon. The sound quality was great on the X-Fi but I do notice quite a difference with the Recon especially on movies. I use a logitech 5.1 speaker setup and Bose AE headphones. I hear sounds I never heard before in movies and songs. The fidelity of the bose headphones and the recon3d are amazing. Handles PCM 5.1 uncompressed and dolby truehd with no apparant hit to the CPUs. (CPUs at 6% while watching bluray)
PROS: Sound quality is amazing. Easy to switch from headphones to speakers with buttons on I/O panel. No unplugging required.
CONS: I uninstalled the X-fi driver, shut down, and swapped in the Recon3D card. This caused win7 x64 to fail to boot. Uninstalled recon card. Did a complete cycle (and an auto bootup repair) and it was fine. Allow the X-fi driver to completely remove before installing the new card. With the high fidelity of the Bose AEs, I was hearing static interference from the processors on the analog cables that run from the card to the I/O panel. Repositioned them away from the processors to clear it up. When playing around with the beamforming mic, I started picking up a loud rolling hum. Dropping mic input cleared it up but it quickly came back. When I tried to focus the mic, I got an unexpected high pitched squeel at full volume in both the headphones and speakers that left my ears hurting for 2 hours. Did a quick reboot and turned crystalvoice off as I suspect it was the culprit. Time will tell if others experience this issue.
All in all, a great setup.
7 of 9 found the following review helpful:
Nice card.Mar 07, 2012
Very nice card. Reminds me of how Creative products are supposed to be. Attractive software and very easy install. Actually works perfectly with windows 7 (and we can assume 8 as well as 8 is just 7 with a "touch" interface.)No crash nothing.
Headphone amp is a HUGE deal. Given the price of this card, I can imagine only people who really value audio from their computer would be buying, and thus should have good quality German headphones. The amp really lets these kinds of headphones show off what they can do when fully powered.
The I/O drive is great as well. Easy access to headphone and quick change of speakers or headphones is so nice.
The only real complaint so fair is Creative taking out EAX effects, like for music. I loved the creative cards with the settings to add concert hall or theater effects to music, adds so much depth and richness. CREATIVE PLEASE YOU MUST ADD THIS BACK! PLEASE.
All in all it seems like Creative is trying to take back its crown as the leader in PC sound. If you are in the market for a new sound card or want to ditch onboard sound, dont pass this up. THX didn't just plaster their name all over the card for no reason either, its their for a reason. A little expensive, but well worth it. The shield is nice as well, protects card and looks great, card should last forever.
Would get five stars if it has the option to enhance music with EAX effects like past products. Please add in next software update.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
Great for gaming.Feb 04, 2013
I was getting tired of the popping and hiss I was getting from my onboard sound. Now almost any dedicated sound card is going to sound better than onboard sound, but I chose the Recon3D, and specifically this model, because of the front panel ports. I was pleasantly surprised when I found there were more to the front panel than just the obvious jacks for headphones, mic, and RCA out.
There are three buttons that allow you to switch off THX as well as choose between speakers and headphones. The front panel will automatically switch to headphone once you plug them in so the ability to switch to speakers without unplugging the headphones is very nice.
There are two knobs on the front panel that can be pushed in making them flush with the panel. One knob controls volume and the other (smaller) knob controls mic level input. One thing to note. If you want to use the front panel jack for your mic you need to go into the control panel for Sound Blaster and actually enable this function. Took me a while to find this and only after I went to SB forums did I find the reason my mic wasn't working. I almost returned this thinking I got a bad front panel.
Finally, the reason I gave this version of the Recon3D only four stars is because it's great for gaming but only so so for listen to music. The popping and hiss is nearly eliminated. However, the overall tone and clarity when listening to music seems a little muffled to me. I'm using my Sol headphones (not the HD version). The four star rating might not be fair because this is advertised as a gaming sound card, which it performs very well at, but I had hoped for better reproduction for music. I knew what I was buying (I do play games) but I was hoping it would surprise me on the music front.
Overall, I'm satisfied with this purchase. I got it when it was on sale just after x-mas so it was a better deal then. Still, if you want a solid sound card for gaming I would recommend this one.
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