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Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe Sound Card
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Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe Sound Card



This product is currently out of stock
Product Details:
Product Length: 11.36 inches
Product Width: 2.44 inches
Product Height: 8.0 inches
Product Weight: 0.75 pounds
Package Length: 11.1 inches
Package Width: 7.7 inches
Package Height: 2.4 inches
Package Weight: 0.45 pounds
Average Customer Rating: based on 124 reviews
Customer Reviews:
Average Customer Review: 4.5 ( 124 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 40 found the following review helpful:

4Sound card for the new yearDec 18, 2011
By Lee Nguyen
I finally got tired of the hissing and crackling of my onboard audio from my motherboard.

This is what I was looking for in a new sound card in order of priority.

1. Clean sound with my headphones. i.e. no hissing or other PC-related background noise.
2. Latest 3d positioning technology to work with my latest games.
3. Updatability and future support.
4. PCI-e 1x form factor. My regular PCI slots are all filled up.

At first I was really tempted to get either an X-FI or Xonar for $10 cheaper. But then I read how old these cards are and I began to realize that support for these cards will wane more quickly over time. That's just the way the software business works. Since these cards are new, I figure that Creative might have a chance to develop more stable software for their latest card.

After using this card for a few days, here are my pros and cons...

- Very simple to install. The BIGGEST caveat is that you should disable your onboard audio in the bios before getting started or weird configuration glitches will occur (no crashes though, thank goodness).
- Sound is very clean with my headphones except in certain odd configs (see cons). When I use the dedicated headphone output, default control panel settings are fine. I ended up disabling TruStudio Pro because I generally don't like to post-process my audio (it's just a personal preference).
- CrystalVoice is hilarious and awesome. The gender voice-change made my friend think that I was hitting on him. Great for MMORPGs or FPS games.
- 3d positioning works. It's nice.
- No conflicts out of the box. That's a big plus. I've had older Creative cards and there was always something that caused me annoying problems.

- It's new. So it's a bit pricey. To be expected, though.
- When you enable DolbyLive in Cinematics, I could hear hissing in my headphones. I don't use DolbyLive anyways and it probably doesn't even make sense to do so with headphones. So it's not a deal breaker.
- When listening to audio via Firefox, if you switch from one audio output to another, you lose your audio until you restart Firefox. Again, this is a weird bug that I don't care too much about. (Firefox saves practically all your browsing sessions). It might not even happen with other browsers.
- Lack of good packaged software. Comes with WaveStudio, Alchemy, Music Server (i.e. glorified media player) and some trial Creative product that I removed immediately. There are a lot of better free alternatives. I wish there was a 3d sound demo to "excite" you about the 3d capabilities of the card.

If you're upgrading from onboard audio to a dedicated card, it's worth it to get this card just for the cleaner sound. If you already have a sound card like an X-Fi or Xonar and you have no annoying problems with it, I really doubt that you're going to notice any difference in sound quality by getting this card; maybe better driver support in the future.

15 of 16 found the following review helpful:

5A great choice of sound card!Jun 28, 2012
By MyKeyReviews
[[VIDEOID:moW2HBQPAJNP5U]]Before considering to purchase this product, please note this product has some minimum system requirements:

Intel Core(tm) 2 Duo or AMD equivalent processor | 2.2 GHz or faster | Intel, AMD or 100% compatible motherboard | Microsoft Windows® 7 (32/64-bit) | 1GB RAM | 600MB of free hard disk space | Available PCI Express® (x1, x4 or x16) slot | Available CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.

- - -

I've got to be honest, before I was offered this product, I had never even thought about purchasing a sound card and was very naive to think they wouldn't make much difference in audio quality, however I was proven wrong the moment I had it fully up & running and blasted some audio through my speakers.

I own some Dell speakers which would be classified as "old" in computer years, I've always thought that it's all down to the speakers whether the sound is good or not. Now whilst that is true to a certain extent, without the proper audio processing, your not going to get the optimum quality, and that's where this sound card comes in and so far I have been more than impressed.

Even my microphone on my headset seems like it's been given an "upgrade" since using this sound card, whilst it doesn't make the microphone perfect, it does enhance the quality to make it much better.

Another thing I want to add is that when you install the software, you get a program called 'Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe Control Panel', this allows you to fully tweak your headphones/microphone and speakers to suit your needs. I found it to be very simple to navigate through the interface as well as easy to change the settings.

Overall I have been very impressed with this sound card, if you want to enhance your audio experience, then I would highly recommend this product!

11 of 11 found the following review helpful:

5PerfectApr 15, 2012
By Michael Murphy (mmstick)
Note: This review is based on a headphone user.

Finally, Creative has released a sound card that actually works as intended, no driver issues at all (and only one driver, the driver CD).

For gaming, this card delivers the greatest sound possible, especially in OpenAL-based games. Set your games to output 7.1 channel surround sound and the sound card will do the rest, being able to render as many as 256 sounds at the same time, perfect for intense games like Total War.

ASUS may be better suited for music/movie sound quality, but they are not capable of delivering the awesome sound this card delivers in gaming, and only able to deliver half the number of total sounds. Either way, the sound quality in music and movies with the Creative Recon3D aren't something to laugh at either, tweaking the EQ and special THX settings will give you great sound to all your music/movies.

In comparison to 7.1 surround sound USB headsets, this card can make any headphone/headset produce sound far superior to that of any USB-based sound card implementation.

The voice changing software in the control panel is also the best I have ever seen for any device. It beats the poor implementation seen in Logitech G35/930 control panel by several magnitudes. There is plenty of control over how you can manipulate your voice.

In defense of the 'lack of circuitry and size' that many people complain about. You do realize how old the previous generation Creative sound cards are right? And how circuitry needs shrink over time? Of course, a gold-plated ASUS Essence STX can deliver the best sound possible in music/movies, you can't beat a sound card with a quad-core DSP with gaming features as the #1 priority.

For anyone doing video recording of events on your computer (recording gaming sessions for example), the sound card comes with a feature that will make a device appear under microphones called What U Hear. Far superior to Stereo Mix, you will be able to record your game exactly as your computer hears it, with up to 5.1 sound channels. If you set your microphone to listen to, you can also record both your microphone input and the game at the same time. As well, since it is recording the game through the sound card, the enhanced quality of the sound will also be recorded so that others can get a small glimpse of the sound quality you hear from your card.

In short:

If (needs.gaming(true)) {[...]} else {

13 of 15 found the following review helpful:

5Good cardJan 09, 2012
By BadMedicineLK
I got this card so I could have 5.1 surround sound via optical out to my receiver. Works beautifully. Music sounds SO much crisper and games sound great. It was a little bit of a hassel to get the THX software to work, but it is indeed essential. Without the software you cannot enable Dolby Digital, which was the main reason I got this card. It will still work without the seftware, but it only ouputs PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) which is pretty much glorified analog ouput.

In the instructions it says to make sure that the SPDIF is selected as the default audio device in the Windows control panel, however it actually uses a device simply called "speakers" which is the SPDIF out, its just mis-labeled in the control panel for some reason... (At least in my experience Win 7, 64 bit).

Installation was easy. Do some research before you intsall any new hardware. If you have onboard sound you have to disable or uninstall the drivers in device manager, then install the sound card, then install the Recon drivers, lastly reboot, change the default sound device in control panel, and you should be good.

I've had the card for almost 2 weeks now:
I've had no hissing problems. No wake-from-sleep problems. No audio lag problems. I don't use Firefox, but switching audio sources on Chrome worked flawlessly. I hooked up a 2 way digital splitter which splits the signal from SPDIF-out of the Recon between my Turtle Beach X41 headset receiver and my Yamaha 5.1 receiver for my speakers. It works perfectly and outputs Dolby Digital to both receivers at the same time. I've had a good bit of time to play Battlefield 3 and Skyrim and both sound incredible. The positional audio effects work really well in both games, especially BF3. I don't prefer the "Scout Mode" at all because it takes away from the rest of the sound field, it sounds amazing without it on. Can't say enough good things about this card. I've never had a dedicated sound card before, but I'm extremely satisfied with the usability, versatility (able to output to both headset and receiver), and quality of the sound in music and games.

In summary: if you have a nice home theater receiver and speakers or a nice headset and you want to get the most out of them then I highly recommend this card.

9 of 11 found the following review helpful:

3Ok card, but you should wait for better one!Aug 15, 2012
By Randomness
I have purchased this card to replace the on-board audio on my motherboard, which has a lower SnR DACs and doesn't have features such as virtual surround modes for headphones. The installation of this card was extremely painless - I just disabled the on-board sound in motherboard's BIOS, inserted this card into the available PCIe slot (it was the "long" PCIe 8x slot, but it doesn't matter, it will work in any PCIe slots), then downloaded the latest drivers from Creative's site (you don't NEED to use the included driver's disk). After the installation of the drivers, I've tried its various features, as well as trying it with various games/music. The overall sound quality has improved by a little degree (I didn't expect much anyway), there were no noticeable "noises" or "hisses", nothing was crashing (I always had "good luck" with Creative's products and drivers, starting from Creative's "Sound Blaster Live!" models). "CrystalVoice" feature provides a pretty noticeable enhancement of sound quality for the microphone (plus the "FX" voice-changing effects are often amusing to use on some unsuspecting friends/players) and the "THX TruStudio Pro" gives a pretty useable and "believable" (depending on the game and on the settings for this feature - you have to "play" a little bit with the "Surround" slider in Creative's control panel to find the "right" setting) surround sound emulation for standard headset/headphones.
All in all, I like the sound quality of this card, the stability of its drivers/software and the extra features that are provided in the software, HOWEVER I will probably be returning this card. Why? Well, Creative just announced that they will be soon releasing a NEW range of sound cards (they will be called "Sound Blaster Z"), which will be based on same exact "Sound Core3D" chipset, will have same basic features/sound enhancements BUT with better sound quality (better ADC/DAC components with higher SnR) and the price for these new cards will start around hundred dollars. I'd rather wait a couple more months (and maybe you should too!) for a card with better sound quality for about the same price instead of being "stuck" with the (now outdated) Recon3D card.

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