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Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe Sound Card
The ultimate in audio playback and creation solution
The Sound Blaster ZxR is the flagship of the ultra high-performance Z-Series of Sound Blaster® PCI-Express sound cards, elevating the standards of technology and performance for the future of gaming and entertainment on the PC. Designed to deliver the ultimate audio playback and creation solution for the PC, Sound Blaster ZxR personifies the ultimate gaming and entertainment performance for a sound card.
A signal to noise ratio or SNR of 124dB means your audio will be more than 99.99% pristine, which is over 89.1 times better than motherboard audio.
In gaming, if you're not communicating, you're not winning. Experience crystal clear communication with your teammates with the CrystalVoice™ suite of technologies that removes echoes, ambient noises and picks up your voice from within a zone (Voice Focus). It also maintains your voice level even if you are near or further away from the microphone.Understand how CrystalVoice™ technologies work.
Add studio quality audio sound tracks or voice tracks to your video clips or home videos created with hardware that uses only audiophile-grade components such as 123dB analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) with RCA Aux-in and optical inputs for outstanding recording quality. With the 600 ohm headphone ampflier, you can do studio-grade monitoring as well.
The DBpro is another reason why Sound Blaster ZxR delivers only the best audio playback and creation. It offers optical output for outstanding audio playback, plus professional-grade ADCs with RCA Aux-in and optical inputs for studio-grade recording quality.
Take control in style and ease with the ACM that incorporates a built-in microphone array and mic/headphone I/O connections. The knob on the ACM lets you conveniently adjust the headphone levels.
We designed the quad-core Sound Core3D™ audio processor to offload SBX Pro Studio and CrystalVoice effects processing from your primary CPU, improving your overall PC performance, resulting in drastically superior audio and voice quality.
Connect to your home theatre system through a single digital cable and enjoy cinematic DVD movies by transforming any stereo or multi-channel streams into high fidelity immersive surround sound.
With the Sound Blaster Z-series Control Panel, just toggle between your headphone and speaker system with a flip of a switch.
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 15 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 15 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 found the following review helpful:
Incredible Card. Absolutely worth it.Mar 02, 2013
By Richard Lee Wiatrowski
If you're "on the fence" with this card. Go for it.
Pros: This card is awesome! I upgraded from a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty Pro Gamer card with the add-on front panel. This card kills it. The drivers installed quick and easy. The card looks fantastic (even though it's now buried in my tower). I laughed when I was checking the installation on the sound panel in the control panel and the mic showed activity from the beam forming mic on the volume module. I also want to mention the GUI software is WAAAAAAY better than the X-Fi generation GUI software. Easy to navigate all the options, the headphone switch works flawlessly, there aren't any hiccups or crashes.
I was one of the people that had the AWFUL clicking and popping on the X-Fi cards and I'm happy to say it's gone. Sound is as clean as can be.
I couldn't be happier!
Cons: I haven't found one yet!
Other Thoughts: I know it's expensive. However, it's a premium product. It's got a crazy snr rating and it sounds incredible. Keep in mind that to get the most out of this card, high quality speakers/headphones DO make a difference
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
Great sound, terrible mic.Apr 15, 2013
I don't know who would buy a sound card for the mic and or mic sound improvements, but seeing how much it costs, the poor performance in that area stand out all the more.
Almost everything else is as advertised, greatly improves sound when upgrading from plain on board audio (which is what I had) and all that.
The "never unplug your headset again" feature, which I found very attractive, is rendered moot if you do a lot of online gaming using Vent or the like.I find myself having to plug my mic into a USB to override the ZxRs poor mic sound. Perhaps its my mic, Tatic 3D sigma, which is made by the same company. It sounds great, yet quite a bit worse when run through the ZxR
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
The best audio sound card but overkill if just for gamingApr 24, 2013
By Suhail Ahmad
I originally purchased the creative Z sound card in November 2012 (see my Amazon review of creative Z). I have been waiting since then to upgrade to the ZXR. After having on order for several months, I finally received this card a few days ago. Physical installation was straight forward. You also have the choice of installing the DB Pro soundcard (if so, you need to attach it by supplied cable to the main audio unit). The DB pro card allows you to connect your pc to an external amp and speaker system. Driver installation for the sound card was very easy.
Now then, the ZXR, ZX and Z have all of the following features in common -
They all run on PCIE3 slots and they all use the creative quad core3D processor. They also utilise creative SBX pro studio support, SBX crystalliser, SBX surround, SBX smart volume, SBX dialogue plus and SBX bass, crystal voice, acoustic cancel, voice focus and noise reduction. All three models also have a dedicated 600 ohm headphone amp, gold plated connectors, dolby digital live and DTS connect.
Now this is where each card differs -
Z = double internal mic instead of ACM, 116DB SNR. No audio control module.
ZX = 116DB SNR, ACM (audio control module) support.
ZXR = 124DB SNR, TI Burr-Brown DAC, swappable op-amps, high quality DB-Pro and DB-Pro support, ACM support. The daughter board (DB-Pro) has 123DB ADC with RCA aux-in and optical outputs (to connect to external amps or other professional audio/music production hardware). The DB-pro card also has the quad core3D processor.
I was very happy with the entry model (Z). It produced noticeably better sound quality than the recon 3D sound blaster card I purchased over a year ago. The ZXR is a step up from the ZX and Z. It produces crystal clear sound reproduction with zero distortion. It is also about 15% louder than the Z (I have to decrease the volume on my Logitech X540 speaker control module). The ZXR has a lot of meat to it, particularly when gaming and listening to music. However, my Logitech X540 is not of the same calibre as the ZXR and I may need to upgrade my pc speaker system to a unit that can make the most of the ZXR. Only after I have upgraded to a high end speaker system, will they be able to extract every ounce of performance from the ZXR (I suspect the sound quality and clarity will show a circa 1.5 fold increase in performance). Another point to note, I am not using the supplied audio control module. I do not need to as, I am using the Logitech X540 control module. I therefore cannot comment on the quality of the ACM.
However, at £182-£200 and bearing in mind the high end TI Burr-Brown DACS, it is overkill if you want to use it purely for gaming, listening to music and watching bluray movies on your pc. In which case, I would highly recommend the ZX or the Z (to be honest, the main sound board for the ZX and Z is exactly the same. The only difference is that the ZX has the audio control module, but the Z does not). All things considered, it is cheaper to buy the entry Z. If you are a serious audiophile and have other audio equipment primarily for music production, audio editing or other audio work or even a high end home cinema, then the ZXR is the one for you, as long as you can afford the hefty price tag.
I have not really experienced any issues with this item, bar one. For some reason, the GUI audio adjustment software seems to switch off every now and then (and this reflects via a massive dip in audio performance). I am not certain why this happens (I never had this problem when I was running my OS on my western digital caviar black HDD). However, I suspect, it may have something to do with my new Samsung 840 SSD as my main boot drive which I installed just two days before I received the ZXR (I was also having issues with AVG internet security 2013 with my new SSD, so I had to uninstall AVG and use an alternative). I have not yet used the software to tweak settings for online gaming. I will get round to it. Either way, if I notice any significant changes (good or bad), I shall update my review accordingly.
Overall, this is a fantastic sound card and I think one that outperforms any Asus sound card (especially the Phoebus!). A must have for any serious audiophile blessed with (reasonably) deep pockets!.
2 of 3 found the following review helpful:
stellar card.Mar 07, 2013
By Jeff Record
Sound quality is superb. People may scoff at the burrbrown DAC but it's all in the implementation. I have this card paired up with some audioengine a5+ and it blows away the old external DAC. It tends to be a little bass heavy for me but that is a preference and can be tweaked with the EQ. It drives my headphones really nicely.
Drivers have not crashed yet on a Win8 x64 pc.
My only real complaint, more of a gripe, is that the feature of "Never unplug your headphones again" is definitely there and works but why not make it more accessible? Unless I'm wrong about something, you have to open the sound blaster control panel from the systray (or other means), click speaker/headphones and select the output from there. Why not make it a menu option available when right clicking the icon in the systray? Should be easy to pull off and much less of a hassle.
AMP worth it for high impedance headphonesMay 20, 2013
My old SoundBlaster X-Fi Titanium sound card was doing just fine but because I upgraded from Logitech ClearChat Pro Wireless-USB headsets/mic to Sennheiser PC 350 Special Edition High Performance Gaming Headset, then a sound card with AMP was needed as my Senns are rated 150 ohm impedance.
The sound cards (2 of them which surprised at first) along with a well designed ACM (Audio Control Module) makes it a well-built plug-n-play setup that allows me to have both my PC speakers (2.1 w/sub-woofer) and my headset always plugged in. I just switch from one output device via the software module (PC speakers <---> Headset). Some people complain about not having a physical switch to do the switching but to me it's no big deal.
The secondary (aka daughter card) is for plugging into an AVR (audio-video receiver or plugging in an external device such as an iPod). It's not necessary for me, but it is part of the package and has the audio equivalent of an SLI bridge to connect both cards. But to remind people the 2nd card does NOT plug into any slot as it is just a board with no connection to the motherboard. Only inputs/outputs to other devices and the connection wired bridge to the main sound mothercard. Overall after about a month's worth of online gaming, I can say that explosions never sounded this good especially deep bass EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) bombs!
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