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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 97

post #1441 of 3412
About the current CoD positional debate, my 2 cents:
Sometimes near-X-ray abilities granted, especially in CoD4 and now ghosts, but on consoles no height info and occasionally you get used to predicting the other side of a wall that you get confused since elevation sounds the same. CoD2 used to have OpenAL, full 3D positional audio support, but consoles so far just don't.
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post

For: 600 ohm headphone amplifier - pretty sure I read that it was the same one as the ZxR which will would help your K712's (will try and find the article), (was bollocks), plus no noise being external.
Against: The Omni doesn't do Dolby Digital Live optical out to Macs.

Review here (practically none out yet) with nice pics: http://www.hw-journal.de/index.php/testberichte/audio/938-test-creative-sound-blaster-omni-5-1?start=2

Well, I'm pretty sure the built-in optical out on macs can send 5.1, but with HDMI as an option it just doesn't matter to me. Wish the Omni had an optical INPUT like the Recon3D USB does, but not a huge deal.
Edited by Evshrug - 11/30/13 at 12:19pm
post #1442 of 3412

Just ordered a ZXR from TigerDirect during the v.me promotion. Will be used to drive the Senn HD580, hopefully worth it.  Replacing an E-Mu 0404 usb (tired of the beta drivers).  

post #1443 of 3412

@Evs - meant input.. was  slightly hung-over and clearly saw those photos in the above link showing Optical Out (don't usually drink Whisky even though am Scottish). The Omni does look good solely cos it'll be noise free.


@77Pat . .tell us how you get on once it arrives. Switch off / down all the default settings cos most people say the ZxR is OTT using out of the box settings..

post #1444 of 3412
Bleeeeeeell... It is wiskeh.
My dad used to drink whiskey often, even though his friends told him it was an old man's drink, he just liked the taste. Then one day, a man sat down next to him at the bar, probably only 10-15 years older than Dad, but his face looked like melting wax and had a nasty color and his eyes were all bloodshot... and he ordered the same whiskey Dad was drinking. Seeing a glimpse of the future, my dad stopped drinking whiskey and less alcohol in general (more water).

"600 ohm amp" the Omni may have, but ZxR level indeed bollocks. I use external amps anyway.
post #1445 of 3412

A Drunk in Bar.............


BTW Evs .. I've a memory like a sieve - have you connected any external amps to the headphone out of the SBZ? Distortion, noise?

post #1446 of 3412
The one time I played 2 levels of BF3 campaign, I did not plug in my tube amp because I just had 15 mins and didn't want to wait for it to warm up. So no, I haven't tried yet.

However, I used my FiiO E12 or tube amp all the time with the headphone out on my Recon3D USB. The E12 actually seemed to dampen background hiss when using my more sensitive V-MODA M-100 with the headphone-out on my Turtle Beach DSS.

I swear, someday I'll have/make time to use my purchased goodies. That's why I like versatile items... More opportunity to use them.

Damn, I think I just talked myself out of selling my E12 again.
Edited by Evshrug - 12/1/13 at 10:29am
post #1447 of 3412

TY for info Evs.


Everybody: out of interest.. how much better SQ wise is the ZxR for gaming? Any increase in soundstage (know RPG didn't) and overall 'zang' compared to the vanilla Z? Still planning on getting an external DAC/AMP soon to pair with my Z, but was just wondering...........


Zang .. a new word for the sound lexicon.. or maybe not.

post #1448 of 3412
The ZxR has a better and more powerful amp. It is known that more powerful amps with low distortion create better instrument/sound source separation, as well as more voltage swing headroom to prevent distortion from clipping (which doesn't seem to be a problem with the Z either) and the power to keep bass tighter with more impact. So, I would guess that, as long as the opamp was well-implemented, then it would have improved soundstaging AND more "Zang" by more effortlessly having the muscle to do the sonic equivalent of lifting a school bus. EUUUUURaaawgh!

The other thing they tell me is better DACs = better resolution, so that would be like putting on a nice pair of glasses.
Edited by Evshrug - 12/3/13 at 8:15am
post #1449 of 3412
Originally Posted by Migou67 View Post

There are three new Sound Blaster : the ZXR ($ 250), the ZX ($ 150) and Z ($ 100).



The ZXR is offering: digital-analog converters (DAC) with an SNR of 127 dB, OP-AMPS replaceable, headset amplifier with a 600 ohm impedance supported. A control module including an headphone output.


She was presented at the Gamescom :)


Edit : added pictures


Edit2 : They deliver 80 mW with a 600 ohms headphone.

Do all 3 cards have the 80mW , 600 ohms headphone amp, or just the zxr model. I have a great interest in the Z card.

post #1450 of 3412

In the real world (non marketing BS) the ZxR does about 50 mW into 600 ohms at max and the Z(x) does about 9 mW. The difference is less than 7.5 dB. (10 dB is perceived as twice as loud.)


Due to the slightly higher output impedance the ZxR is ever so slightly worse than the Z(x) when driving low-impedance headphones. I don't think those differences are audible.

post #1451 of 3412
No only the zxr has the TI headphone amp you are referring to.

The z/zx has a maxim amp capable of 125 MW into 32 ohms. So we would assume quite anaemic at 250+ ohm load.

@ Evshrug and Salx

Going from the z to the zxr was quite a difference in sound overall. The headphone port in the z was too closed off sound stage wise and the bass seemed to be less controlled and just bloated. The highs were also too piercing and not controlled either. Part of me assumes perhaps it couldn't power the DT 770 250 ohms like I had originally thought it could.

Those are the immediate differences I noticed.


There was a site that reviewed the zxr and measured it at 80 MW even slightly higher than the stx. Then there is a site that measured 50 MW...

Who are we to believe?

At the end of the day who cares, you shouldn't be using 600 ohm headphones with a straight PC audio card anyway. Those who didn't do their research have themselves to blame.
Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 12/3/13 at 12:56pm
post #1452 of 3412

TY for the replies guys.


FYI: for all you Windows 8.1 users there's a patch due at the end of January: http://support.creative.com/KB/showarticle.aspx?sid=61105&h=13 Also a Titanium HD driver too. No idea if this is a general update for the Z line as a whole - they may just be working solely on the fix for 8.1.

post #1453 of 3412

Finally got my Schiit Magni to test out with the TiHD... I can't believe how much difference it makes. I'm still waiting for my Vali so I can test them both with the HD598. I never knew amps make so much difference until I heard the Magni... and this is on a low ohm headphone. Pure audio ecstasy, everything is just so much more smooth. Not sure if this the amp's effect of having a 0.01 ohm output impedance vs TiHD's 36 ohm

post #1454 of 3412

Whatever it is it works - glad you're happy Sol. Report back to us when you get your other amp. BTW.. why do you need 2 amps??

post #1455 of 3412
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

The z/zx has a maxim amp capable of 125 MW into 32 ohms. So we would assume quite anaemic at 250+ ohm load.


Not necessarily. Maximum power by itself only affects the maximum possible loudness without distortion. Although insufficient loudness sounds "anemic" for psycho-acoustical reasons. How much power is enough depends greatly (I mean by a factor of up to 100 for 20 dB difference) on the person and the source material (compressed pop music vs. classical vs. movies, etc.).


Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

There was a site that reviewed the zxr and measured it at 80 MW even slightly higher than the stx. Then there is a site that measured 50 MW...


If you mean this site, they measured 5.79 Vrms maximum unloaded voltage for the ZxR, and 40 Ω output impedance. That translates to 49 mW into a 600 Ω load. They did not measure the maximum output of the Essence STX correctly, because the test signal had a level of -3 dBFS, and the headphone amplifier on that card has no excess gain (it is set up so that it is exactly below the clipping level at 100% volume and the highest gain); therefore, they only show half of the real power. Stereophile tested the STX with professional equipment, and I can also confirm their results; that card definitely has ~7 Vrms maximum unloaded output voltage and about 10 Ω output impedance.

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