Originally Posted by liquidzoo
The Z has a better DAC, a better SnR, and a better headphone amp than the Recon3D series. They are based on the same design, yes, but the components have been improved.
The ZxR is openly stated to have an improved headphone amp (and I've seen specsheets for both, assuming they didn't massively screw it up (which early reports indicate they didn't), it's more robust - but the majority of dynamic headphones don't benefit from it). The Z and Zx look almost 1:1 with the Recon3D boards, and even if they have "better components" (what does this mean? what specifically was improved, by how much, how does this effect the overall circuit, by how much, can this effect be observed beyond marketing material, etc) the proof will be in the pudding; not only should it measure better, but it should subjectively sound better. Do you have this evidence? Thus far I'm not seeing it.
Again, like I said - I keep hearing about how "bad" the Recon3D is, and how much of a god-send the Z is, but most of it is just Creative's marketing literature talking about how the Z is "designed for audio" and "audiophile approved" and "built with audiophile components" and so on; that doesn't tell us anything useful except that Creative wants more money (and they've been doing this "designed for high end" spiel for a *long* time to hawk their most expensive parts).
The Recon3D was designed for games and gamers; the Z took that design and altered it to improve response to music.
This is marketing dribble. The hardware does not know the difference and does not care what is originating the signal (and games have music in them, believe it or not!); a lot of woo-woo has been put out by a lot of manufacturers in recent years about how this is a "big deal" and you need the one that says "audiophile" on the box (of course at substantial mark-up), and it's forced more or less everyone else to follow suit just to appear commercially relevant, but they're all nonsense words. If it's good at reproducing an audio signal, it's good at reproducing an audio signal, and it doesn't matter if that happens to be watching a UFC fight, playing Call of Duty, or listening to Dianna Krall.
I stopped reading where they said THX is owned by Creative, and making other wild claims. But this doesn't prove anything; it's yet more "Z is designed for audio and is therefore better" with no proof. Yet again, the echo chamber grows and grows, and nobody ever stops and asks "why?"Edited by obobskivich - 4/3/13 at 1:19pm