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Sound Blaster ZX - return or not?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I got a Sound Blaster ZX for Christmas, and I'm considering to return it and get something like a FiiO E7 in stead.

 

How is the sound in E7 compared to ZX?

post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexw View Post
 

I got a Sound Blaster ZX for Christmas, and I'm considering to return it and get something like a FiiO E7 in stead.

 

How is the sound in E7 compared to ZX?

I would say to return the Sound blaster Zx and get the Sound Blaster Z (SB1500), $80.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

I would say to return the Sound blaster Zx and get the Sound Blaster Z (SB1500), $80.

It seems kind of immoral to return a Christmas present for the money

post #4 of 15

I've never thought that, that's why they make gift receipts. If you don't like the gift you got, why should you be stuck with it? Sure the gesture is nice, but I'm sure the person giving you the gift wants you to have something that you will be happy with. Besides, sometimes the best intentions sometimes aren't backed up by the most knowledge. If a family member bought you a pair of Beats, wouldn't you go return them for something you like more? (if you like Beats, then think of something you don't like instead :P)

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexw View Post
 

It seems kind of immoral to return a Christmas present for the money

Give the difference back to the one who bought you the Zx.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm not going to swap this card out for another integrated card. I'm just wondering if external DAC-amps have better sound, namely the FiiO E7.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryWA View Post
 

I've never thought that, that's why they make gift receipts. If you don't like the gift you got, why should you be stuck with it? Sure the gesture is nice, but I'm sure the person giving you the gift wants you to have something that you will be happy with. Besides, sometimes the best intentions sometimes aren't backed up by the most knowledge. If a family member bought you a pair of Beats, wouldn't you go return them for something you like more? (if you like Beats, then think of something you don't like instead :P)

 

Yes, but I wouldn't swap a Beats Studio out for a Solo HD. Or a Monster Turbine Pro Copper for a Monster Turbine.

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexw View Post
 

I got a Sound Blaster ZX for Christmas, and I'm considering to return it and get something like a FiiO E7 in stead.

 

How is the sound in E7 compared to ZX?

It might come down to the headphones being used with the Zx or E7.

The E7's headphone amplifier is very low impedance (around 1-Ohm?), which better then the Zx's 22-Ohm impedance.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

It might come down to the headphones being used with the Zx or E7.

The E7's headphone amplifier is very low impedance (around 1-Ohm?), which better then the Zx's 22-Ohm impedance.

So if I'm buying headphones with high impedance, I should get another dac?

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexw View Post
 

So if I'm buying headphones with high impedance, I should get another DAC?

It's preferred to have the impedance of the headphones to be 8 times (or more) the impedance of whatever jack the headphones are plugged into.

So with the FiiO E7, you could use headphones that have an impedance as low as 12-Ohms

Where as technically with the Zx you would want to get headphones that are 176-Ohms (22-Ohm X 8) or higher, but that's not really practical.

I would assume a lot of headphones between 32-Ohms and 60-Ohms are being plugged in the Zx.

 

Another factor is to consider that as the E7 uses a USB interface, it will bypass any sound card used with the computer, which is fine for music or watching videos in stereo sound.

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

I don't watch a lot of movies on my computer. Do you know if the E7 supports OSX? I have a Macbook Air which I would like to use it with if I buy it. Why does the impedance need to be 8 times as high on the headphone as on the sound source? I have yet to decide which headphones to get.

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexw View Post
 

I don't watch a lot of movies on my computer. Do you know if the E7 supports OSX? I have a Macbook Air which I would like to use it with if I buy it. Why does the impedance need to be 8 times as high on the headphone as on the sound source? I have yet to decide which headphones to get.

So far I have not seen an problems in general for FiiO products working with the Mac OS.

 

The 8 times impedance has to do with damping, The 8 times is it more like a lose guide line, then a rule.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

It seems like I'll return it, then. I could even order the same card online if I decide I want it after all to get better rights (In Norway, I can even take it out, try it, and still return it if it's ordered online.)

 

That's why I'm ordering headphones online as well.

post #14 of 15
You'll probably get better quality if you purchase an external, dedicated dac/amp. However, I might recommend you keep the sound card just for the surround sound. You can always purchase an external dac/amp later and use it with the sound card's optical out.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

I installed the sound card in my PC and ordered a Sennheiser HD 598.


Edited by alexw - 9/10/14 at 10:53am
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