Separate names with a comma.
Wonder how it compares to cheap ELE EL-D02 and what DAC chip it actually uses?
Don't have the ELE, but I know it uses the most basic of all USB DAC chip, the PCM2704, which I do have in a few of my older USB DAC. Inside the E1 is a Conexant CX20562, which is a DSP with DAC and ADC functions (among other features) built-in. It is almost 'space age' compared to PCM2704., so to speak.
Any idea when the E3 is coming out?
Good review. At it's price-point, I think it knocks off the Asus Xonar U3 as best bang for you buck.
Good review. At it's price-point, I think the E1 knocks off the Asus Xonar U3 as best bang for you buck.
Dunno when E3 will arrive, but I should be able to get one for review as well. Will report back when it is available.
Any idea of how good the EM shielding is? If strapped to the back of a phone, do you hear interfence?
Great review ClieOS. I found the same results. Unfortunately since I run Android L, and it has usb dac related bugs, i get horrible sound from my phone if i usb dac it. But on a computer its great. I am thinking of getting a 2nd one for having on the road, or get that CEntrance DacPort on Massdrop
So what it comes down to is that for less than 50 euros you've got a basic amp that also works not bad at all as a DAC/usb sound card?
I can remember when the FiiO E6 cost almost as much and was snapped up by everyone.
nice looking. portable. cheap. going to grab one
[user=368734]@SpongeyOne[/user] EMI shielding is quite excellent as I can't heard any interference when it is right next to my Xperia Z2 during call.
[user=339658]@Daegalus[/user] I have no problem pairing it to my Z2 (Kitkat 4.4.2) with UAPP.
Hello everybody! My name is Ryan and I'm a Product Manager here at Creative Sound Blaster for the audio line (and a fellow enthusiast!). Thanks for the feedback so far (and the review ClieOS!). I'm here to grab the feedback as we're always looking to improve and advance the product lines. E3 is right around the corner and should be hitting the channel soon. I'll jump in here and give everyone a specific date when it will be available in regions. We had some fine tuning we wanted to make prior to release. Wijnands - you hit it on the head. The idea was to take our USB audio line and make it more meaningful for the user of today. With more people consuming content on multiple devices, we saw the opportunity to take our USB / DAC side of things and marry it to a great AMP making it useful for more than just laptop / desktop audio. Definitely don't want to hijack the thread though with too much marketing speak! If there are questions I'll do my best to answer here as well. Appreciate the feedback and will continue to gather so we can continue to improve!
How does it compare with the Dragonfly v.2?
Dunno, never listen to a Dragonfly before.
can i plug in this soundblaster amp directly on my pc audio card and listen to music? my phones are on incredibly 6 ohms regime!! hand made driver
i have some older X-FI music express audio card which is in very good shape and quality...and it does very good job on my 2 ohms hi fi speakers. so i need some portable head amp that can handle with 6 ohms hand made headphones.
That's okay, thank you for the reply.
[user=11725]@ClieOS[/user] Ya, I will test it with my new phone that is running 4.4.2. My Nexus 5 was running Android L and had known broken audio subsystem, which is probably what broke the dac part. I will try it with my new phone.
I've ordered one to be able to get higher quality audio from my pc on the cheap. I currently have a Gigabyte G1 Sniper M3 motherboard which has some simplified Recon3D chip onboard. The E1 has a worse surround effec in games, the DAC is very noisy on both my HD600 and Hifiman RE272 and the sound quality was very flat and dull imho. When switching to the line in connected to my pc's output I did notice the sound quality to increase and the noise to drop significantly. It got more body and just a better timbre overall. So I would say the amp section of the E1 is pretty decent but the DAC is pretty bad, so since I used it as a motherboard audio replacement I will have to send it back. Too bad, I was hoping that the E1 would allow me to use my RE272's for gaming since it's the only creative audio product I know of which has a low enough impedance for my RE272's (20ohm). I don't want to invest into getting a Creative ZxR and connecting that to a external amp.
Oh and since I haven't found anything regarding the microphone's quality. It's pretty decent, not great but for the price it had a low noise output and decent clarity for voice communication.
[user=285213]@newmarko[/user] 6 ohm is really in the power amp territory. I am not sure whether E1 will handle it well or not. But if the headphone is sensitive enough, it just might.
It does 24 bit music but up to 44.1 haha what is the use of that almost all is 96 or 192 such nonsense!!!
As I have said, 24bit gives you the use of digital volume control without degradation of resolution.
[user=11725]@ClieOS[/user] i will made germanium amp for my phones.i have the scheme for that . they indeed need more amp supply than just to plug it into X-fi soundcard.thx for your honest answer.
i have scheme for hand made germanium headphone amp. i will made that amp with my friend and we,ll see. maybe it will work fine. maybe i,ll get the best from that 6 ohms beast. even now they sounds amazing without amping. [user=11725]@ClieOS[/user]
I am wondering whether E1 save the changes (Bass,Treble etc) made through the creative studio ,so that it can be used while connecting to a portable mp3 player.. Please advise ..
I own one, don't use it with my pc, I have the SBZ for that, but as a mobile amp it's convenient, at the very least worth it to turn any cans into a mobile headset., also if your phone supports otg audio the SB E1 can (and does) work as a mobile DAC when paired with a good OTG cable, that being said I haven't played with it as a mobile DAC for more than 20 minutes, but good to know
Thanks for the fine review. I'm ordering it today so that I can use it with my ASUS T100T XFormer Notebook on the go. Will tell you guys how it performs in this scenario.
Guys I am between Hifimediy Sabre, Asus Xonar u3 and Creative E1 what do you think about them? Which one should I get for amperior.
there's also more than 5 years old asus u1 lite, how do these e1 an u1 compare? would e3 be significant upgrade? coz u1 is for 20 gbp secondhanded : d 40 gpb for a new one
Compared with motherboard sound card (say realtek) do you think that the E1 is better in sound quality?
There are good onboard soundcard and there are bad one. I'll say E1 is probably equal to a decent one, neither really good nor bad.
Can the dac be used with a smartphone, or just a computer? Is it as simple as connecting the two via usb?
[user=445960]@Eguardos[/user] It is possible to use it with smartphone, but you won't get SBX. As for connection - it highly depends on whether your smartphone supports USB Audio Class devices natively or not. Some do, many don't.
Is that just the FR for a low impedance headphone, or is it really always a 1db rolloff at 20 hz? That's actually a lot of roll off, no idea how you can call that warm, it will take away warmth from anything you play through it. Am I not correct?
The FR measure is done with a dummy load and it reflects the FR curve of the source, and not of any headphone. Note that human are only sensitive to FR change in about 1dB and more - by the time the FR rolls off in treble for more than 0.5dB, it has already pass 18kHz - unless you have hearing like a bat or dog, you won't likely be able to hear that high a frequency (*normal adult has good hearing only up to about 16kHz, and many have less). As for bass roll-off, it is mainly in the sub-bass region that has less to do with warmth. Warmness usually is a result of richness/fullness of texture in the 250Hz~500Hz region, mainly upper bass to lower-mid. Sub-bass has more to do with rumbling / pounding.
The FR measure is done with a dummy load and it reflects the FR curve of the source, and not of any headphone. Note that human are only sensitive to FR change in about 1dB and more - by the time the FR rolls off in treble for more than 0.5dB, it has already pass 18kHz - unless you have hearing like a bat or dog, you won't likely be able to hear that high a frequency (*normal adult has good hearing only up to about 16kHz, and many have less). As for bass roll-off, it is mainly in the sub-bass region that has less to do with warmth. Warmness usually is a result of richness/fullness of texture in the 250Hz~500Hz region, mainly upper bass to lower-mid. Sub-bass has more to do with rumbling / pounding. However, human can't actually listen to sub-bass that well - most of the time we 'feel' the sub-bass with our skin instead of listening to it with our eardrum, so a 1dB roll-off in 20Hz isn't as bad as it seems.
Do you have measurements for FR into a 32 ohm load? I'd like to see how much extra roll-off there will be with a headphone, thinking the 2.5 ohm output impedance will introduce a bit of roll-off on its own.
I'm also interested in the crosstalk, if you happened to record that the first time around.
The measurement was done via a 16ohm and a 47ohm load, there isn't any significant difference between them. Output impedance doesn't cause roll-off, output capacitor does - but there isn't output capacity in E1, thus testing it with a 32ohm load, or any impedance load won't really make any real difference.
RMAA's crosstalk number is unreliable on its own and incomparable to another person RMAA measurement (it is one of RMAA many flaws). The only way it makes any sense is that you also measure a gear with known perimeter and compare the two (*that is, you use a known reference gear to check with whatever you want to know how good/bad it is). What I can tell you is that I used O2 as my reference that day and E1 crosstalk number is actually fairly comparable. I see no problem there.
Thanks for the fast info.
The amp spec sheet shows -82 dB at 32 ohm, but you never know how the implementation will change that. Just looking into the specs of the amp and this device and its features, the E1 seems like a really good value at $50 or less. I was thinking of also buying the FiiO Q1 but from what I've seen in specs and reviews the E1 should cover my needs. My only wish was for maybe a bit less bass roll off but the sub dB is barely anything.
I appreciate your reviews and involvement with the community!
Also want to ask if you've heard the Q1 and can compare? Differences in FR, width and soundstage, noise, etc? I'm seeing mixed opinions on this but it has the same amp as the Q1 so I don't know. In terms of upgrading over an X-Fi Go! Pro or Realtek onboard it should be a noticeable improvement right?
Never listened to X-Fi Go! Pro before to give you any opinion of it,and Realtek makes mediocre to decent soundcard so it is also hard to say which is which. You can find FR of Q1 on FiiO website. FiiO has a history of providing very precise measurement on their gear. As for Q1 vs. E1 (as both amp only and DAC/amp) - I'll say they are both on the entry level and not very far off from each other. The main difference is that Q1 is warm but closer to being neutral where E1 is obviously on the warm side, and Q1 has a much larger soundstage though not nearly as sweet a mid-range,
Got the E1 in. It meets or maybe slightly surpasses my onboard Realtek! That's all I could really ask for.
Got the E1 in. It meets or maybe slightly surpasses my onboard Realtek! That's all I could really ask for. (just make sure you disable enhancements in your sound settings, because it comes with 3D surround enabled by default which sounds really off imo).
With my HD 201s the difference is small, mainly the E1 is a bit cleaner. With the ER4SR though, the difference is quite noticeable. The realtek sounds very bright compared to the E1, the E1 sounds much more natural. I'm not sure exactly why the onboard sounds so bright, because the FR is basically flat from what I saw online, so maybe output capacitors or low power is causing that. I noticed this sound difference between the Realtek and the X-Fi Go!, but the problem with the X-Fi Go! is the output capacitors and 8 ohm impedance, leading to rolled off and fluttering bass.
The E1 sounds basically perfect, with even a bit better sound stage and transparency than any of my other equipment. I think I can safely say I will not be needing the FiiO Q1. This thing is super feature packed and is even [i]smaller[/i] than I expected. it's basically like 50% larger than the X-Fi Go! Pro which is insane considering the utility.
Could you explain how the E1 ends up being warm even though the FR shows flat and even with a bit of bass roll off? Is it warm because most amps are bright or is there a secret warmth not showing in FR?
[user=176295]@TrantaLocked[/user] There are two sides of warmness in sound: quantity and quality. I already told you that sub-bass has less to do with warmness. Warmness has more to do with upper bass and lower mid - bump them up in FR and you will increase the warmness of the sound - but that's is just the quantitative side of things. Warmness also has to do with texture / tonal quality of the sound. Amp isn't just a plain FR curve - it also has noise, harmonic distortion, dampening factor, intermodulation distortion, crosstalk, phase / decay, slew rate, current output and sink, etc that all contribute to the texture or tonal quality of the amp. Just because something is flat or in FR doesn't mean it must not be cold / warm / neutral sounding - an amp's sound is a combination of multiple factors, and most of them can't be found on a simple FR curve.
[user=176295]@TrantaLocked[/user] There are two sides of warmness in sound: quantity and quality. I already told you that sub-bass has less to do with warmness. Warmness has more to do with upper bass and lower mid - bump them up in FR and you will increase the warmness of the sound - but that's is just the quantitative side of things. Warmness also has to do with texture / tonal quality of the sound. Amp isn't just a plain FR curve - it also has noise, harmonic distortion, dampening factor, intermodulation distortion, crosstalk, phase / decay, slew rate, current output and sink, etc that all contribute to the texture or tonal quality of the amp. Just because something is flat in FR doesn't mean it must not be cold / warm / neutral sounding - an amp's sound is a combination of multiple factors, and most of them can't be found on a simple FR curve.
Then how is anyone to say what is a neutral amp if one flat FR amp sounds different than another flat FR amp? How can I know if an amp is actually neutral?
The first thing is hopefully that the amp is designed so well that all the measurements on various factor are near ideal, which makes the amp truly reference neutral and transparent. Otherwise, the second best thing to hope for is that you get to listen to the amp yourself and decide whether it is really neutral or not. If a complete measurement nor a demo isn't possible, then hopefully someone whom you can trust will write an impression or review about it. All and all, the more you learn, the more you listen and the more you read all contributes to you being a more experience audiophiles.