Creative Sound blaster E5 - Headphone amp + USB DAC with OTG + Toslink + aptX + recording + more.
Dec 20, 2016 at 5:57 AM Post #2,146 of 2,345

Forty6

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Listening spotify premium/tidal hifi on my smartphone is draining the battery..
So I went to a local audioshop and tried onkyo DP-X1

Paired the onkyo and the smartphone to E5 via bluetooth, the smartphone acted as a hotspot for onkyo to connect

Then listen to lossless songs (tidal hifi) from sennheiser captune...

I can rest in peace now :wink:



Lol R.I.P :xf_eek:. E.I.P bro :L3000:
 
Dec 20, 2016 at 9:47 PM Post #2,147 of 2,345

dave650

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If you don't change the music library frequently, you can convert them to ALAC and play them in native music player. It can transfer best quality alac file to external dac.
That's what I had been doing, but I keep running into this bug where the stock audio player stops playing. So far Foo and Onkyo haven't done that.
 
Dec 20, 2016 at 9:51 PM Post #2,148 of 2,345

dave650

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As some of you know, I have been a big fan of the E5 for a long time.  And I believe the E5 and ASG 2.5 is an amazing combination; although my custom UE 11 pro IEM's do sound a little better.  I love it even more now that I am using it hooked up to my car stereo.  I have tried cd's, and every other player, phone, and amp that I own; and the E5 sounds better than all of them hands down in my truck.  It has the same huge tight bass, and all the great soundstage.  I run the onkyo X1 with 1 200GB card for Spotify, and 1 200 GB card with my CD collection, to the E5 and then to the car amps.  And I control the E5's EQ through the X1 since it has the Bluetooth option, or I can control it from my phone via Bluetooth.  I found the sound is better by connecting everything with IC cables than using Bluetooth so far.  There is absolutely no need to spend thousands of dollars on a car stereo deck when you can use a phone or player and an E5.

And again I am still blown away by the E5 and ASG 2.5 combo.  I was listening to some older music the other day and I heard some things I never heard in that music before.  And the bass is just huge, clean, and tight. 

So the E5 is the best personal amp for IEM's of the dozen or so I tried; and it is amazing playing videos, movies, gaming, and now great in your car. I am buying another one soon.   
I'm loving the E5 as well, it's my first serious pocket DAC. Use digital out for music, just Bluetooth for podcasts at work. With the iPhone and the Eartech customs the whole thing cost as much as a student's car! But it's awesome.
 
Dec 21, 2016 at 10:36 AM Post #2,149 of 2,345

Got the Shakes

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I have a pair of HD6XX coming my way in the next few days. I'm looking for an amp/DAC to use with them. My source player will for the most part be my iPhone 7 Plus and sometimes my laptop. My head has been spinning with the amount of options out there, but the E5 is of interest to me for a few reasons. It's really reasonably priced at $160 on Amazon (and to make things even better, I always get Amazon gift cards for Christmas so that would cover most if not all of it) and it's got a ton of features. For anyone who has tried it, is this powerful enough to drive HD650s and is it a good pairing? I looked at tons of different options including less portable gear like a Schiit stack (I don't need anything portable for the HD6XX), and on it's face the E5 seems like the best value out there. 
 
Edit: I should also add that one of the draws is that it's a MFi device and it means I won't have to mess with the camera connection kit to use my iPhone with it.
 
Dec 21, 2016 at 4:08 PM Post #2,150 of 2,345

ElysiumAB

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This post isn't meant to dissuade anyone from picking up an e5, but more to make my issue known in case anyone has something similar happen in the future.
 
I ran the e5 from a Macbook pro. I really liked the product but it became defective within around 9 months of daily office/desktop use.
 
I had two issues, 1) the unit would remain powered on but would lose sound, at which time I could unplug the micro-usb, reinsert and it would resume working. At first I thought this had to be a loose internal connection, but replacing the USB and jiggling the connection didn't help at all - it simply wanted to be unplugged and replugged for some reason.
 
2) Eventually the unit, while in use, began turning off randomly. Sometimes as often as every 5 minutes.
 
Both of these issues happened with the software running or not running, didn't make a difference. This continued and worsened until it was just unusable to me.
 
I can't comment on Creative's customer service, but I purchased through Massdrop and they have a new unit being sent out to me now (which I assume is a new unit - fingers crossed).
 
If anyone else experiences similar issues, you're not the only one.
 
Dec 21, 2016 at 6:29 PM Post #2,151 of 2,345

FlacFan

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I got mine from Massdrop as well - the same drop you got yours I reckon, The time frame fits.
 
I am using it every workday for 8-10 hours and have no issues at all.
 
It's working just as good as on day one.
 
Cheers
 
Dec 22, 2016 at 8:43 PM Post #2,152 of 2,345

dave650

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I'm loving this setup, got the Onkyo player with hi res playing 24/96 files through the E5 and my stage monitors. It really is a close second best to my record player/headphone rig at home. Ya gotta watch out, the signal is really nice and clean and doesn't even hint at breaking up at any point. Sometimes it's too loud for my ears and I don't realise it.
Might be time to use this E5 machine to start ripping all my records.
 
Dec 22, 2016 at 11:27 PM Post #2,153 of 2,345

Tero

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I recently bought an E5. Functionally this external sound card is quite awesome w/ lots of IOs, hardware mixer, SBX Surround, smart equalizer. However I've found some quite annoying bugs with my unit.
1) When in DSP mode (not-direct mode), serious sound quality degradation occurs. SNR just got slashed by 12dB and THD is all over the higher frequency area. Yet more expensive X7 doesn't have such serious distortion.

Here's a digest of RMAA results comparing between DSP mode and DIRECT mode:

DSP vs DIRECT (24bit, 44.1 kHz, 76% Volume Line Out)

Dynamic Range, dB: 95.4 vs 110.3
THD, %: 0.013 vs 0.0011
IMD+N, %: 0.020 vs 0.0036

the THD plot have traces of bad SRC algorithm, peculiarly these distortion exists under all sample rate of 44.1, 48, 96.


2) And the digital volume control is broken as well.
My test shows that the maximum volumes WITHOUT distortion are:
Headphone out: 90%
Line out: 76%

If you go higher than that an even worse distortion than what mentioned in 1) will occur.


Really hope that Creative could push a firmware update to address these issues.
 
Dec 23, 2016 at 12:36 PM Post #2,154 of 2,345

Forty6

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This thing (E5) is simply awesome . capable audio station for use with my desktop .

[VIDEO]https://youtu.be/TsTQov8RXNA[/VIDEO]






Merry Christmas to all and the coming new year . Enjoy the weekend ahead . :L3000:
 
Dec 24, 2016 at 4:29 AM Post #2,155 of 2,345

demol3

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  I tried that, and it didn't work. For whatever reason, the TOSLink connection didn't pick up anything while the Micro-USB connection was connected to the PS4. The only way around this was to set the E5 into direct mode. The problem with that is two fold. 1. It disables all audio processing done on the E5 and 2. I cannot change settings on my E5 except for the volume.
 
What I am hoping is that the USB A to A cable hooked up to the PS4 will allow basically an audio pass-through, while the micro-USB cable will be hooked up to my PC and in control of the unit itself.
 
Is there something maybe I'm missing here? I wouldn't mind the TOSLink idea, but I cannot get it to work.

Hey bro, hope you still watch this thread. Anyway, I have gone and experiment with multiple device connection. Here are my results. The device used in the test are: iPad (bluetooth), iPhone (usb host), PC (TOSLink) Laptop (Micro usb)
 
The following connection can be made at the same time and play music continuously.
 
1st combo:
 + Bluetooth
 + USB host
 + Optical Line in (TOSLink)
 + Micro usb (for this one, the sound is distorted. This might due to the SBE software on the laptop was lagging a bit (face same problems when tried 3rd combo with pc, after I restart the app the sound is clear again)). (laptop)
 
2nd combo:
 + Bluetooth
 + USB host
 + Optical Line in
 
3rd combo: 
 + Micro usb
 + USB host
 + Bluetooth
 
4th combo: 
 + Micro usb
 + USB host
 
So, except for the first combo, all other are able to produce clear sound (without direct mode, sbx). Hope this will help.
 
Dec 24, 2016 at 5:02 AM Post #2,156 of 2,345

demol3

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  Unless I'm mistaken, any player software will have to decode the file, regardless of format, to play the file. You can turn off the EQ and any audio effects to get the closest to an untouched sound.

some software like foobar2000 i mentioned earlier, actually downsample file to 16 bit 44.1 khz while app like onkyo HF can output the source to the e5 (24bit 192 khz etc..) so which one does neutron belong to?
 
Dec 24, 2016 at 11:19 AM Post #2,157 of 2,345

OldDude04

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  Unless I'm mistaken, any player software will have to decode the file, regardless of format, to play the file. You can turn off the EQ and any audio effects to get the closest to an untouched sound.

some software like foobar2000 i mentioned earlier, actually downsample file to 16 bit 44.1 khz while app like onkyo HF can output the source to the e5 (24bit 192 khz etc..) so which one does neutron belong to?

 
The latter. Here is a bit of info from the Google Play page for the app:
 
* Output to UPnP/DLNA media renderers (up to 24-bit, 384 kHz)
* Direct output to USB DAC without format limitation (via USB OTG adapter, up to 32-bit, 768 kHz).
* 32-bit output on Android 5+
 
Dec 24, 2016 at 12:08 PM Post #2,158 of 2,345

hoshiyomi

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A coupl
I recently bought an E5. Functionally this external sound card is quite awesome w/ lots of IOs, hardware mixer, SBX Surround, smart equalizer. However I've found some quite annoying bugs with my unit.
1) When in DSP mode (not-direct mode), serious sound quality degradation occurs. SNR just got slashed by 12dB and THD is all over the higher frequency area. Yet more expensive X7 doesn't have such serious distortion.

Here's a digest of RMAA results comparing between DSP mode and DIRECT mode:

DSP vs DIRECT (24bit, 44.1 kHz, 76% Volume Line Out)

Dynamic Range, dB: 95.4 vs 110.3
THD, %: 0.013 vs 0.0011
IMD+N, %: 0.020 vs 0.0036

the THD plot have traces of bad SRC algorithm, peculiarly these distortion exists under all sample rate of 44.1, 48, 96.


2) And the digital volume control is broken as well.
My test shows that the maximum volumes WITHOUT distortion are:
Headphone out: 90%
Line out: 76%

If you go higher than that an even worse distortion than what mentioned in 1) will occur.


Really hope that Creative could push a firmware update to address these issues.

A couple of thoughts:
1. What is your Default Format set at under Playback Devices? I suspect the SRC can be avoided on most media by setting to 24bit/44.1khz
2. While I have not setup a RMAA rig with a resistive divider on the input to verify, you may be seeing input clipping due to high output voltage from the E5
 
http://www.soomal.com/doc/10100005744.htm
Soomal ran some pretty extensive tests on this device, while SRC appears to be an issue on analog inputs, the device appears to devoid of serious bugs like you described. I do find that when the blutooth is connected it can raise the noise floor by a dicernable amount, and that the internal mixer reserves some headroom for multi-source mixing to avoid clipping, so maybe if you pushed everything up in the Equalizer, you can make up for the 12dB loss in dynamic range?
 
Dec 25, 2016 at 6:15 PM Post #2,159 of 2,345

SVO

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I just got my E5 Xmas gift.  The USB output is very muffled/ poor audio quality.  The optical output is great, but I lose volume control.  Using on a iMac and all software/firmware is current.  I messed around with Midi settings too- no dice.  Searched this thread for similar.  
 
Thoughts anyone?  Thanks in advance,
JD
 
Dec 25, 2016 at 7:03 PM Post #2,160 of 2,345

HotIce

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You mean USB input and optical input, right?
Did you try to disable SBX and check if there are existing settings active? Confirm that the E5 application works correctly by enabling/disabling effects.
The E5 produces a pretty clear sound for me (I use no SBX or other tweaks - just straight audio).
What bitrate your PC is feeding the E5 with?
 

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