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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by migou67, Aug 16, 2012.
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  1. Migou67
    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.
    They deliver 80 mW with a 600 ohms headphone.
    Product page:
    Creative Labs SoundBlaster ZXR Review:
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Wonder if these new Creative sound cards will make the Asus Phoebus drop in price?
  3. RPGWiZaRD
    Nice, good to see they are stepping up the game, 127dB SNR sounds promissing. Wonder how ZX will be like specs wise tho, $250 is expensive for these kind of soundcard, $150 I'm still hoping it would be at least matching Titanium HD.
  4. stv014
    The 127 dB SNR most likely refers to the DAC chip only, not the entire card.
    Well that would probably be the specification for the DAC chip.  Which is an ideal, perfect situation where it would possibly hit that mark.  The real world performance is usually a few dB difference and the Decibel scale is logarithmic so a difference of a few dB is quite a bit.
    My experience would suggest that in the real world, it would probably hit about 124dB, if the circuit used quality opamps and caps.  Which is similar to their TitanHD or the higher end Xonars.
  6. Migou67
    For a consumer audio card is nice to see a headphone amp delivering 80 mW under 600 ohms and a dedicated DAC. For me this card is a trade-off between the multimedia and the audio world.
  7. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Any new info on these sound cards?
  8. Migou67
    No, there are not available for the moment.
  9. insound
    The first pictures from inside the cards Z and ZxR

  10. RPGWiZaRD
    Interesting new site despite being in russian though, they posted the first review also on Sony 1R and Sony XB600 & XB800 headphones.
  11. NamelessPFG
    These cards could be quite promising in terms of analog audio quality...
    ...but if they rely on a software OpenAL device like the Recon3D USB does, then they will NEVER surpass the X-Fi line for gaming, not until Creative fixes the bugs in their software OpenAL implementation.
  12. Roller
    From what I've seen so far, it seems most hardware features have been stripped, with the core chip being a simple pre-programmed DSP, without a hardware MIDI synthesizer, no hardware accelerated gaming audio features whatsoever, but I still haven't checked out for ASIO support.
    The last true high quality Creative card is the X-Fi Titanium HD and the almost as good Auzentech variants.
  13. insound
    ASIO will be with update driver, they said in an interview (Russian)
  14. NamelessPFG
    *puts the site through Google Translate*
    And they blatantly admitted that they're giving up on hardware sound acceleration in that interview...which wouldn't be so bad if Creative's software OpenAL renderer wasn't flawed compared to the hardware renderer used with their older cards.
    Something tells me they're not bringing back the MIDI synthesizer with customizable SoundFonts, either. That little feature can make 1990s games with MIDI music sound really nice, much more than the usual software Microsoft synth can do.
    *sighs* Someone needs to buy all of Creative's PC gaming audio tech from them, both their in-house EAX and everything they took from Aureal and Sensaura. They sure aren't doing much with it all.
    ChardonnayLogic likes this.
  15. Roller
    What's more troubling is that they have no need to avoid providing hardware sound acceleration, they hold all the cards and it would always be an ace up their sleeve. Software OpenAL isn't that great, Creative's software OpenAL is a bit better, but hardware OpenAL is indeed the best route.
    Considering the way they were advertising the new cards, it would make sense to have a proper MIDI synthesizer.
    I wholeheartedly agree with that, but who could be someone that could be trusted with all of Creative's proprietary features?
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