Creative Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 External Sound Card
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money4me247

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heya, not sure if this is in the right section, but I am amazed no one has created a thread about this product. it's an external sound card + a headphone amp!!
 
http://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-omni-surround-5-1
 
Just wondering if anyone has tried this product and what their impressions are of it. Creative makes some really good sound cards. The surround sound feature is extremely interesting to me as well. It would be great for gaming applications. what are some alternative external sound cards or DACs w/ surround sound features that are better than this?
 
How would this product compare to the DACs on the market now?
 
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PurpleAngel

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  heya, not sure if this is in the right section, but I am amazed no one has created a thread about this product. it's an external sound card + a headphone amp!!
http://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-omni-surround-5-1
Just wondering if anyone has tried this product and what their impressions are of it. Creative makes some really good sound cards. The surround sound feature is extremely interesting to me as well. It would be great for gaming applications. what are some alternative external sound cards or DACs w/ surround sound features that are better than this?
How would this product compare to the DACs on the market now?
I would assume the Omni is an external USB version of the Sound Blaster Z sound card.
 
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mrenvy

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Omni Surround 5.1 gets sound effect from software DSP, not hardware.
 
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Sam L

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  heya, not sure if this is in the right section, but I am amazed no one has created a thread about this product. it's an external sound card + a headphone amp!!
 
http://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-omni-surround-5-1
 
Just wondering if anyone has tried this product and what their impressions are of it. Creative makes some really good sound cards. The surround sound feature is extremely interesting to me as well. It would be great for gaming applications. what are some alternative external sound cards or DACs w/ surround sound features that are better than this?
 
How would this product compare to the DACs on the market now?
 
I'm curious about this as well.  I read various reviews but none comparing to products like the fiio e07, etc.
 
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money4me247

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  I'm curious about this as well.  I read various reviews but none comparing to products like the fiio e07, etc.
audiophiles tend to look down their nose using sound cards over DACs lol. that is probably why there is no comparisons.
 
i bet the sound is probably about the same lol.
 
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Sam L

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  audiophiles tend to look down their nose using sound cards over DACs lol. that is probably why there is no comparisons.
 
i bet the sound is probably about the same lol.
 
I figured as much.  However, I do see quite a few head-fi'ers that are also quite versed in computer hardware and concerned with maximizing the sound coming from their computer setups.  I'm guessing they pretty much stick to more "audio-centric" equipment rather than "computer-centric" hardware.
 
Maybe the upcoming sound blaster e5  will shift things a bit.
 
Anyway, I went ahead and picked up the omni locally and gave it a spin.  I'm still a noob, so I don't have alot of experience with all the various dacs/amps out there.  Though, I have plenty experience in knowing what sounds good with classical music -- years and years of playing in orchestras, a music major in college, spent hours in the computer music lab along side a 4 speaker B&W 801 setup (old school surround).
 
For $69 or so, the omni is a pretty decent buy, especially for gamers.  For the audiophile that does not play computer games, I wouldn't recommend the omni.  
 
I thought the software implementation of various dsp effects were quite well done, pretty refined for a low budget accessory.  Overall a welcome upgrade to my laptop's sound card.  I'll probably unload it when the E5 comes out, though.
 
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genclaymore

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  audiophiles tend to look down their nose using sound cards over DACs lol. that is probably why there is no comparisons.
 
i bet the sound is probably about the same lol.

That's mean to group every one into the same group because I don't look down on sound card's they have their benefits and uses. Every one have their reasons for going with the audio setup that they have. The omni does not sound any thing like the Bi-frost uber as I have done compares between the two while using my Little dot MK II 2.0, every thing sounded off and flat with the omni for me that is but only because I'm used to the sound signature of the bifrost uber which I don't know how to explain. The omni headphone amp out didn't make my T90 sound the way it should so I kept my tube amp in the chain when I did the comparison. But to be fair the omni is like $49-69 so it shouldn't be effected to sound similar.
 
I sure if some one who never used any thing other then the omni that person would feel like there in heaven listening to the omni. People ear's are different not every one hear the same also gear comes into play too.
 
 
 

 
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Sam L

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That's mean to group every one into the same group because I don't look down on sound card's they have their benefits and uses. Every one have their reasons for going with the audio setup that they have. The omni does not sound any thing like the Bi-frost uber as I have done compares between the two while using my Little dot MK II 2.0, every thing sounded off and flat with the omni for me that is but only because I'm used to the sound signature of the bifrost uber which I don't know how to explain. The omni headphone amp out didn't make my T90 sound the way it should so I kept my tube amp in the chain when I did the comparison. But to be fair the omni is like $49-69 so it shouldn't be effected to sound similar.
 
I sure if some one who never used any thing other then the omni that person would feel like there in heaven listening to the omni. People ear's are different not every one hear the same also gear comes into play too.
 
 
 
 
Thank you for taking the time to share your findings.
 
I think it's important to remember that the omni is a $60 device that will process 5.1 surround sound.  It's clearly not intended for an audiopile audience.  But I did find the software features to be helpful for me.  The default settings made music sound pretty messy -- lows were muddy.  But lowering the various settings (from default) resulted in some pretty decent sounding audio much better than my laptop sound.
 
I'm sending the omni back and will hold out for the e5
 
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sherpa25

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Looking at the Omni as my 1st sound card (with a realtek 898 on-board), to pair with a Superlux 681 Evo I just got for gaming (mostly sim racing and some FPS) and music.  Mostly looking at the SBX Surround feature.  Would this be much better than the slightly-cheaper X-Fi 5.1 USB?  Looks like the 600Ohm amp is the only difference, so would I need the Omni for my 681Evos?  Thanks.
 
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-edit: nevermind
 
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Got one to replace a Realtek ALC888B onboard, which was no longer cutting it.
 
Not an audiophile, I don't own any headphones costing more than 50 dollars on sale, siberias, sennheisers, creatives etc, but the clarity and ease of use is noticeably better than the on board sound, and the drivers are confirmed to work with windows 10.
 
The volume nob is a bit of a joke since its just a digital control for windows like your keyboard volume control, but I guess it removes the problem of ending up with scratchy pots as they age, pressing the knob mutes, which is what its useful for.
 
Doesn't have 7.1 but I only downmix to 5.1 and headphones anyways.
 
Can still be found for less than the u7.
 
 
Might as well throw toss these in all the same place...
http://www.ixbt.com/multimedia/soundcard-duel-dec-2013.shtml
https://www.maximintegrated.com/en/datasheet/index.mvp/id/7138
https://www.maximintegrated.com/en/products/analog/audio/MAX97220A.html
 
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