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Creative Sound Blaster X7 - Detailed Review & Impressions

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by earfonia, Feb 22, 2015.
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  1. mbyrnes
    I'm putting off a PC build to get the A16. I'll use it more than a gaming PC. Plus the Intel versus AMD CPU fight is getting interesting (i7-8700k is $369!). Motherboards are a little scarce and pricy at the moment for it. Also curious about GPUs with AMD getting back into the top tier fight with Nvidia. Hoping prices drop some. I can wait a few more months to see how it all unfolds. Interesting stuff on the PC side for sure!
  2. Yethal
    Set it to 100% and then use the SBX button to toggle it on and off mid-game. The contradictory answers aren't surprising, audio is a very subjective matter so what sounds natural to some people may sound awful to others. We used to have a heated debate over on MLE thread on SBX vs. Dolby Headphone with several people claiming superiority of one technology over the other. Finally we settled on SBX due to lack of Dolby Headphone equipped equivalent of the X7.

    X7 is far from being a perfect device but until the Realizer becomes a financially viable for most people it's the best we have.
  3. mbyrnes
    Hopefully the A16 is as awesome as I've read from numerous people who did a demo. If the exchange for different rooms and speakers is easy, diverse, and not a lot of money (some famous buildings would have to be rented to do the measurements). This could truly be the greatest audio device ever. I don't say that lightly either.

    Look at it as not spending thousands of dollars on speakers, plus a top of the line AVR, plus room treatments, subwoofers, etc. And all of that can't magically sound like the Chinese Theater, DTS-X demo rooms with top of the line speakers, or even a friend's awesome setup.

    Once I get mine I'll be playing around a ton. I probably won't say much about it until I grasp what it can do. Hopefully by then we'll have games with DTS-X, Dolby Atmos, or Aura3D.

    Subscribe to the thread. It's very active, and it's growing everyday. Read the first few pages then skip up towards the last pages.
  4. Lunatics
    Thank you for the advice everyone, when I have time this weekend to get in front of my PC and play around with it a little bit I will try adjusting the various settings you guys have recommended and see how I feel about it. I love quality audio and would love a set up like the Realizer but I can't afford something like that right now or any time soon so hopefully it will come down in price at some point or I can find one used. My Creative is an improvement in itself over any on board audio I have ever used or experienced and using other peoples headphones on their computers now instead of mine kills me. I just can't justify a purchase like that anytime soon, the money I already invested in the X7 and my various pairs of headphones makes me shake my head sometimes and I know it's nothing compared to a lot of people on here. Hopefully I will enjoy my HD6xx's when I get them and didn't waste money on those and can be set for a while, if not I can try and sell them and maybe put money towards a "better" dac/amp or something or put it into a Realizer fund and slowly try and save up money if it ends up being all its cracked up to be.
  5. escknx
    Is there any way to apply sound processing effects to optical out whole keeping the volume control option?
    X7 SPDIF Output bypasses DSP, and I can control volume level of optical out in Win10.
    X7 Speakers Output (with SPDIF Direct enabled) applies all DSP effects, but I can't control the volume from Win.

    With G5 I could use SPDIF out, apply any DSP affects and control the volume.

    If I'm only using headphone out and do not care about speakers/RCA outs, should I replace all 4 opamps or just 2 or them?

    And which ones are brighter, Burson or Sparkos?
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  6. Yethal
    Disable Direct Mode to enable digital volume control
  7. escknx
    Its disabled. Nothing is on, I have X7 connected via optical to Burson Conductor but I cant control the volume. Its 100% all the time.
    If I change sound output to DIrect Output in Win, I can control the volume but no DSP processing.
  8. Yethal
    Can't you just control the volume on the Conductor?
  9. escknx
    I can do that, but I have volume control buttons on my G502 mouse, so when I play I change it all the time depending on situation.

    Yours behave same way? Either DSP or volume on optical?

    Its weird because G5 could do both DSP+volume at the same time.
  10. Yethal
    Dunno, I don't use digital out on my X7.
  11. escknx
    Would you suggest which ones are brighter, v5i or Sparkos?

    If I'm only using headphone out and do not care about speakers/RCA outs, should I replace all 4 opamps or just 2 or them?

    Sparkos can be used with only w back cover opened, right?
  12. Yethal
    I'd say v5i are brighter. Sparkos are rather neutral.

    If You're using only the headphone out then replacing all four makes the most sense.

    Sparkos singles can be used with tha back cover closed, only after installing the duals You'll need to remove it. Personally I just taped a hard drive cover to the bottom of my X7 since I'm not planning on replacing the Sparkos anytime soon.
    escknx likes this.
  13. escknx
    I don't actually see free version there to try.
    They have SOUND BLASTER X-FI MB3 in software section and it requires activation key for installation.
    I dont see any trials there..
  14. illram
    Yeah it's a little counter intuitive to find. Go here. Select any headphones/IEMs other than the two H7 headphones. Fill out the form and you will be emailed a download link to get the free software.

    The "lite" version does not mimic a multi-channel setup however so to me it is sort of useless? The demo does work though. I have not tried to download the "pro" version to see if that works w/out a Creative product.
    escknx likes this.
  15. escknx
    Thanks a lot, it works.
    But not I'm unable to control the volume while its connected to USB DAC.
    Same thing as when I use X7 via TOSLINK - no volume control.
    Looks like the only Creative's device that works fine via Toslink is G5, so weird
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