Creative Sound Blaster X7 - Detailed Review & Impressions

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by earfonia, Feb 22, 2015.
  1. Digitalis
    I was rifling through my PC parts cupboard - sorting out parts I have held on to over many upgrades in the hopes I will use them again... and I came across this circa 2009 Azuntech soundcard that I had given to me, happened to have these on it



    The NE5532P dual op-amp, Considering the source they should be well burned in. When the weather cools down here It could be fun to try these in the X7.
  2. illram
    So in MLE's review of the LCD2's, he mentions Dolby headphones opens up the soundstage a bit. Wondering if anyone here can comment on the LCD2 classic or original and whether SBX does something similar to their staging? Or just any comments in general on them compared to other cans, out of the x7?
  3. mbyrnes
    Not true. For Atmos it comes through optical, so you need a DAC and amp. I really like SBX, much more than Dolby Headphone. Atmos or Microsoft's spatial audio are better IMO than SBX. Absolutely so with true Atmos material. Gaming is heading in the spatial audio area.

    Sound is more important than video in gaming. FPS games benefit incredibly, as you can tell where the enemy is.
  4. illram
    What I mean is, why spend $300-$400 on the X7 if you're going to use another VSS solution? To me it's main selling point is it is an all in one SBX solution. Take SBX out of the equation and it's just another DAC/AMP. I'd rather spend a little bit more and get something like an iFi Black Label (usually goes on sale for $389). I use that on another rig and it's fantastic.

    Do you find you can get Atmos for headphones working usually? My understanding is it needs surround-out from the game or the game to natively support object based audio, and that is hit or miss currently. You know SBX on the other hand will always just work.

    I have tried Windows Sonic via the Xbox (out via optical to my iFi) and I find it totally inferior to the X7, for what that is worth. To my ears it just takes a stereo signal and adds fake surround reverb to it. Have not really tried it extensively on PC.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  5. mbyrnes
    The X7 still has benefits. Mixing music, phone calls, etc. One of my favorite features actually. You can still play and not miss a call or text. Dumb I know, but it's a great feature.

    Depends on the game. COD WW2 is great with it. No issues hearing other players, and height is evident. As more games are made going forward, I expect it to be a feature on Xbox games going forward. Gears 4, Tomb Raider, and a few others have Atmos. 4K Blu-ray always has it, and it's great.

    My X7 will be retired early next year. It's been a great device, but spatial audio is the future, and the Smyth Research Realizer A16 will be the best option by a huge margin. Hoping mine comes sooner than later, but February is looking good for shipment.

    Another option is a really efficient headphone or headset, like the Sennheiser PC37X. Plugged directly into a controller, you can get Atmos and compare to the X7, running SBX. I can't state how huge this is. Surround sound through a controller is amazing. It literally kills off devices like the X7 or Astro Mixamp. If you're a Sony person, you still need those devices for now.
  6. illram
    Yeah I was excited when Sonic and Atmos came out. As you said, potential to eliminate the need for any 3rd party VSS device? Pretty cool. Just wish it was more clear what games worked with it out of the box, the marketing of these features has been surprisingly dead. Have not tried WW2 with it, I did try Infinite Warfare with it and it clearly was not working. I hope it is as you say and just need to wait for more games to support it.

    Then again I am in the same Realiser A16 boat so all this is moot for me as well :)
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  7. mbyrnes
    We'll have to start a gaming with the A16 thread. There's a handful of us who pre-ordered the A16. It's my favorite email to look for, lol.

    Atmos is coming big time. Netflix streams it, games are adding it, and UHD Blu-ray is the greatest thing ever. Great times coming!
  8. Lunatics
    When you guys are talking about Atmos and it being better etc, are you talking about and using it on a console or on a PC?

    I currently use my X7 with my PC and my PS4 if I ever turn it on which I haven't in a year, PC audio is my main primary concern. Is there something else I should look at or think about replacing my X7 with, other than an A16 which I simply cannot afford right now, or probably any time soon as much as I would like to. But then again if I were spending that much money I would want to try it first.

    I have a friend looking to get a DAC/Amp for his PC and I'm wondering if it would be worth looking into something else and replacing my X7 and selling it to him for a good price and upgrading my own setup. What else is out there? Does Atmos run as like an application on the computer and not need a dac/amp device or x7 or something?

    Essentially is there anything currently worth replacing my X7 with (if I do not necessarily need or care a ton about console hookup for my PS4) that would actually be a decent or significant improvement and not cost as much as an A16?
  9. Yethal
    You may want to experiment with a software-only solution such as Darin Fong's Out Of Your Head
  10. Lunatics
    If I were to look into trying this, would I bypass my X7 and just plug into the computer itself? Or stay connected to the X7 and run that software in the background?
  11. Yethal
    You may still use the X7 as a dac/amp just remeber to turn off any processing within the X7
  12. Sizzerb
    hello together I am new and have a question for you professionals. I play PS4 Rainbow Six Siege, COD WW2 and I want to have the perfect sound experience. Use a Creative Sound Blaster X7 with a USB Sound Card Creative Sound Blaster Play 2. Does any of you have a good sound setting? that would be a dream. Would like to hear all my opponents and it should have a great sound.

    What I forgot, have a Beyerdynamic MMX 300 2 gene.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  13. Yethal
    SBX 100%, all other enhancements disabled, Direct Mode disabled, Dynamic Range set to maximum
  14. Sizzerb
    do you have some pictures for me? from the settings? Thanks for the tip.

    Edit: or have .mlx
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  15. Magic Man
    Why an X7 and a USB sound card? The X7 is a USB sound card.

Share This Page