Creative Sound Blaster X7 - Detailed Review & Impressions
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Awesome review, thanks!!!


So is X7 LE worst than X7 Standard?
 
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Thank you for the very in depth review - truly outstanding work. Since purchasing my X7, it has become one of my all time favorite electronic purchases and this review seems to reflect a lot of the reasons why. Now I just need to deal with the pesky problem of selling all the devices it made useless..
 
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^Pretty much why I haven't bought one yet. I don't wanna have all my now unused gear laying about.
 
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Yup, I was about to purchase a separate amp, DAC, internal soundcard and also a USB stick to help my modmic sound better. The X7 replaced all that and plus it really does sound great. It did end up forcing me to spend more money, however, as I ended up shelling out for an LCD-X since I have a decent enough DAC/amp to make it worthwhile now. It's really only a problem on my wallet, I guess.
 
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This review is flatout impressiv. Quite an achievement really. Got me interested in the x7. ^^
 
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Outstanding review.  I didn't even care about the x7 but I read your review because it looked well done.  I flat out enjoyed reading it.  I am also quite impressed with the x7 now that you have laid out what it can do and how it peforms.
 
Thanks!
 
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So how does this unit compare to Asus's Xonar Essence series?
 
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Most comprehensive review I have ever read on any product!
 
Any owners out there able to see if this will work with GoToMeeting?  I am hoping that it somehow integrates with Mac core audio the same way a headset would.  GoToMeeting is strange in that it will work with USB headsets but will not work with USB pro audio interfaces. I am hoping to have multiple microphones mixed via an analog mixer with the line out of the mixer going into the microphone input or line in of the X7... I have yet to find any product that would enable this odd function.
 
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Beautiful review, It made me realize I might as well sell my ZXR and awkward E12A setup and get the X7.
 
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Awesome review, thanks!!!


So is X7 LE worst than X7 Standard?

Practically I don't really hear any difference between them. The headphone output probably very slightly more transparent on the LE, but at the level of very difficult to differentiate.

I haven't used the DSP mode much on the LE, will give a bit more observation today.
 
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I think you could add the size of the X7 in your review as I'm having an hard time finding it online and I need to know if it fits under my monitor (which is where this product is quite likely to end up for many people)!
Just found it, 9.47x10.69, didn't found width.
Umh, pretty tall.
 
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Practically I don't really hear any difference between them. The headphone output probably very slightly more transparent on the LE, but at the level of very difficult to differentiate.


I haven't used the DSP mode much on the LE, will give a bit more observation today.
I appreciate that, as a friend will buy a X7 and i will able to have the LE if better.



I dont understand the lack of attention from the community on X7, there are gear with better sound, but the factor of all-in-one-box with a nice sound quality is something that worth every penny.
.... Among many things (for gaming, movies and music) i love on X7, it's fantastic, entertaining friends at home directly from my smartphone\Spotify and choose to stream every music i want via Bluetooth on my couch, without non additional effort.

But i have one X7, and i'm happy. :D

 
I think you could add the size of the X7 in your review as I'm having an hard time finding it online and I need to know if it fits under my monitor (which is where this product is quite likely to end up for many people)!
Just found it, 9.47x10.69, didn't found width.
Umh, pretty tall.
this :)



 
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Well done!

But you didn't explain why X7 LE in DSP mode is Lo-Fi Dynamics with overall 18dB higher Noiselevel/Crosstalk and higher Distortion than X7 standard?
It should be easily fast distinguishable with that hell of a noise!
 
I haven't got any explanation from Creative on why SB X7 LE RMAA measurement doesn't look favorable in DSP mode.
Today I gave a closer observation on the noise level, only on the headphone output, not line out, using DUNU DN-1000, playing silent track at rather loud listening level, 30% at Normal gain which is quite loud for DN-1000, switching between Direct Mode and DSP mode, I can only hear a soft hiss noise, and practically not much different between the Direct mode and DSP mode. Direct mode only slightly softer, and DSP mode hiss noise is practically still within acceptable limit, and not up to annoying level yet. And this is using sensitive IEM. Considering that SB X7 headphone output power is rather high at 1200 mW @ 32 ohms, this level of hiss noise, even on DSP mode, is acceptable. Using headphone, Audio-Technica M50, volume set at 50% (normal gain), playing silent track, practically I didn't hear any noise. So I can safely say that noise on headphone output is not an issue.
 
Since Direct mode not only switch the DAC input, but also supposed to switch the ADC to go directly to USB streaming, I'm not sure if the increase of noise level shown on RMAA test in DSP mode is actually the increase of noise on the line output or the line input.
 
When I receive update from Creative, I will post the update here.
 
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Thank you for the very in depth review - truly outstanding work. Since purchasing my X7, it has become one of my all time favorite electronic purchases and this review seems to reflect a lot of the reasons why. Now I just need to deal with the pesky problem of selling all the devices it made useless..

Thanks!
You're right about that! :etysmile:  


 
This review is flatout impressiv. Quite an achievement really. Got me interested in the x7. ^^

 
Outstanding review.  I didn't even care about the x7 but I read your review because it looked well done.  I flat out enjoyed reading it.  I am also quite impressed with the x7 now that you have laid out what it can do and how it peforms.

Thanks!

 
Most comprehensive review I have ever read on any product!

Any owners out there able to see if this will work with GoToMeeting?  I am hoping that it somehow integrates with Mac core audio the same way a headset would.  GoToMeeting is strange in that it will work with USB headsets but will not work with USB pro audio interfaces. I am hoping to have multiple microphones mixed via an analog mixer with the line out of the mixer going into the microphone input or line in of the X7... I have yet to find any product that would enable this odd function.

Thanks guys!  Hope you enjoy the review!
I'm not using GoToMeeting, so not sure of the compatibility.


 
I think you could add the size of the X7 in your review as I'm having an hard time finding it online and I need to know if it fits under my monitor (which is where this product is quite likely to end up for many people)!
Just found it, 9.47x10.69, didn't found width.
Umh, pretty tall.

Right! Forgot about it, thanks! I've updated the specs.
The unique size makes people wonder how much space it will take on the desk. We are using metric here in Singapore, so the number is more round number on cm.
Dimension:
Width : 15 cm
Height : 13 cm
Depth : 15.9 cm (including Binding Post terminal)


So how does this unit compare to Asus's Xonar Essence series?

Haven't tried ASUS Xonar Essence series.


I appreciate that, as a friend will buy a X7 and i will able to have the LE if better.




I dont understand the lack of attention from the community on X7, there are gear with better sound, but the factor of all-in-one-box with a nice sound quality is something that worth every penny.

.... Among many things (for gaming, movies and music) i love on X7, it's fantastic, entertaining friends at home directly from my smartphone\Spotify and choose to stream every music i want via Bluetooth on my couch, without non additional effort.


But i have one X7, and i'm happy. :D

 

Recently I saw other DAC, just USB DAC with headphone amplifier with no additional features, similar ingredient, Burr-Brown PCM1794 + TPA6120A2 for the headphone amplifier, selling at higher price. Considering that, SB X7 is very reasonably priced. And I'm glad Creative didn't throttle down the TPA6120A2 power output (max at 1.5 watt), but use it almost at it max.

In Direct Mode, the RMAA result of the X7 LE looks better on the frequency response graph, smoother curve of the roll-off on high frequency. Probably that explains the very slightly extra transparency I heard (very2 slightly).
But practically, I can safely say, to my ears they sound quite the same, the standard X7 and X7 LE.  On headphone output, the standard X7 is little quieter than the LE, so if you mostly use IEM, the standard X7 is actually a better choice.

FYI, my standard X7 sometime doesn't detect the 3.5mm headphone jack properly, but the X7 LE has no headphone jack detection problem so far. I guess this issue is specific only to my standard X7. I will send it to Creative soon for them to check.

So give and take, I would say get the LE only when you need the high power adapter for speaker output. Which actually we can buy similar wattage power adapter at cheaper price out there. But probably not the same quality.
 
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