Creative Sound Blaster X7 - Detailed Review & Impressions
Dec 1, 2020 at 11:26 AM Post #3,496 of 3,514

Yethal

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Posts
2,944
Likes
866
Location
Poland
Is there a specific version of the Bursons opamp that fits the X7 ? Or could a v6 work aswell ?

I want try replacing the stock, but do want to be able to close the unit.

Thanx!
Only v5i fit with the hatch closed. However if you were to place the X7 on some sort of a hollowed out stand you could fit v6 in there
 
Dec 2, 2020 at 3:32 PM Post #3,498 of 3,514

kellte2

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 21, 2004
Posts
466
Likes
58
So I was playing with my settings last night, specifically Direct Mode, and I'm somewhat confused by what I heard. Quick summary of my setup: I have the X7 receiving an optical signal from Chromecast Audio, and then the X7 sends the signal via RCA out to my Jotunheim.

So I only occasionally mess with the Direct Mode settings, but last night I noticed that the X7 app lists two distinct Direct mode toggles, one for Direct Mode and another for Direct Mode (SPDIF-In). When using the latter, I feel like the sound is far less clear than simply using Direct Mode. Much less separation and clarity, and everything has a bit of a smeared/veiled sound.

Creative's support page for the X7 provides the following description of the two modes:

- Direct Mode: Direct Mode gives you audio in its purest form, directly from the source. In this mode, all playback, monitoring and microphone effects are by-passed. Direct Mode will remain on until the device is disconnected from power. l​
- SPDIF-In Direct: SPDIF-In Direct allows bit-to-bit input stream of up to 24-bit 96kHz signals without processing. When turned on, other audio input sources will be disabled. SPDIF-In Direct will remain on until the device is disconnected from power​

Given the difference in sound produced by the two settings, I'm confused by these descriptions. If the Direct Mode (SPDIF-In) allows for a bit-to-bit input stream without processing, I do not understand why simply enabling Direct Mode would result in a cleaner audio signal. Is there any benefit to enabling both Direct Mode and Direct Mode (SPDIF-In) when using certain configurations?

@Yethal or anyone else have any thoughts?
 
Dec 2, 2020 at 5:27 PM Post #3,499 of 3,514

Yethal

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Posts
2,944
Likes
866
Location
Poland
So I was playing with my settings last night, specifically Direct Mode, and I'm somewhat confused by what I heard. Quick summary of my setup: I have the X7 receiving an optical signal from Chromecast Audio, and then the X7 sends the signal via RCA out to my Jotunheim.

So I only occasionally mess with the Direct Mode settings, but last night I noticed that the X7 app lists two distinct Direct mode toggles, one for Direct Mode and another for Direct Mode (SPDIF-In). When using the latter, I feel like the sound is far less clear than simply using Direct Mode. Much less separation and clarity, and everything has a bit of a smeared/veiled sound.

Creative's support page for the X7 provides the following description of the two modes:

- Direct Mode: Direct Mode gives you audio in its purest form, directly from the source. In this mode, all playback, monitoring and microphone effects are by-passed. Direct Mode will remain on until the device is disconnected from power. l​
- SPDIF-In Direct: SPDIF-In Direct allows bit-to-bit input stream of up to 24-bit 96kHz signals without processing. When turned on, other audio input sources will be disabled. SPDIF-In Direct will remain on until the device is disconnected from power​

Given the difference in sound produced by the two settings, I'm confused by these descriptions. If the Direct Mode (SPDIF-In) allows for a bit-to-bit input stream without processing, I do not understand why simply enabling Direct Mode would result in a cleaner audio signal. Is there any benefit to enabling both Direct Mode and Direct Mode (SPDIF-In) when using certain configurations?

@Yethal or anyone else have any thoughts?
Without direct mode X7 resamples all inputs to 48khz so it can mix them all together, Direct mode disables the internal mixer (which also disables resampling). Dunno why it sounds better on regular Direct mode vs SPDIF Direct, it might be a bug in the firmware.
 
Dec 8, 2020 at 12:46 PM Post #3,500 of 3,514

rjsmith2007

New Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Posts
3
Likes
0
Location
Missouri
Hey Yethal, do you know what the 4 different op amps do? I was thinking of replacing them with the Sparkos set, but wasn't too happy with the price of 4 of them together.

Can I swap out less than 4 depending on what speakers I typically use? Is each op amp assigned to a speaker channel? Or are do they work together? Or how do they function?

I typically use the x7 with a 4.1 set of powered speakers.
 
Dec 8, 2020 at 12:51 PM Post #3,501 of 3,514

Yethal

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Posts
2,944
Likes
866
Location
Poland
Hey Yethal, do you know what the 4 different op amps do? I was thinking of replacing them with the Sparkos set, but wasn't too happy with the price of 4 of them together.

Can I swap out less than 4 depending on what speakers I typically use? Is each op amp assigned to a speaker channel? Or are do they work together? Or how do they function?

I typically use the x7 with a 4.1 set of powered speakers.
There are two opamps per channel, the dual does the current to voltage conversion and the single does the balanced to single ended conversion. You don't need to replace all four of them you can replace them a pair at a time.
 
Dec 8, 2020 at 12:53 PM Post #3,502 of 3,514

rjsmith2007

New Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 8, 2020
Posts
3
Likes
0
Location
Missouri
There are two opamps per channel, the dual does the current to voltage conversion and the single does the balanced to single ended conversion. You don't need to replace all four of them you can replace them a pair at a time.

Thanks Yethal. By channel what do you mean? Do you mean 2 of them are for the speaker outputs and 2 of them are for the headphone outputs? Or something else?
 
Dec 8, 2020 at 12:55 PM Post #3,503 of 3,514

Yethal

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Posts
2,944
Likes
866
Location
Poland
Thanks Yethal. By channel what do you mean? Do you mean 2 of them are for the speaker outputs and 2 of them are for the headphone outputs? Or something else?
Two of them are for left channel and two of them are for right channel. Both speakers and headphones.
 
Dec 20, 2020 at 9:23 AM Post #3,507 of 3,514

brian1020

New Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 19, 2020
Posts
4
Likes
1
Location
USA
TLDR: I'd like to get X7 to use with speakers that are now gathering dust from switching over to Sonos throughout the house. I'm not clear on what the best configuration would be for using the X7 with what I have.
  • PSB Imagine Mini's
  • PSB Imagine C Central Channel Speaker
  • Definitive Supercube 4000
Hi All

New to this board, i have a strong background in IT, but not necessarily audio and acoustics at the level I've been seeing in this forum; you all are an impressive bunch and really knowledgeable. I found this post by watching some reviews online for the X7 and one of them linked to this post.

My current setup is a PC I built about two years ago and please forgive me if what I'm posting is mostly marketing hype for the motherboards audio capabilities, but this is what I'm using since its onboard and not a separate card.
  • Gigabyte z370 Aorus Gaming 7 with Sound BlasterX 720°on Motherboard
    • 121dB SNR AMP-UP Audio with ALC1220 & High-End ESS SABRE 9018 DAC with WIMA audio capacitors
    • Sound BlasterX 720
My current speaker setup is the Logitech Z-2300 2.1 satellite/sub that has server me well for over a decade. In addition to that I use a SteelSeries Arctis Pro + Game DAC headset. I'd like to do away with the Logitech speakers, they've had a good life, and I feel with my PSB imagine mini's, the Imagine C and Definitive SC4000 collecting dust I might as well get some use out of those. I know I can purchase the X7 and have a good 2.0 setup, my confusion with the 3.5mm C/Sub port.

Is it possible to run this as a 3.1; how would I do that? (I'm ok with it not working, at least 2.1 I'd be using 3 of 4 components otherwise collecting dust)
Would it be possible to use the LFE on the sub or would it be better to use the High Level Inputs and work on the crossover at the subwoofer?

I appreciate anyone taking the time to read and respond and provide any guidance. I'm also going to poke around the board some more and do some reading here.
 
Dec 20, 2020 at 2:12 PM Post #3,508 of 3,514

Yethal

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Posts
2,944
Likes
866
Location
Poland
TLDR: I'd like to get X7 to use with speakers that are now gathering dust from switching over to Sonos throughout the house. I'm not clear on what the best configuration would be for using the X7 with what I have.
  • PSB Imagine Mini's
  • PSB Imagine C Central Channel Speaker
  • Definitive Supercube 4000
Hi All

New to this board, i have a strong background in IT, but not necessarily audio and acoustics at the level I've been seeing in this forum; you all are an impressive bunch and really knowledgeable. I found this post by watching some reviews online for the X7 and one of them linked to this post.

My current setup is a PC I built about two years ago and please forgive me if what I'm posting is mostly marketing hype for the motherboards audio capabilities, but this is what I'm using since its onboard and not a separate card.
  • Gigabyte z370 Aorus Gaming 7 with Sound BlasterX 720°on Motherboard
    • 121dB SNR AMP-UP Audio with ALC1220 & High-End ESS SABRE 9018 DAC with WIMA audio capacitors
    • Sound BlasterX 720
My current speaker setup is the Logitech Z-2300 2.1 satellite/sub that has server me well for over a decade. In addition to that I use a SteelSeries Arctis Pro + Game DAC headset. I'd like to do away with the Logitech speakers, they've had a good life, and I feel with my PSB imagine mini's, the Imagine C and Definitive SC4000 collecting dust I might as well get some use out of those. I know I can purchase the X7 and have a good 2.0 setup, my confusion with the 3.5mm C/Sub port.

Is it possible to run this as a 3.1; how would I do that? (I'm ok with it not working, at least 2.1 I'd be using 3 of 4 components otherwise collecting dust)
Would it be possible to use the LFE on the sub or would it be better to use the High Level Inputs and work on the crossover at the subwoofer?

I appreciate anyone taking the time to read and respond and provide any guidance. I'm also going to poke around the board some more and do some reading here.
Plug the Front L and Front R to the spear outputs of the X7 or the lineouts if your speakers are active. Plug the combo center channel + sub plug into the c/sub output on the back. Keep in mind X7 can only power stereo passive speakers, all other speakers need to be active
 
Jan 14, 2021 at 1:42 AM Post #3,509 of 3,514

duranxv

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 10, 2020
Posts
136
Likes
82
Location
USA
For a desktop PC - any real difference between the X7 or the AE-9 in terms of sound quality? And how do they compare in terms of surround sound ability and accuracy?

I'm also planning to swap out the opamps - heard alot of good things about Sparkos opamps. Any other good ones that pair up with SoundBlaster?
 
Jan 17, 2021 at 3:25 PM Post #3,510 of 3,514

tdx

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Posts
185
Likes
61
Hi everyone, I own one of these and I'm wondering if anyone else has ever had an issue where one of the two headphone channels has loud wind noise when plugged in?

I tried everything, full reset, updated the firmware, tried both the 4.4 and the 3.5 headphones jacks, nothing gives. Also tried all headphone settings (direct/high/lo gain etc) My HPs are Meze Empyreans and they sound fine on every other source I connect them to.

Just wondering if anyone else has had this issue with the X7.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top