|Brand Name||Creative Labs|
|Item Weight||1.76 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||5.5 x 5.5 x 2.5 inches|
|Item model number||30SB150200000|
|Is Discontinued By Manufacturer||No|
Creative Labs 30SB150200000 SB1502VP Sound Blaster Z PCIE VARpak
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
- Sound Blaster Z PCIe VARpak sound card. Brown box version of the Sound Blaster Z PCIE 70SB150000000
- Design that delivers high availability, scalability, and for maximum flexibility and price/performance
- Manufactured in China
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Have a question?
Find answers in product info, Q&As, reviews
Your question may be answered by sellers, manufacturers, or customers who purchased this item, who are all part of the Amazon community.
Please make sure that you are posting in the form of a question.
Please enter a question.
Compare with similar items
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy PCIe RX 7.1 Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp
Sound Blaster Z PCIe Gaming Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Beam Forming Microphone
ASUS XONAR SE 5.1 Channel 192kHz/24-bit Hi-Res 116dB SNR PCIe Gaming Sound Card with Windows 10 Compatibility
EVGA Nu Audio Card, 712-P1-AN01-KR, Lifelike Audio, PCIe, RGB LED, Designed with Audio Note
|Sold By||—||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||718 Sold It||Provantage LLC|
|Item Dimensions||5.50 x 5.50 x 2.50 inches||5.71 x 4.72 x 0.71 inches||5.35 x 4.98 x 0.91 inches||9.29 x 2.36 x 6.54 inches||3.03 x 10.59 x 15.04 inches|
Sound Blaster Z PCIe VARpak sound card. Brown box version of the Sound Blaster Z PCIE 70SB150000000. See SB1500 for retail package version. Manufactured in China.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
So far the sound card sounds amazing! My only gripe is the capacitors in the picture are Nichicon. Not certain on the model without a better picture. The capacitors on the card I got were a mix of G-luxon and Fujicon. Both are not the quality of Nichicon. I bought some upgraded capacitors on Mouser and ebay. I went with Elna Silmac ii for all but 1 because I couldn't find that size. For that one I went with Nichicon. My next update will be after I put the new caps in. They should take a few weeks to get here so I'll have some time to get used to the lower quality caps and will be able to tell if upgraded caps make a difference at all.
The bass in my headphones that this sound card gave me is exceptional! It's clear, punchy, precise, overwhelming if you want it or subtle if that is more your preference. The bass can tastefully fill the songs to give a fuller, more well rounded profile, or you can turn it up on bass heavy hip hop without the loose slapping bass hits that the motherboard audio gave me.
The highs can be sparkly if you want or more subdued. They can give a nice detail if adjusted just right.
It's definitely louder than motherboard audio! Turning the volume down to achieve similar loudness to motherboard audio I was able to hear some interesting things in the songs I tested with. The hd650's are open back headphones so ambient noise is always added to your listening experience. With that said, while listening to certain songs, I kept taking off the headphones because it sounded like someone was in the room with me. Turns out I was hearing things in the songs that I had never hear before, and only while listening through this sound card! I couldn't hear the same sounds with the motherboard audio even when I turned the volume up and messed with the equalizer.
Acoustic songs are amazing with this sound card! The motherboard audio isn't bad but the clarity just isn't there. The detail in the album version of "wish you were here" through this sound card is remarkable. The motherboard audio isn't bad, it just isn't on this level.
The software is nice! Easy to use. The adjustment sliders actually do things when you move them! I didn't like the surround sound feature using my headphones. When I turned it all the way down, the sound stage opened up like I'd never heard before! I used the song "Ballad of the runaway horse" by Jennifer Morse to assess the detail of the sound stage. It was almost perfect. The way I assess it is by closing my eyes and imagining I'm watching the recording session of the song. When using headphones you can't "hear" how tall she is but you can tell if she's centered and "how wide her mouth sounds". Also you can tell which side of Jennifer the upright bass is. Not sure if it's the head phones or the sound card but Jennifer's mouth sounded too wide. Other than that it was almost perfect!
Well worth the price! I wasn't interested in any of the gaming features or the microphone in the full retail version so this one was perfect! I plan on testing the optical out to my receiver. Not sure how it can improve on this but if it does, I'll be super happy. Highly recommend!
You must install the Creative SBX suite to fully unleash its power. I got it conected via SPDIF to an Astro MixAmp. SBX features like surround, bass and crystalizer really bring details you've never heard, mostly in games and movies. Mic quality is the best I've ever experienced, boosting up to 30 db and hearing only my voice, and also being able to whisper and volume adjusts itself on the fly. Never seen that on any on-board audio interface. Remember your mileage may vary according to your audio equipment. I also connect my Fostex TR-90 80ohm to the high impedance connector on the card and they do make magic happen. For mic, a ModMic 5 and some cheap Logitech 2.1 which aren't any good, but they really sound better.
Top international reviews
Took delivery of a new motherboard,Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 - 990FXA-UD3 AMD 990FX (Socket AM3+) DDR3 Motherboard and the problem with the Soundblaster Z has been eradicated! Just goes to show in the wonderful world of self build PC's sometimes components just don't get along.
No hesitation in giving this 5 stars now as the audio is stunning, crisp, and clear.
Just effortlessly superior sound. Way less muddy - clean distinction between bass mids and treble. It must be said that on my previous two high end mobos I had come to suspect that my speakers (gigaworks T20) were too small for decent non-boomy bass. Well this soundcard showed me that the speaker are just fine for bass thank you very much.
And of course the software is a crucial part of this : you can totally tune your EQ, your various sliders for things like Crystalizer, loudness, etc etc. And the extra stuff like being able to use the useful "What U Hear" recording and the like..It's all extra functionality over mobo software for audio.
Oh BTW it installed fine for latest build of Win10x64. I just downloaded the latest driver suite from Creative and ran that after I'd plugged card in. Then i went in to the BIOS and disabled the onboard audio (although you need not do this )
To cut a long story short, a bit of research and a soundblaster z + Kingston hyperx cloud combo for under £100 and all my audio problems were behind me. You might get people nowadays on forums recommending an amp+dac instead of a soundcard but I can say that if you want a soundcard this is a fantastic option. The audio quality is crystal clear even on my budget headphones and my mic audio comes across clear (without using any of the mic software features of the soundblaster z as they muffle mic audio). It's also great for hooking up an Xbox/ps4 or even a DVD player to the back via optical cable and you can play your console via your pc headphones and use discord or Skype on pc with your mates at the same time whilst listening to the console audio.
The best feature however is the virtual surround. I've used Razer surround and also tried surround sound solutions like the astro mixamp but the soundblaster z is by FAR the best I've ever used. The sound accuracy is pin point accurate in games that support 7.1/5.1 surround. Just a word of note though, you have to go into Windows and activate the soundcard as a surround device otherwise you won't get the surround sound even if you activate it on the soundblaster software.
So you may look at the reviews and think 'Okay, Creative are a good old company (I know them being in business for at least 2 decades) and this product comes with good reviews' - the order is placed, Amazon delivers it next day (Prime!!), installation into the PCI slot is effortless. The accompanying CD installs tons of software and programs (speaker setup, control panel, manual/user-guide and registration - would have installed a couple more too!) - the card is recognised easily by Windows and works without it's own control panel in any case.
So you would think all is okay, but no it isn't. After you attach the front speakers (Front L/R) and the Sub (D Sub/Centre), switch off output to the rear speakers (Rear L/R) you expect a balanced sound. Alas what you get is a highly garbled 'surround' sound with nary a thought for any melody. Completely unbalanced, so you think let us switch the surround off from the control panel and that will make things better. Well, bad luck. If you switch the surround off, the Sub gets zero output. Figure that out - I tried various permutations and combinations, running with different drivers, with and without their own control panel - zilch. In the end the only solution was to switch surround on, but turn it to about 4%, ramp up the sub and get some semblance of balanced sound. Surely it should have been much simpler than that, but heigh ho...
Anyway, I am sure for headphone users, or people sat in a room with a full surround system (5.1) this may make sense as apparently the mapping used by Creative produces a virtual 3 D effect.
Not for me, not if you want to hear a simple 2.1 system which is adequate for most desktop users. So the solution is going to be a USB DAC with a dedicated sub out.
This soundcard may work for you if you have speakers which allow a sub connection through them, but if you are expecting to get a dedicated sub signal without the messy surround (and it is properly messy I can assure you), this is not for you.
If you are a gamer, then look at the gamer reviews as it may be okay for you too!
Installation was a breeze. Nothing to uninstall (don't remove the Realtek drivers as the soundsystem will stop working) and found the new card detected by 'plug and play' once followed the instructions on the Creative Technical Support Site:
Once all was up and running I plugged in my speakers, set everything up from the Soundblaster Z Control panel (from the Tray or the Creative folder in the All Programs Start Menu) and, as they say, was 'blown away' by the amazing sound improvements over the on board audio.
I listen mainly to allsorts of music from Rock and Jazz to Classical, especially now so much high definition music is available for download. Even 'flat' these sound good but tweaked with the equalizer software they sound amazing. Elite Dangerous (about the only game I ever play) also sounds fantastic with loud and immersive sound effects. I use the card with a set of Microlabs Fc360 Speakers which I real;ly recommend, although they don't have an optical input to take advantage of the optical out from the card.
Creative Sound Blaster Z PCI Express Sound Card
Amazing sound card if you can get the drivers to work.
Bought this to replace onboard sound in my PC. In games it sounds amazing. Also fantastic for films. Dont like it so much for music.
Installed this on AMD ryzen system running windows 10. While it works, windows has this annoying problem of recognising it as SB Recon and not the SB Z.
I found if PC shuts down after updates, sleep or any other method it then detects the sound card as SB Recon. When it does this I get no sound.
I then have to go into device manager, sound video and game controller, right click the SB Recon and uninstall and then tell the PC to restart.
It then redects it as SB Z and the sound comes back.
Annoying but I can live with it. The sound quality compared to the onboard sound is just fantastic.
The dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack (with dedicated headphone amplifier) is a nice addition. Headphones are my primary way of listening to music, so having a jack tailored to headphones is really useful. The card also offers 3.5 jack (analogue) connections for stereo / 2.1 and 5.1 speaker systems, plus 2 x optical ports.
The software / mixer layout is quite different from the X-Fi, but is still quite simple to use. I had no problems installing this card - drivers / software is readily available for download from Creative, and are installed via simple 'Setup' packages. Windows 7 x64 detected the card just fine, and installed its own generic drivers. Installing the Creative drivers required no special effort (simply run the 'Setup' package). I highly recommend doing this, as whilst the Windows drivers work, using the Creative drivers / software are the best way to ensure all of the cards capabilities are available to use.
Overall, I am very happy with my purchase. I was very much a fan of my X-Fi card, and only replaced it when, after several years, it finally failed. My PC is my main system for listening to music at home, and for this purpose, I am very pleased with this card. Of course, there are plenty of 'top-end' cards available which would provide more features, especially for those who wish to record / produce music. For those who want great sound quality when listening to music and watching films, I think this OEM version of the SoundBlaster Z is exceptionally good value. I would have no hesitation in recommending it.
comes as you'd expect OEM only but compared to the retail one which has a red shell and a mic, it's the same card.
plugged in and quick download of the drivers, all working.
coming from an xfi, i can see it still has the crystaliser, bass boost and surround, but honestly, compared to the old cms3d, this didn't sound as good.
however, after a little play with the equalizer, softening the bass, etc. it was sounding awesome on a range of different things such as games, blu rays and some simple youtube videos; suggest creating a profile for general, games, music, movies etc. if you want - at least for games where you want the effects off and one for normal where you might want them on.
ignore the "scout mode". pointless, don't work, don't even know what they were thinking.
can't comment on the mic as i really only use it for skype calls and stuff so it's good enough for that.
the software is really good as it lets you pick speakers you do or do not have i.e. i picked 5.1, deselected the center and all working fine.
this has a little front panel head[hone header which works for most i would guess. if you have very good headphones, you may want to use the headphone port in the BACK. when i plugged into the front, i noticed a slight hiss in the high bitrate music i tested with... could be the cable in the case, could be any number of things, but didnt get the hiss plugging into the back. no hiss with my cheapo sony in ear handsfree ones. some review sites mentioned the same thing, something about front panel audio not being shielded etc.
all in all a great purchase - still miss my xifi but this is pretty good so far!
nothing cheap about the card though- the sound quality is very good and approaches audiophile standard.
has optical output and surround sound phonos and works great in an htpc.
i have put them in both my pcs and for gaming it`s a boon as you can hear far more than onboard sound as far as my experience goes.
loses a star though as sometimes it will decide to change the audio output- though this only happens when you first boot and doesn`t occur halfway through something.
if you can live with that then it makes a great addition and will please a lot more than this niggle narks.
When I originally installed the card in 2015 the header for the computer case microphone port didn't seem to work. I double checked it was plugged in firmly, checked all software options but to no avail. I contacted Creative support but that wasn't much use either - the usual scripted stuff, which I appreciate you have to do to make sure there actually is a problem etc, but I just gave up on that and decided I would just go to the hassle of reaching round the back of my case to plug the microphone into the sound card instead. Not a huge deal, just annoying.
The sound was a marked improvement over the motherboard audio (although be wary that once you've installed or uninstalled the drivers/software it resets your output volume to 80... I usually have mine at 10 or below... so yeah... not nice! I expect it is Windows doing that and nothing to do with Creative's software but just be careful).
Also be aware that it seems to default to 5.1 surround sound - you'll need to go into their software and change to stereo if that's your setup.
Anyway the thing that actually compelled me to write this review is that occasionally I will try to play audio - nothing will come out - in fact media flat out refuses to play at all and sometimes comes back with errors saying that the "device has locked up". The solution to this has so far been to uninstall the Creative software/drivers and then reinstall it. However last night it did this and I responded with the routine uninstall/reinstall, but this morning it has gone and done it again. Usually I get a couple months use before having to do it again.
TL:DR - the audio quality is good but it's too much of a hassle to recommend.
Well four years later, after having to use my motherboard's onboard sound card in Linux, some clever genius Linux Developer has recently [at the time of writing this] somehow managed to figure out how this card works, and has written a driver for it. It actually sounds better in Linux than it does in Window using the official Creative Labs drivers, and from the Linux 4.18.x kernel onwards is included in the kernel by default, so it's now simply a case of installing that kernel or a later one, and the card works perfectly ...no thanks to Creative who spitefully didn't even want to so much as release any information at all on how the card works to Linux Software Developers so they could write their own drivers, let alone write any drivers themselves for Linux users, but they're quick to tell everyone how much they "value their customers." I take it by that, they meant they value the hard-earned cash in their potential customers' bank accounts.
Because of all this, despite the fact that I've given Sound quality, Easy to install, and Easy to use all five stars, I've overall rated this as one star.
I’ve had nothing but driver issues ever since I got this sound card. The main problem being that the device keeps re-installing itself as a completely different sound card every time I start my computer. This results in having no audio at all when the computer starts, the only way to get around this is to go into the Windows device manager and uninstall it then restart.
I’ve tried multiple driver installs, different drivers and manually blocking Windows updates. Nothing has worked, which is a real shame because this sound card is actually good. My audio is crystal clear and is a huge improvement from the on-board audio I used before I bought this.
The software that comes with this card is works well and I’ve used it to tune my audio to suit my preferences. Although I will say that its very very sluggish - not fast at all. It can take half a minute to switch from one tab to another. The design is also really bad, its like something from the early 2000s.
I'm a big music fan and have thousands of eclectic music tracks in my collection that I listen to on a regular basis through my analogue stereo system.
With some recordings - particularly ones made by a band from Liverpool - there were channels dropping out so you couldn't hear the vocals or other instruments properly, and this diminished the quality of the playback considerably.
Though this could have had something to do with the way they were originally mixed, as well as my set-up, with this upgrade that issue is no more so I don't have to use extra volume or constantly adjust the EQ settings to improve it.
My first impression of the difference with this card was the increased volume and quite a lot of extra bass. It still helps to adjust the graphic equalizer to tweak the sound in order to get the best quality reproduction.
I also decided to invest in a digital to analogue converter and optical cable and this is another big improvement over using 3.5 mm jack to RCA phono.
You really can't beat high quality stereo sound and I probably should have upgraded sooner. Just watch out for your ears!
I listen to a lot of different types of music including folk, hip-hop, electronic, indie, metal and everything in between. I usually listen to this through Spotify (on high quality). The sound card improved the clarity and distinction between the highs, mids and lows and gave a much fuller sound than I had experienced previously.
I have tested this out with a few games but mainly shooters and racing games. Using this in CSGO showed the most difference, the spatial awareness that it provides you with is incredible. I am a terrible player and always have been but now I know exactly where I am being shot and killed from and now take pleasure in the visceral sound of my head exploding only 17 seconds into a round.
I am using an Antlion Modmic 4 attached to my headphones and once again this is where I have noticed a huge difference in the sound. Using the onboard mic jack, I was disappointed by the ModMic. It did not sound too clear and it was quite quiet. Having plugged it into the soundcard, the difference is enormous. It sounds professional and the noise cancellation with the Creative software works really well without it sounding too compressed.
My only concerns with this was the packaging. It arrived in a standard flat Amazon sleeve (like you would usually receive a CD or DVD in), it was wrapped in plastic (not anti-static bag) and bubble-wrap. It was in no way damaged but I think there is certainly a risk that other people might not be so fortunate. A lot of reviews discuss issues with drivers and software. It comes with a DVD with the drivers and software but I cannot vouch for these as I downloaded mine directly from Creative. Setup was easy and took only a few minutes.
This board is exactly the same as the Sound Blaster Z with the included mic. I would suggest that if you don't need the mic, I would go for this sound card instead. Yes it doesn't have the case with red lights or an included mic but it's the same board (with the same software and drivers) for considerably less money and with this improvement in sound quality, it's an absolute bargain.