|Item model number||70SB181000000|
|Hardware Platform||Headphones, PC, Speakers|
|Item Weight||1.19 pounds|
|Product Dimensions||9.53 x 6.5 x 2.28 inches|
|Item Dimensions LxWxH||9.53 x 6.5 x 2.28 inches|
|Date First Available||October 21, 2019|
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Creative 70SB181000000 Sound Blaster X3 Digital Audio Converter - Black
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- SUPER X-FI TECHNOLOGY CINEMATIC AUDIO HOLOGRAPHY | Sound Blaster X3 is the world’s first multi-channel USB DAC with Super X-Fi technology. For movie buffs, this is the perfect desktop audio upgrade that delivers cinematic audio at the comfort of your home. Simply set up your Super X-Fi profile via a Head and Ear-Mapping process, and experience personalized audio holography directly in your headphones. You can conveniently toggle Super X-Fi on / off directly on the device to hear the difference
- 7.1 DISCRETE, VIRTUAL SURROUND, AND DOLBY DIGITAL LIVE ENCODING | Surround immersion makes up a big part of the movie experience; X3 supports up to 7.1 discrete surround for speakers, and 7.1 virtual surround for headphones to deliver audio realism with spatialized effect that evokes emotions in your cinematic experience. For Windows users, X3 also supports Dolby Digital Live Encoding for your external audio devices
- VARIOUS CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS | The X3 is highly versatile and is compatible with many devices. It features a myriad of connectivity options – from the latest USB-C port for PC and Mac, to Optical-out, and Line-in for your AV receivers and digital audio players. X3 is also specially designed with a large volume control knob, headphone and mic jacks, three direct access buttons, and LED indicators to provide extra convenience
- CUSTOMIZABLE EQ PRESETS WITH BUILT-IN AUDIO BALANCE FEATURE | The X3 comes with three customizable EQ presets for different usages –Movies Mode, Music Mode and Footsteps Enhancer Mode. You can also find the perfect audio and chat volume level with X3’s Audio Balance feature – simply toggle amongst 2 audio sources via the Volume Control Knob to optimize the balance between game and chat with your teammates
- AMPLIFY AND ENHANCE YOUR AUDIO | Featuring high-res 115 dB DNR/SNR, 32-bit/192 kHz playback for pristine audio, the X3 doubles up as a headphone amplifier, and supports studio-grade headphones of up to 600Ω. It is also equipped to further enhance your audio experience with the redesigned Sound Blaster Command Software on PC and Mac, with full access to Sound Blaster Acoustic Engine’s suite of audio enhancements, including Dialog+ for clearer dialogues, and Surround Virtualization
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HI-RES 7.1 EXTERNAL USB DAC AND AMP SOUND CARD WITH SUPER X-FI FOR PC AND MAC
Raising the bar for your desktop movie experience, X3 comes packed full of features that promises the best cinematic experience at home, regardless of your preference for speakers or headphones. It is the world’s first external multi-channel USB DAC and Amp to feature our award-winning Super X-Fi technology, as well as 7.1 discrete surround on speakers, 7.1 virtual surround on headphones, and Dolby Digital Live¹. Coupled with high-quality audio components that power hi-res 32-bit / 192 kHz playback at 115 dB DNR / SNR, you can be sure that audio is delivered with studio-level precision and clarity.
AWARD-WINNING SUPER X-FI TECHNOLOGY
Introducing the world’s first external USB DAC and Amp sound card to house the Super X-Fi technology, Sound Blaster X3 redefines your movie experience on PC, Mac and even PlayStation 4.
IMMERSIVE MULTI-CHANNEL SURROUND
X3 supports up to 7.1 discrete surround for speakers, and 7.1 virtual surround for headphones to deliver audio realism with spatialized effect. For Windows users, X3 also supports Dolby Digital Live Encoding.
INDUSTRY-LEADING AUDIO PROCESSING
To further boost your audio experience with the X3, we’ve also included our industry-leading audio processing technologies – featuring Sound Blaster Acoustic Engine’s full suite of audio enhancements and delivered through the redesigned Sound Blaster Command software.
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Top reviews from the United States
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The irony is that professionals and enthusiasts actually spend thousands of dollars installing acoustic baffling in their listening space to get rid of the same sounds that SXFI worked so hard to reproduce. "Hearing the room" is generally understood to be a bad thing, because it doesn't represent the original intended sound (if the room reflections sounded so great, the sound people would've just baked it into the sound itself). I imagine if Creative had spent all that effort towards simulating a perfect listening space as opposed to an average one, the technology would be much more usable.
People who gave rave reviews/awards for "SXFI" likely hadn't experienced pre-existing binaural technology. Creative actually has another binaural 3d virtualization known as "SBX" which has existed for years, previously known as "CMSS-3D". In Youtube comparison videos, SBX and CMSS-3D is consistently rated as the best 3D virtualization, superior to competitors like Dolby Headphone. My hypothesis is the people who were impressed by SXFI technology were comparing it to no virtualization at all, as opposed to pre-existing tech like SBX.
To make sure I was getting the full SXFI experience I went through the ordeal of taking pictures of my ears. Luckily my exact headphone model was also in their list of choices. One really stupid bug of the app that they won't tell you about: "Sign up with facebook" doesn't even work. It will silently fail to download your settings with no error message whatsoever. You have to sign up the traditional way, and then click the confirmation email to verify. Then it will work. Because of this, I had to create a new account and take the pictures all over again. By the way, if there is no one available to help you take pictures of your ears, it helps to have mirrors at a 90-degree angle and look through two mirrors deep.
I launched a couple games and compared the sound of SBX 3D versus SXFI 3D. SXFI was impressive at first, but I realized it did not make sense. Every sound had added room reflections to make me feel like I was sitting in an empty living room. If I'm outdoors in a game or movie, why would I want to feel like I'm in a living room, as opposed to just outdoors? In SBX, a bird chirping in a tree sounds like a bird chirping in a tree. In SXFI, it sounds like a speaker in a living room with hardwood floors, playing the sound of a bird chirping in a tree. In that sense, SXFI is actually very similar to "Dolby Headphone" technology, which also simulates speakers in a room playing the sounds, instead of just the original sounds.
Also, my semi-decent 5.1 setup sounds a little better than SXFI. So not only did they replicate the mediocre room, but they're also simulating mediocre speakers.
One advantage of the SXFI is it has a slightly more impressive sound stage. It actually sounds like it's coming from real physical speakers some distance away. But note that SBX already does a good job with simulating distance of sounds; SXFI just does it a bit better (at the cost of sound quality).
On the X3, you'll have the ability to choose between the SBX and the SXFI. However, one other flaw caused me to give it 3 stars. There is very subtle white noise in the headphones so your listening quality is actually slightly worse than onboard sound. You might not notice until you turn the volume knob all the way down to zero, at which point the noise will cease and you'll notice its absence. The noise is at a constant soft level and not related to your volume setting (except when you turn it to zero). I think this is because they have a powerful amp which can only operate at "on" or "off"; when it's on, it is capable of producing very loud sound but will also introduce some hiss.
*Plenty of power to drive them headphones, about 65 - 70 max volume.
*PUBG, Tarkov and COD WARZONE are all great. Details are great.
*Build quality for the unit is nicer than reviews on youtube, i like the blue lights and large volume dial (smooth) push to mute is nice. I run it on the left side of my desk and secured with some 3M tape.
*My sole purpose for this unit was to headphone power for 250 ohm and it works perfectly. I dont mess with any virtual 7 channel surrond or super x-fi....i keep it simple and just power the heaphones.
Most critical issue for me is the stuttering sound. When I play the music or movie, the sound from this card stutter or jitter every 10 second. I tried to use this card because sound quality is on a good side, but it is really annoying to listen to the music which is disconnected/shuttered every 10 seconds. Just imagine how terrible it is, if the music or movie sound shutter every 10 seconds -- which is really distracting. This is a huge problem for the external sound card which costs $120, because even the internal sound card on my motherboard does not have this issue.
Another issue is their software, so called "Sound Blaster Command". This should work as a "command" center to control this card, but this software has the bugs. For example, one of the function of this software is to set the preset of Equalizer. You can choose 3 preset, and there is an icon which looks like a lock -- which means my setting should not change. Funny thing is, this "lock" actually does not lock my setting. Instead, this software keep generating new preset again and again. Everytime I started this software generate "New preset", "New Preset 1", "New preset 2", etc etc. Thus, I should delete these presets, then should re-set into the preset I want. You need to do this job every time you run this software.
Shortly, this card is not a very good choice, at least for the people who want the optical (toslink) connection. If you plan to buy this card for optical connection, I think you need to look at other options.
Top reviews from other countries
Here is my setup currently I am using SPDIF out to receiver and a Hyper X Cloud Alpha Headset. With SPDIF Out and Headset you can have the default sound to the SPDIF and communication to the headset. To me i'm guessing its not so great to have them separate considering the idea of a card like this is to get a nice noise cancelling headset like my Hyper X. So when wearing the Hyper X you'll hardly hear the default sound as you would the communication using SPDIF for Default. Now of course you can switch the headset to have both as your default device so you can hear both which isn't to bad.
So the reason why I am saying this is you can have a line out for speakers and headset but you can't split them that means having both default and communication coming out either the speakers or headset. The other annoying thing is that you can switch between devices through the software... not a bad idea but I wish the device was more hardware orientated or Windows had the ability to do so. Now by this I mean when using SPDIF and the headset in order to use the headset you have to press and hold the SXFI to either use Direct or SXFI enabled. Doing so will give you a Orange light for Direct or Green light for SXFI enabled at the SXFI button on the device.
The other issue is that if you change frequencies for either Speakers/Headset and Mic some software might not like the frequencies being used which means using Direct for both MODE and SXFI for Discord. I recommend to using the defaults for frequency and let software control frequencies if need be. The issue here is that using higher frequencies you will not be allowed to use MIC features like Voice Clarity and Voice Morph as well as others. This issue happened in Discord where if the frequency was to high you could not use Mic features just Direct for both Mode and SXFI. Skype had no problems at higher frequencies.
Also there seems to be a tad issue with Steam and this maybe do to the frequencies which you have no control over unless changing Steams Virtual Device frequencies which might solve the problem. I have not really messed around with that since however if you don't care about Steam all that much for voice you can use Discord or Skype which I deeply recommend but the complaint there is getting your friends on either service.
Now there is that feature SXFI and I'll just say do not use this its horrible its a distorted mess and gives off a echo sort of sound. Use Direct if need be but remember that you won't be able to use SBX (equalizer), basic Equalizer and SXFI. With the headset I did try 7.1 virtual surround sound and didn't find it all that great others might find an interest in it but to me Stereo is where its at. Though I was disappointed in the virtual surround sound this is where Stereo shines and that you can use additional spatial software from Windows Store like Dolby Atmos and DTS X.
Now spatial can be used for speakers as well but I believe that it was made more specific for the headset considering the software is lead to the user using the headset. You get great bass and clear sound and effects coming in different directions which you would expect Creative's virtual surround sound to do but doesn't. If you want real surround sound use SPDIF and get some decent speakers. Unfortunately for me I do not have 7.1 and I believe my receiver is pretty old and doesn't support that however it pumps its beautiful and makes you feel as if you're in your game. I haven't really given much test with a Blu-Ray yet so I can't really vouch on that. However like I said DTS is said to be missing but if you got some DVD's or Blu-Rays which support Dolby 5.1 you can almost guarantee a decent time.
So the disappointments with the device is that you need to be a more advanced user. The device does not contain DTS though that might be a hidden feature for SPDIF. The device becomes complicating when resorting to LED lights for different features. SXFI to me is complete garbage. Speakers through Line Out and Headset are tied together though if using Headset or Lineout as communication with SPDIF set as default for sound you can hear sounds on SPDIF speakers and voice on either Headset or Line Out Speakers. Changing the frequencies can have its consequences as well as using direct sound however this is a common issue with other sound card devices.
Virtual Surround Sound isn't as cool as you'd think it would be for Headset though this might be different per person. Oh I also forgot that the software can be a tad slow you have to wait about a minute for it to be responsive. While watching video's on the web I had found a tad delay while using SPDIF I haven't really tested with Speaker/Headset but I imagine this may happen for those as well. If you really want to hear the first 5 seconds of the video just rewind it. To me it is a tad problem but its one I guess I can put up with.
Now this might be a lot to complain about but honestly once you get hang of the device and its advantages its a pretty top notch awesome device. Don't feel bad about talking to Creative's support team as I had done so many times and found out that most of the issues were my fault as the basic needs just don't work out of the box. Once you get a hang of it its pretty darn simple to use.
I'll give the device 4 out of 5 stars for sound quality cause it really is top notch but you need to learn how to get the most out of it. I'm giving 3 stars out of 5 for the price cause the price is high here in Canada as far as I can tell its pretty hard to find here and I believe I was only able to find it with one store seller here on Amazon. The total price came to $174 CDN dollars. For that price you expect a pretty quality product and that it is but the biggest downfall here is learning how to use the device.
No se requirió splitter para usar el micrófono
2 canales de audio (aunque solo el principal da calidad completa)
Decente procesamiento del micrófono, su clear voice es verdaderamente útil, especialmente cuando se usan micrófonos de mala calidad (muchas opciones, como cancelación de eco, reducción de ruido, etc)
Muchas opciones, principalmente el SXFI, que para algunas cosas resulta en una experiencia interesante (nada revolucionario, cambia calidad de audio por sensación de espacio, es como un ecualizador/sonido envolvente de discoteca con sorround)
El software tiene algunos errores
No tiene entrada de audio óptica (disminuyendo compatibilidad, solo USB y análoga por 3.5)
La aplicación SXFI podría no estar disponible por defecto, haciendo aún más tediosa su configuración.
La construcción se siente barata, las conexiones y el control de volumen en particular parecen ser solo un poco más robustas que lo que se encuentra en dispositivos mucho más baratos
El principal motivo de las 4 estrellas es que, al simplificar todo a su función principal (reproducción de audio) no destaca. No se dejen confundir con su capacidad de procesamiento en papel, la calidad de la señal final no está ni de cerca a la altura para que eso sea relevante (aunque aclaró que si es notablemente mejor que lo que se encuentra en la mayoría de tarjetas madre, teléfonos, los controles oficiales de las consolas entre otras cosas).