Creative Labs Sound BlasterX AE-5 Sound Card Released


sound blaster
Creative Labs just recently released the Sound BlasterX AE-5. This is the most recent PCIe sound card. This sound card includes a high-quality DAC (digital-to-analog converter), RGB (red, green, blue) lighting controls, a headphone amp, as well as a radiant finish. Just like the Recon3D and Z-series, the Sound Blaster AE-5 contains the in-house Sound Core3D DSP (digital signal processor). The Sound Core 3D is updated with support for 44.1 and 88.2 kHz playback in direct mode and virtual 7.1 support. What has not changed is the similar silicon. This is also programmed differently in terms of the volume control. The volume control on the Sound BlasterX AE-5 is mapped to the DAC volume.

Creative Labs is not only involved with the Sound BlasterX AE-5, but other developing audio noteworthy products including the AWE32, AWE64, Audigy, Extigy, EAX technology, Live!, Sound Blaster 16, and X-Fi. They have been able to identify the limitations with onboard audio. Solutions like USB DAC’s have been able to deliver advanced audio output although the internal sound card lineup has been at a standstill. Examples of the variation of USB DAC’s include the Sound Blaster E5, G5, and X7. On the other hand, the ZxR was the last Sound Blaster card that hasn’t been reviewed since 2014. Since the release of ASUS STRIX RAID DLX in 2015, there has not been any new sound card released until today.

The signal-to-noise ratio for Creative Labs is at 122 dB with 0.00032% THD (total harmonic distortion). This is 2 dB higher than enhanced onboard audio motherboards such as ASUS hardware part Crosshair VI Hero. Headphone outputs at Creative Labs have dual amps with audiophile-grade transistors and WIMA capacitors to achieve a THD of 0.0009% and 116dB SNR.

The Sound BlasterX AE-5 features the Xamp headphone amplifier. The Xamp amplifier divides the left and right channels. Usually, headphone amplifiers will only use one amp for both the left and right channels of the stereo headphone output. The Camp on the Sound BlasterX AE-5 amplifies the headphones individually for excellent audio quality. 

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