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Sound Blaster X7 Review

Sound Blaster X7 Review

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  • 24-bit Sound Blaster SB-Axx1 multi core Digital Signal Processor (DSP) with Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder certification.
  • EMU32 bus (process 32 concurrent audio streams)
  • 127dB DAC with support for 24-bit 192kHz playback (Burr-Brown PCM1794 when paired with Axx1, 24/192 up to 5.1channels)
  • Burr-Brown PCM4220 123dB ADC capable of 24-bit, 96Khz on analog line in.
  • Nichicon Fine Gold capacitors.
  • 100w Class-D digital amplifier (TPA3116D2, 2x50w @ 4 Ohms)
  • TPA6120A2 Headphone amplifier

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Sound Blaster X7 Review – User Experience and Conclusion

The design of the X7 will certainly stand out in any home entertainment or desktop environment and while it is a plastic body used here, the finish is of a high enough standard to fit in with expensive components. The gold and silver highlights help add a look of quality and the LEDs used are discrete enough. All of the key ports are gold plated and each feels solid enough. If there is one external aspect which lets the device down it is the headphone stand. It feel like a last minute thought rather than essential feature and does rock about a bit which is a shame. Back to the positives we have a selection of components inside from Creative as well as industry leaders in the form of Burr-Brown, Nichicon, Texas Instruments and New Japan Radio.

The X7 picks up where we left the E5 by including a great level of connectivity, in fact pretty much everything we could possibly need to connect PC, Mac, Console (PS4/Xbox One), Android/iOS phones/tablets and stand alone players. The one ommision is HDMI in/out which means 5.1 audio is our maximum level rather than 7.1/DTS-HD/Dolby TrueHD. Having said that, even when we think that Creative have offered a decent level of connectivity they go on to exceed the obvious, for example the X7 will drive two headsets at the same time, or allow two Bluetooth devices to connect at the same time. Flexibility is the order of the day here however that does come at a cost, £300 or so in the UK and $375 in the US.

On the performance front the X7 excels. The choice of components used by Creative is excellent with the pre-installed Op-Amps providing a clean, warm sound with exceptional detail. These can of course be easily swapped out by accessing the panel on the base and the experience tweaked for your needs. Outwith that the sound quality will be determined by the users audio devices. Be safe in the knowledge though that, especially in the gaming peripheral arena, the X7 will ensure that your audio experience is class leading. It is also worth noting nice little options like being able to game and then quickly tap the control panel on a tablet or phone to tweak settings without needing to exit what we are playing.

Summary: A hefty price tag for those who are gaming focused and the lack of HDMI is a minor disappointment. That said, for everyone else the X7 offers a hugely desirable package. Great feature support, a high level of connectivity options and exceptional audio quality.


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Stuart Davidson

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