Reviews and Problems with Creative Sound Blaster Z
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Amazing combination with my headphones
Ben, B&H Photo
6 days ago
Excerpt: I'm not a huge audiophile, but I know quality when I hear it. This sound card replaced my (near six year) old X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card, also from Creative, and it's a huge improvement. If you're upgrading from onboard sound, then be prepared to have your mind blown. Of course this doesn't mean anything if your speakers or headphones are low quality ones.
Summary: I picked up a new Sennheiser headset a couple months back (PC 350 SE) after my old Steel Series headset died. I have been a fan of Sennheiser products for a number of years and found a super deal for a high end headset. The audio was very underwhelming and, frankly, disappointing on my mobo audio ports. That is largely because standard computer hardware is not set up for high impedance headphones (the Sennheisers are 150 ohms).
Pros: Solid build quality. Awesome sound. Headphone out is superb for high impedance cans.
Cons: Software not as clear as I might like. I was somewhat mislead by the headphones/speakers setting that I thought was going to let me choose the output with the click of a button in the software. I was really hoping that I would be able to turn off my headphone out while using my stereo receiver and speakers, but no such luck.
Summary: Aside from arguably only being a side-step from an x-fi, this is still a great card, with some great features, at a reasonable price.
Pros: My favorite part about this card is the pro studio software. If you enjoy tweaking things like myself, you should enjoy this very much. I'm really liking the surround effect. It works surprisingly well and is fun to use in games. Another great feature is the preset profiles and equalizer settings. You can choose from options such as 'first person shooter' or 'real time strategy' and it will load accompanying settings. There's even an option to set and save your own pr...
Cons: Not much of an improvement over x-fi, but I'm happy because I got a good deal and very much like the software. The led's are poorly implemented. I made a "cap" and placed it over the rear led, solving the problem without having to alter any hardware.
Summary: I do voice over and voice acting work and I bought this card specifically for the TOSLink in port so I could use the TOSLink on my ART Voice Channel box instead of the USB connection because of the USB has some self noise and it limits the hz I can use. This is the first sound card I have bought in a long long time.
Pros: High Signal to Noise Ratio 600ohm Headphone amp Optical TOSLink in port Separate Headphone / Speaker jacks
Better than mobo clarity, amped headphone out, switchable headphone/line out - all I wanted
M. Golledge "Gollem", Amazon
14 December 2014
Summary: My motherboard has an ALC887. Three differences between that and this are: 1) This sound is more accurate. For example, it had not been clear to me if Lorde was saying "rebeled without a care" or "reveled without a care". It is now very clearly "reveled". 2) I like having switchable outs between my amplifier and my headphones; no plugging/unplugging required.
Pros: The base is phenomenal. Keep the crossover around 80Hz, and the bass around 30-50%. Here's the deal. People are having issues with this card, or rather the software. This is how you make it run stable. First: download the driver and software directly from creative. IMPORTANT (do not install the driver yet.) Second: uninstall whatever sound drivers you currently have running your rig and wipe all registry keys. (Probably Realtek.) Third: Turn off your system and Instal...
Summary: My 1 PCIe x 1 slot is blocked by my Video card so I used the 1 open PCIe x 4 slot and all went well. I didn't go into BIOS at all but went into Windows 7 Control Panel>Sound>Playback Tab and Disabled motherboard onboard sound devices before installing this new card. I had downloaded this cards software drivers from the Creative Web Support page prior to installation and didn't use anything from the included Disc in the box.
Pros: I like the gold plated ports Install was easy, card slipped into a PCIe x 4 slot nicely, no issues