Creative Technology announced at E3 2017 the latest addition to its Sound BlasterX Pro-Gaming Series. The Sound BlasterX AE-5 is the first sound card with an integrated RGB controller and a PCIe Sabre-class gaming DAC.
The Sound BlasterX AE-5 promises to deliver "the ultimate audio performance" with the full force of a 122dB 32-bit/384kHz ESS Sabre DAC, a custom-designed 600Ω discrete headphone amp, audiophile-grade components, and proprietary Sound Blaster audio enhancement technologies.
The on-board headphone amplifier is custom-built using discrete transistors and audiophile-grade WIMA film/foil capacitors in a dual-amp design. Creative lists the basic advantages of the new device: each audio channel is individually amplified, while the high heat resistance of the German-made WIMA capacitors reduces noise and audio interference. The Xamp's ultra low 1Ω output impedance also makes it capable of driving sensitive in-ear monitors as well as studio-grade headphones from 16Ω to 600Ω.
At the heart of the Sound BlasterX AE-5 sound card is the quad-core Sound Core3D audio DSP and a 122dB ESS Sabre-Class DAC that boosts regular motherboard audio with up to 32 times more clarity, according to Creative. The DAC with its high dynamic range indulges users with up to 32-bit/384kHz lossless playback and audio fidelity.
Creative's AE-5 is packed with the latest version of Creative's audio processing and algorithms. The legendary Sound Blaster technologies provide fully customizable DSP-powered audio enhancements, clear vocal reproduction, in-game voice communication enhancements, 7.1 virtual surround sound and other audio technologies.
The Sound BlasterX AE-5 card is the first sound card to feature a built-in RGB controller that comes with the Aurora Reactive Lighting System. The RGB controller not only lights up the card through the PCB, but also gives gamers the flexibility to build their dream gaming rig by connecting up to four LED strips to match the awesome sound with a light show.
Scout 2.0 is an upgraded version of Creative's Scout Mode feature - Scout 2.0 now also includes Scout Radar. Scout Radar is a smart companion that enables gamers to visualize and pinpoint their enemy's position on a Scout Radar app with the user's smart device, while Scout Mode lets gamers hear their enemies before they are seen.
The Sound BlasterX AE-5 comes with support for a discrete 5.1 speaker set-up.
A special white edition of the Sound BlasterX AE-5 is also available exclusively online at www.creative.com. Unlike the standard version, which comes with a single 30cm LED strip with 10 LEDs, this special Pure Edition will include four LED strips.
The Sound BlasterX AE-5 will be available in July 2017 at USD149.99. The Pure Edition will be available in August 2017 exclusively on www.creative.com at USD179.99.
- Audio/DSP processor: Sound Core3D
- 5.1 discrete speaker out
- 7.1 virtual headphone surround
- Interface: PCIe
- DAC: ESS ES9016K2M SABRE32 Ultra DAC
- Max playback resolution: 32-bit/384kHz
- DNR: 122 dB
- THD + N: 0.00032%
- ADC: Sound Core3D
- Max recording resolution: 24-bit/96kHz
- Headphone amp (600 Ω): Custom-designed discrete headphone amp (Xamp)
- SNR: 116 dB
- THD + N: 0.0009%
- Output impedance: 1 Ω
- Headphone impedance range: 16 - 600 Ω
- Connectivity: 3 x 3.5mm line out (front, rear, center/sub)
- 1 x TOSLINK optical out
- 1 x 3.5mm headphone out
- 1 x 3.5mm microphone/line in
- 1 x Intel HD audio front panel