Are Sound Cards Still Relevant? Sound BlasterX AE-5


So back when I was in like high school creative labs soundblaster Was basically synonymous with high performance high quality gaming, PC, audio, and they’re making a comeback but hold on – Linus Everyone knows an external amp and DAC is the best solution today? This new flagship sound card is dead on arrival. No you hold on smartypants This time it’s different This sound card has built-in RGB lighting This sound card is ready to compete in 2017 The protrek smart from Casio features Android 2.0 Energy-efficient GPS functionality water resistant up to 50 meters and more check it out now at the link below So in a nutshell the Sound Blaster X 85 is creative labs latest attempt to marry a great DAC chip the ESS Sabre 3290 18 and a great amplifier circuit to a form factor That’s convenient for PC users if a little unfamiliar to the younger generation So taking a peek under the emi shield we are greeted by the Saber DAC right there in the middle as well as this is interesting all the main capacitors are high-quality reema films and Interestingly while the rear Jack’s are all grounded to the bracket the headphone jack is the one exception It’s grounded internally to reduce crosstalk with the rest of the outputs cool of course It’s not quite as impressive looking as the inside of a Modi 2 and Magni 2 a popular standalone stereo DAC and damp combo that enjoys the usual advantages of these solutions particularly very low interference Thanks to widely spaced PCB components not to mention being outside the computer case we did notice though that schiit audios products used fewer film capacitors and more giant electrolytics And we also noticed that they have boring white LEDs on the front versus creatives homegrown Aurora reactive lighting system which is basically individually addressable RGB lighting on Yet another damn separate piece of software to install Alongside are Aura sync corsair link and razor Chroma that and what a missed opportunity this is it doesn’t even have a music reaction mode so we’d recommend just ham fisting the proprietary connector on the included strip onto an Asus header and otherwise ignoring it I mean, this is supposed to be a sound card not an RGB controller card like I’m I’m having flashbacks to when they started putting firewire ports and like joystick ports onto sound cards I’m thinking that that was also creative so then the main attractions in creative software package are the Blaster X acoustic engine and Scout 2.0 Most of the acoustic engine is creatives usual fare surround crystallizer bass smart volume and dialogue plus crystallizer can help with compressed streaming audio and While dialog + sounds weird for music it can help with other types of content I will leave the rest of them off, but those two can be kind of useful Scout 2.0 on the other hand Completely worthless it didn’t give us better spatial awareness than the conventional surround setting and even worse than that Scout radar this phone app that if it did work would be cheating anyway was both distracting because you have to look off screen to see it and horribly inaccurate picking up our own footsteps and ambient sound in csgo as a blip straight ahead and Usually failing to register another player until they were within a few digital feet Relying on this thing would be a great way to boost your being knifed to kills ratio So how about sound quality then well Anthony grabbed a selection of headphones off of our headphone wall along with the aforementioned? Magnet 2 and Modi 2 and got to work using a Maximus 9 code as a third comparison source to represent Good motherboard, audio So early on in the testing it became clear that both the 85 and Asus supreme effects can drive even notoriously difficult to drive planar dynamic headphones like The Audeze LCD 2’s and the 250 ohm bear dynamic DT 990 probes and both of them at uncomfortable listening volumes even Unsurprisingly though, so does our Magni and modi combo which is good because that’s the entire reason it exists, so everybody’s a winner so far Audio quality was a different story Even without the surprisingly easy to use brought the way you wanted EQ Highs are crisper and lows are smoother than our onboard audio Which is especially apparent in electronic music where high pitched cymbals and snare drums sounds notably coarse by comparison rock and metal sound significantly less noisy Which is to say that everything doesn’t devolve into a mess of riffs and cymbals as happens with lower quality outputs and meanwhile symphonic music sounds quite a bit smoother and fuller With that said comparing the 85 to our only slightly more expensive schiit It comes pretty close on both of them are a significant improvement over Onboard and I’d say the edge especially in quieter passages goes to schiit now obviously the 85 has the advantage of not taking up any additional desk space that is to say as long as Your M.O. isn’t to take it and put it on a desk in front of you and talk about it to a camera It also though has a one less obvious drawback. That is Unless you want to use your cases often very poorly shielded front panel audio jacks You’ll need a long headphone cable to plug into the dedicated headphone jack on the rear i/o So bottom line then once upon a time filling up all your expansion slots was like the mark of a baller system and AND That’s not lost on me here what is though is the fact that something like this has one very specific purpose to be plugged into a compatible computer meanwhile external sound solutions are more versatile DAX are usually driverless and cross-platform and Amps can be plugged into virtually anything with an output, so I guess the answer then boils down to how much you value three things Creative software including yes the RGB controls. Their 7.1 surround support and whether you’re like into filled up PCIe slots anchors power delivery charging enables faster and safer charging as well as more power for your larger devices and USB-C connectors are Super handy because they allow you to use the same cable to charge your smartphone Tablet and even a supported laptop with no separate power brick required so today We’re looking at two products with these features the power core plus 26800 as well as the power port speed PD 30 both of them have a USB C port that can deliver up to 30 watts as well as up to two regular USB ports they’ve got hard-wearing matte exteriors This one’s made of aluminum Which is pretty nice with high-gloss detailing and these kind of coooool blue USB ports to provide a sleek look The foldable plug and compact size means that you can take them with you wherever you want to go and you can check them out through the links in the video description so Thanks for watching guys. If you just liked this video You know what to do? but if you liked it hit the like button get subscribed check out the link to where to buy the stuff we featured in the Video description also down there is our merch store, which has cool shirts like this one and our community forum, which you should totally join

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100 thoughts on “Are Sound Cards Still Relevant? Sound BlasterX AE-5

  1. how about realtime recording. not only important for musicans. there are many uses for records that are timecoherent and not flawed by latency(or worse software that cuts silent parts) there is a whole topic of usecases and problems that arrive with them, that you just ignored, bc you are biased, bc you use audio more in the "audio hits me" term than the " i create audio" term. how about the windows 7preamp. knowing that this exists and putting it out made me more than 1000€. a selfmade problem, with a simple solution but no coverage. i literally charge 400€ for getting into your soundmixer, clicking % to db and then dialing in 0. the part, that you can change % to dB and how unknown it is, is what ppl pay for. 398€ are just for that knowledge 2€ are my trainticket. the gamer, listening to music, is not relevant for audio and thats the only group you coverd. what about somebody that listens to music, does some hobby music himself and hast to record memos for work? thats more realistic. i have the deep feeling, even you would need MY help to set up a rudimentary record/dub/playback system and my skills are more rooted in nightlong googleing some win7 querks than having actual knowledge(i mean i have it, but thats not what helps me daily) there is a big, uncovered ocean of audioproblems after winxp and none of the techs covers them. i do not need to hear the footsteps of an enemy in a videogame in sorround, i am above 20. but what i need, is the knowledge, that the recording is synced to what i heard on playback so the part starts where it should and not somewhere in the song. i dont know if i should be sad, that nobody covers the elephant in the room or be happy that i can charge the 400 for many more years on many more clients, just to do things, that should be in a fuckin manual. (funny part is, i never charge money for real work. i only charge money for wannabe make-belief stuff. i am kinda like apple. for 10€ i "master" your song-reality is i squash it. no soundtech would like that, but for your listeners it sounds better. no need to invest hundreds of dollars in mastering if you upload it on youtube, what i do isnt good but exactly what you wanted. i charge 400€for setting up recordrigs, only thing i do is setting win from % to db. i also charge 200e for computer repair. i just delete complete mac/win. if i like you, i will give you a bootable linuxstix with the system. but what i want to say, i give services without voodo but practical base, most times that means just to do less voodo, wich gives me less work, and my clients less costs. the margin is so big, i can get 200€ for free and advice somebody just to delete the maleware. a technican would charge more and only clean windows without deleting windows. the 2 hours of explaining linux is for free and just a bonus. fact is sometimes less is more and often we focus on the least important things while being stuck with non-sense. if you run a tech-channel and you review soundcards, tell me if that fuckin thing is able to record/monitor realtime, anything else is childplay. and by the way, why not drop some sentence about"any soundcard can become RT with JACK, so even win users should use JACK(or, bc of lazyniess i prefer voicemeeter)"but no, you focus topics that are for grown up toddlers wich are only interested in consuming more while minimizing any productivity that consum could create. example, somebody listens to a songs, hypes it. maybe he wants to do a similar song, or rmx the song he liked so much to beginn with. so i can open FL rmx or cover or i can open Itunes and sing karaoke

  2. My friend somehow destroyed his 3.5mm headphone jack on his case and he got a sound card to replace them. I think he accidentally tripped on the cord and yanked it out and the headphone connector is fine but the connector on the case is dead. He does have Sennheiser headphones so unsure if it's their build quality vs the Cyberpower case's but it is kind of funny.

  3. You should always get your sound devices to be external to your computer. Sound is very succeptible to noise and interference. The inside of a computer is EMI hell.

  4. Creative X-FI with one of the few games that fully implemented EAX effects was the golden age of gaming sound, in medieval 2 total war you could hear the hooves of individual horses against the pavement and the reverb of men shouting in castle streets… gaming sound has gone way downhill since then sadly 🙁

  5. nowadays yes, get a good soundcard, Why ? lol, WIN10 PIEP push you to buy :
    Dolby surroung lab as an App from MS store 😀 and when you buy a soundcard, then DS is included as an Option 😉
    So…..did you mentioning it? uhhhhhhmmmmm….nope

  6. The lights are a distraction for the kids, so they buy it.
    Us adults may buy it but we turn off the lighting, it's not a fucking lightshow I bought, it's a keyboard or a sound card! 😀

  7. i just want a clean source to record youtube voiceovers with, and to replace my broken sound blaster…which pisses me off that it just stopped turning on.

  8. I have simple needs from a sound card: it just needs to give me that nice Yamaha OPL3 chip sound of the AdLib and SB16. Can this do that?

  9. This vodeo shows that Linus have no knowledge on circuit whatsoever
    1:30 those WIMA capacitor are for signal coupling
    2:10 those electrolytic capacitors are for power supply smoothing
    you can't just compare those two. they share a totally different purpose

  10. As someone who grew up with PCs through the sound card era, it's been a real shame to see sound cards become the red-headed step child of the gaming world. Before 3d accelerator cards ('also known as 'video cards' now..) gamers would put down big bucks to get a decent general midi wavetable addon for their main sound card – that's right, an add on card for your sound card – sound card SLI!

    It made tons of games sound heaps better (Descent and Warcraft 2 come to mind)

    Then 3D sound came along and it also got pretty awesome too.

    Then Vista came along and gave sound cards a manhood crushing swift kick to the nuts by nixxing Directsound 3d.

    Now everyone be like ZOMG my 10 billion core octasli beastly Ti fragmaster 10000fps is teh shiz. IMA go use my crapulent onboard sound with $5 speakers and rock the latest games yeah!

    It makes me feel sad inside.

    It makes baby Jesus cry.

  11. My audio comes out of my AMD GPU's HDMI. Is it generated there, or in the CPU, or in the motherboard's audio controller?

  12. There is an important information missing for all us audiophiles: did you setup up your expensiv headphones correctly, according to what you´re trying them with this soundcard? That´s actually the deal with this kind of equipment, that´s not ment for plug-in-play marones, but for sufisticatet users with extrem high demands and extrem variations in taste of sound.

  13. i know it might make it pointless and this is an old video but i wonder if you could put it in an enclosure and use it externally.

  14. I haven't used anything other than headphones when gaming in years but fuck it …it has built in RGB lighting.

  15. i need help. a decent budget sound card to go with my at2020 mic. purpose is recording. posibly compatible with OBS

  16. My soundblaster z sounds waaaaay better than the crappy onboard sound and its a creative chipset on the mobo. Why go to the expense of an external dac and amp when a single cheap card will do the same thing?

  17. I was watching an ad about amplifying microspeakers, and then it went away before I could click on it 🙁
    It had a logo that looked like MXM or something. If someone finds it, please, link it to me.

  18. everyone says external DAC is better, but after using Asus Essence STX II with custom op amps, I tried Schiit Audio and sorry but the Schiit does not provide the same audio quality. It's an inferior product in every way compared with the asus stx II. The schiit takes up desk space and has cardboard sound compared with the asus. This video is uninformed and misleading. The Schiit sound harsh and grating to the ear. I dont know how its possible to recommend it.

  19. Schiit is only good for people who are used to laptop speakers or listen only to highly compressed lossy mp3 files. I bought the Schiit combo because I wanted to switch to an SFF PC with less PCI slots. Listening to FLAC files with mid range studio monitoring speakers, the Schiit sound harsh. Had to switch back to micro atx form factor just to use my asus essence stx which has a much much better sound for a similar price. This is one of these videos were Linus just didnt do his research or just doesnt know what hes talking about

  20. Firewire was a good solution in 1995 when they needed fast enough port for recording 8 tracks of CD quality audio in the Pro Tools Session 8 sound card. Sadly not a cheap solution, but it did make it possible to record a drum set with at least minimum amount of mics back then.

  21. Haven't bought a sound card for a computer since the Intel Viiv days. Because my next computer, my very first build with the x58 chipset, never saw…ugh heard the need to get a soundcard for it.

  22. They are unless you're using a well designd usb dac daw combo with balanced 1/4" outs like the steinburg ur22 mkII, that have better jitter and sampling rate performance, with better thd ratings. When compared to an Integrated sound Solution. Most people don't care about sound quality these days anyway, which really is a shame. People hear logitech, beats, airpods and think its the bees knees….

  23. I'll tell you the real bottom line; Creative is the company who bought all of the 3D sound softwares around then locked them away from the gamers/users for 20 years so they could effectively force people into their monopoly. They are the reason today's most games have still stereo or bad HRTF (virtual surround) compared to the games 15-20 years ago.

  24. I still have a PCIx Soundblaster from 2008. But it is unused now because: convenience (one less thing to do slap into the computer) ; lack of drivers for anything beyond windows 7 🤷🏽‍♂️

  25. In 2019, do I need external Sound BlasterX series to improve overall soundstage, 'beauty', QUALITY in horror single player games ?! Have anybody done true test in games similar to Dead Space, Resident Evil, Amnesia -> mideum range Realtek onboard audio vs external Sound BlasterX card ???
    It's just damned curiousity. p.s. I still use Realtek 1150, MSI z87-g45 and I'm fine to invest up to $200 headphones.

  26. but if I buy Schiit people will think I am swearing(when I am not) and then I'll have to start swearing because they took me out of context.

  27. Any ASUS Xonar alternatives? They are no longer supported on Windows 10. Are ASUS U5 and U3 driverless? Longer version: The vast majority of ASUS xonar soundcards are no longer supported. For those that supposedly are take a look at the driver release dates.
    2015 release date means that the driver has been pushed out the door just to
    be able to state "it's Windows 10 compatible". IF you're lucky it's
    going to function but at each Windows update you're going to draw – will
    it still work after. If any problems arise it's GUARANTEED they won't
    be solved by neither ASUS nor Microsoft. The history repeats itself. It
    used to be Creative that ripped off consumers by cutting out driver
    support short and then dragging to court a poor bastard that was
    delivering unofficial drivers. Now it's ASUS. Minus the court.

  28. Any ASUS Xonar alternatives? They are no longer supported on Windows 10. Are ASUS U5 and U3 driverless? Longer version: The vast majority of ASUS xonar soundcards are no longer supported. For those that supposedly are take a look at the driver release dates.
    2015 release date means that the driver has been pushed out the door just to
    be able to state "it's Windows 10 compatible". IF you're lucky it's
    going to function but at each Windows update you're going to draw – will
    it still work after. If any problems arise it's GUARANTEED they won't
    be solved by neither ASUS nor Microsoft. The history repeats itself. It
    used to be Creative that ripped off consumers by cutting out driver
    support short and then dragging to court a poor bastard that was
    delivering unofficial drivers. Now it's ASUS. Minus the court.

  29. USB 2.0 is still crap for audio. The latency and issues with isochronous interference is real. Even if you used a Focusrite its a problem. There is latency because USB sucks for audio.

  30. Just replaced my X-Fi gamer with a Z.

    Wow, after a few tweaks and running Windows Dolby digital headphones enhancement and it sounds amazing.

    Onboard is just flat.
    The rift audio is better but the sound blaster is just leagues ahead

  31. RGB sound cards…
    RGB cookware…
    RGB kleenex…
    RGB toilet paper…

    Where is this RGB crapola going to end!? If I want a light show…I will go to a Rammstein concert!

  32. MY CARD IS 7 YEARS OLD,MY PIONEER SYSTEM MUCH MORE OLDER AND I JUST SET UP A BRAND NEW PC AND I STILL ENJOY CRYSTAL JUICE SOUND FOR MOVIES,GAMES WITH HIGH QUALITY.THAT'S IS VALUE FOR MONEY!!I AM AN OWNER OF Creative Sound Blaster Z (6 YEARS OR MORE) .SOFTWARE IS TYPICAL IN CREATIVE PRODUCTS.KNOWING SOME BASIC SOUND ENGINERING WILL MAKES THE DIFFERENCE.SETTINGS LIKE CRYSTALIZER /SURROUND ARE BASICALY FOR MUSIC SMART VOLUME,DIALOG PLUS ARE FOR SMOOTH MOVIE WATCHING EXPERIENCE AND SURE THEY MAKE A DIFFERENCE IF YOU SET UP PROPERLY.AN OPTICAL CABLE INTO A PIONEER SYSTEM (PIONEER SX 315) WITH TRYE DTS/DOLBY CAPABILITY 5.1 AND I CAN PARTY PRETTY HARD AND CLEAR WITH MY CREATIVE Z.PCI SOUNDS CARDS ESPECIALLY CREATIVE PRODUCTS ARE MORE CAPABLE THAN ANY MOTHERBOARD AUDIO CONTROLLER (IT REALLY DOESN T MATTER WHAT MBR YOU HAVE AND HOW MANY MONEY IT COST'S),I DIDN T EVEN TALK ABOUT EQYALISERS SET UP.DID I MENTION THE 24-bit / 192kHz audio output CAPABILITY? I HAVE IN MY Z CARD ABOUT 20 SAVED PROFILES (DEPENDS TO WHAT I WANT TO HEAR AND FOR WHAT).LAST.MY CARD CAN SWITCH TO HEADPHONE TO PIONEER SYSTEM JUST BY CLIKING A BUTTON IN THE SOFTWARE(I AM SAYING THAT BEACAUSE I SAW IN THE VIDEO THAT PUTTING THE HEADPHONES IN THE BACK IS PAIN IN THE ASS).NO IT ISN'T.HEAPHONES ARE PLUGGED AND READY IN THE BACK PERMANTLY AND IT S ONLY ONE CLICK BUTTON AWAY.

  33. "This sound card is ready to compete in 2017"

    this is so funny to hear in 2019. Must be even funnier couple of years later

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