That would be fine, I'd give this to my mother since she uses absolutely garbage onboard audio yet she has Sennheiser HD 598 headphones.
It's not as good as HD, I need to check but it may have same DAC than Zx. Or at least very comparable. Headphone amp in Forte is probably not as good quality wise.
Hmmm.... Forte has AKM AK4396VF for front channels, CS4382A for rest. I'm not actually that sure any more about which would be better. EDIT: Cirrus Logic CS4398 and AKM AK4396VF have pretty much identical specs. THD+N is better on CS4398 though.
Also I wonder if Creative is planning on releasing ASIO drivers for Z series
As mentioned before, the only Burr Brown DAC in the Z line is the ZXR, every other one uses a Cirrus Logic DAC. The TiHD uses a Burr Brown DAC (PCM1794) which is the same one most people claim are on the ZXR.
I was finally able to test for myself what a vanilla Z and TiHD sound like and have found the quality on the TiHD to be better. I really wish I could get my hands on the ZXR but I can wait - for now. Since sound is purely subjective I will not question the person who posted before me who said that he had a TiHD once, got rid of it but now has a Z and thinks the Z sounds better. I would love for review sites to take up the comparison so that we could get more opinions.
Worth mentioning is that the non-ZXR Z's may never get ASIO support. I suspect that Creative would use that as (one) selling point for the ZXR.
My Titanium HD started out fantastic. Better than expectations, but as it has aged, some noise pollution from the rest of the computer has made its way into the sound. I can only hear it with headphones though.Zarathustra[H];1039735152 said:I wonder how it compares to my X-Fi Titanium...
Ahh, Yes. The amp issue is probably huge.I came from a Titanium non-HD. That was a nice card, sound really great and was a step up from my previous x-fi gamer.
The ZXR is better. My headphones like the amp and are a treat to listen too, my cheap logitech x620 speaker system sounds amazing, and games are improved. Having the Titanium before I thought it was great, the new cards are a noticeable improvement.
For #1, you set the digital output to Dobly Digital Live or DTS Connect and have an external amp capable of using either DDL or DTS-C to create virtual surround. The Astro MixAmp, for example, can decode Dobly Digital via S/PDIF to use with Dobly Headphone. I don't know of any external amps that can use DTSC, but they might exist.Zarathustra[H];1039737654 said:I plan on using optical out to a dedicated external DAC for my quality music listening. Analog outputs will only be used for a set of mid range desktop 2.1 speakers.
So I guess my questions are as follows:
1.) Are all the gaming/3d positional features outputted to the optical connector? In other words, with a set of stereo headphones hooked up via spdif, will I get the gaming benefits?
2.) Over optical out, is here any quality or feature difference between a basic Z and the ZXR, or is the difference primarily for the plethora of analogue inputs and outputs?
In other words, or my planned use, will I get the gaming benefits, and would a ZXR just be wasted money over the base model?
Hmm..For #1, you set the digital output to Dobly Digital Live or DTS Connect and have an external amp capable of using either DDL or DTS-C to create virtual surround. The Astro MixAmp, for example, can decode Dobly Digital via S/PDIF to use with Dobly Headphone. I don't know of any external amps that can use DTSC, but they might exist.
If it isn't mentioned in the marketing material or the spec sheet it is unlikely the DAC handles Dobly Digital Live or DTS Connect. Since both technologies have to be licensed it isn't something the manufacturer would likely forget to put in the spec sheet.Zarathustra[H];1039738188 said:Hmm..
Reading the specs for the unit I was planning on getting I see no mention of DDL or DTS-c. It uses a Crystal Semiconductor CS8416 as an SPDIF input receiver, and an AKM4399 for D/A conversion, and the spec sheets for these aren't very helpful either...
I'll have to email the company.
Fair enough.If it isn't mentioned in the marketing material or the spec sheet it is unlikely the DAC handles Dobly Digital Live or DTS Connect. Since both technologies have to be licensed it isn't something the manufacturer would likely forget to put in the spec sheet.
There's a review on Amazon where the reviewer says the audio quality is significantly degraded when using headphones via the ACM vs. plugging them in directly into the card. Perhaps from that.Can someone with a ZxR please measure the ACM cable length? Anyone ever find out why the original shipments were pulled?
I have a TiT HD. Is it really worth the swap?Just installed mine. Only played a few flac files and 10 minutes of Bioshock and it sounds slightly better than the Titanium HD. I never use any of the Creative effects. I tried plugging directly into the card and plugging into the ACM and did not notice any significant change in quality. Was hard to tell because it's tricky to get the volumes identical. Just ordered (2) cheap 6-ft extensions and hope they work. About 60$ dollars of this card is in the unnecessary packaging and extra cables. Could have done without that. I'm also not happy about the egregious choice to use that shiny black plastic. It's cheap, reflects light, and attracts fingerprints. Consumer electronics designers need to stop using smooth reflective plastics.
My volume knobber is not quite concentric when you spin it. Anyone else have a wonky knob?
He does not cite the "excellent review" though.Well the ZXR should be capable of 80mw into 600ohms, but I saw an excellent review including all the relevant tests that shows maximum output to 600ohms is 5.4v which is equivalent to 48.6mw, which is just over half the rated spec. False advertising, and rather disappointing given the competing product (Asus Essence STX) is capable of the full 6-7vrms, or 80mw, in similar tests (both by the same reviewer and by other independent reviews). Frankly I think you're better off going back to your receiver.
Say I do not use headphone but I'll be using this set of speaker:As mentioned before, the only Burr Brown DAC in the Z line is the ZXR, every other one uses a Cirrus Logic DAC. The TiHD uses a Burr Brown DAC (PCM1794) which is the same one most people claim are on the ZXR.
Considering Creative doesn't even post information about what SBX Studio "does" or how to best setup Wondows and games for it, I find this reccomendation dubious.Just get the Z. Any of the other models will give you a minimal improvement not worth the cost in this case.
Just plugging the speakers into the soundcard directly AND enabling SBX pro studio will give you the best gaming sound.
Wetmacula: If you buy this card and do not use sbx pro studio, you are missing the best gaming sound available today. Do not judge this card until you try it. There is a distinct difference.
My ear is average. However, I don't want to buy the Z and the card failed in a few years. In other words, what's the quality of those capacitors in comparison to ZxR? If it can last say 6 years or so, I'll be happy.What it does is essentially allows me to hear sounds in bf3 accurately. With my previous sound cards, asus and creative both, bf3 sound would get so muddled you could not tell where anything was. Now I can. Beyond that, I can't help you.
Using Sennheiser 558s analogue out into a huge, 50lb Boston acoustics avr 7120 as an amp btw.
All ears are different and to mine, the Z does the best job with bf3 which is essentially all I am/was looking for in my gaming pc.
If I could tell you that I would be able to see into the future. I would say probably. Mine has gold caps on it but who the heck knows? In 6 years, pc sound might be an afterthought as we have already been assimilated by the Borg.My ear is average. However, I don't want to buy the Z and the card failed in a few years. In other words, what's the quality of those capacitors in comparison to ZxR? If it can last say 6 years or so, I'll be happy.
I just got off a 15 year old computer with Win98SE, Creative SB Live card and Iomega cartridge drive. Everything still works fine.My ear is average. However, I don't want to buy the Z and the card failed in a few years. In other words, what's the quality of those capacitors in comparison to ZxR? If it can last say 6 years or so, I'll be happy.
i agree, i run everything in audio creation mode on my Titanium HD. i've done lots of subjective testing using HD650's and to my ears it is the best way to listen to music/games/movies.The "sbx pro studio" in the Z series and "game mode" in Titanium HD is just marketing horseshit for a number of optional effects applied to the source audio. I've tinkered with all the options (mainly playing flac files in winamp and gaming) and still prefer the raw sound with no effects. I've experimented extensively with Creative's positional audio on the Titanium HD using different games and prefer the sound from the "audio creation mode" which leaves the source unmolested.