EVGA NU vs Soundblaster X AE-5/9?

IceDigger

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Messages
11,168
Looking to finally replace my old Audigy RX.

Have not looked at sound cards in a while.

How are these cards?

EVGA NU
Soundblaster X AE-5
Soundblaster X AE-9

I have a set of klipsch 2.1 that are still rockin.
 

OFaceSIG

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
2,516
Every review I've read about the EVGA is that it's really good. The sound blasters will provide better audio than onboard with better virtual surround. But for pure audio quality, I bet the EVGA has cleaner output.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2004
Messages
821
Ae9 with burson opamps. Audio ouput is great but input mic is much more ordinary to bad depending on the mic.
 

tungt88

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Messages
2,087

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,710
Yeah, I like externals myself (my Sound Blaster X7 LE is still holding up nicely after all these years) ... not sure about the AE-9, but the EVGA NU & AE-5 got decent to good reviews from Amir @ audiosciencereview:

EVGA NU Audio Review

Sound BlasterX AE-5
Some of the Creative stuff is starting to look pretty good, and it's hard to find fault with the EVGA NU cards (except for them being cards, of course), but at the same time, there really isn't anything that competes against something like a Mayflower Arc II as a simple yet absurdly capable 'gaming audio interface'. The Schiit Hel looks pretty good too.
 

Astral Abyss

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 15, 2004
Messages
2,889
The Nu Audio is a great card. The output is super clean. It pulls power from a SATA connector vs the motherboard. An XMOS xCORE 200 runs things and the AK4493 DAC is quite good as well. You actually get a lot for your money. Also, the op-amps are swap-able, if that's your thing.

I'm also a big fan of Schiit Audio, (own the Yggdrasil and Ragnarok) so the Hel would be my choice for external DAC/amp. Bought a Fulla for my father for Christmas a couple years ago and it was way better than I thought it would be. Powers his Sennheiser 58x's loud and clean.
 

p3sty

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
2,430
ok dumb question what kind of interface comes with the hell? If your using this for gaming do you need a sound card to drive it or does it have its own implementation plug and play?
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,710
ok dumb question what kind of interface comes with the hell? If your using this for gaming do you need a sound card to drive it or does it have its own implementation plug and play?
USB; works the same as a USB headset or USB speakers or...
 

|-Goku-|

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
1,752
Hey OP, what did you end up getting? I've currently got a Sound Blaster Z, but I'm having issues with it randomly changing the audio channels. Which I have heard is an issue with these cards. I've ordered an EVGA Nu Audio card, and was curious what others thoughts on it were.
 

Zepher

[H]ipster Replacement
Joined
Sep 29, 2001
Messages
18,159
Hey OP, what did you end up getting? I've currently got a Sound Blaster Z, but I'm having issues with it randomly changing the audio channels. Which I have heard is an issue with these cards. I've ordered an EVGA Nu Audio card, and was curious what others thoughts on it were.
Do you mean switching from 5.1 to 2.1? or is it swapping left and right?
 

WorldExclusive

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 26, 2009
Messages
11,147
Hey OP, what did you end up getting? I've currently got a Sound Blaster Z, but I'm having issues with it randomly changing the audio channels. Which I have heard is an issue with these cards. I've ordered an EVGA Nu Audio card, and was curious what others thoughts on it were.
I ordered two Nu cards and couldn't get the drivers to install. I told EVGA to stop selling it.
They offer no help in fixing the issue. The card is recognized as a USB input and the driver will ask you to uninstall and install the card back in to finish installation.

But being seen as a USB connection, the driver can't recognize it being uninstalled.
I bought one new from Amazon and another for $65 from EVGA B-Stock. Still wasn't worth keeping.
 

Astral Abyss

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 15, 2004
Messages
2,889
I ordered two Nu cards and couldn't get the drivers to install. I told EVGA to stop selling it.
They offer no help in fixing the issue. The card is recognized as a USB input and the driver will ask you to uninstall and install the card back in to finish installation.

But being seen as a USB connection, the driver can't recognize it being uninstalled.
I bought one new from Amazon and another for $65 from EVGA B-Stock. Still wasn't worth keeping.
That's odd. I have one and love it. Never had any trouble with the drivers.

Edit: Also, it uses XMOS USB interface which is super common in audio devices. Way better and cleaner sound than my previous SB card.
 

WorldExclusive

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 26, 2009
Messages
11,147
That's odd. I have one and love it. Never had any trouble with the drivers.

Edit: Also, it uses XMOS USB interface which is super common in audio devices. Way better and cleaner sound than my previous SB card.
I searched everywhere for a solution, others have it as well, but EVGA doesn't offer any help with it.
I will have to go back to the older ASUS STX but they are overpriced now. Looking into a PreSonus Studio DAC.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
986
I got the AE-9 with a 20% discount from Creative (using the serial from my old, old SoundBlaster). I think it sounds fantastic with my PreSonus monitors and I’ve only had one issue outside of ASIO/guitar latency woes (but that has happened for me with all audio cards/chips — though I had more than decent experience with a Diamond XS71HD), and it was when I upgraded the Command software two weeks ago. Took a couple reboots for it to recognize the card again (card was still fully functional).

I had been “bitter” about Aureal for what feels like an eternity but decided to finally let it go.
 

tungt88

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Messages
2,087
I got the AE-9 with a 20% discount from Creative (using the serial from my old, old SoundBlaster). I think it sounds fantastic with my PreSonus monitors and I’ve only had one issue outside of ASIO/guitar latency woes (but that has happened for me with all audio cards/chips — though I had more than decent experience with a Diamond XS71HD), and it was when I upgraded the Command software two weeks ago. Took a couple reboots for it to recognize the card again (card was still fully functional).

I had been “bitter” about Aureal for what feels like an eternity but decided to finally let it go.

I've been (slowly) hearing some good things abou the AE-9 series, but passed on it some months back, in favor of the SMSL M500 external DAC/AMP (I previously had a Sound Blaster X7 Limited Edition).
 

|-Goku-|

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
1,752
I ordered two Nu cards and couldn't get the drivers to install. I told EVGA to stop selling it.
They offer no help in fixing the issue. The card is recognized as a USB input and the driver will ask you to uninstall and install the card back in to finish installation.

But being seen as a USB connection, the driver can't recognize it being uninstalled.
I bought one new from Amazon and another for $65 from EVGA B-Stock. Still wasn't worth keeping.
Strange. I purchased the Nu Audio from EVGA for $129 brand new, and haven't had a single issue. Was even enough to make my friend with the Blaster Z switch to it as well, and he hasn't had any issues either. Will probably avoid all Creative hardware from now on to be honest.
Do you mean switching from 5.1 to 2.1? or is it swapping left and right?
It was switching the channels around. So, in 5.1, sometimes the subwoofer would switch to my left channel, right channel would be coming from the center, etc... It looks like it is something to do with Creative and the X470 and X570 Chipset. Never had an issue in my friends Z490 Intel build. Creative blames AMD and has no real solution for it. Ended up switching to the EVGA Nu Audio and have had no issues since.
 
Top