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Creative Sound Blaster AE-7 Hi-Res DAC/AMP Sound Card Review - MMORPG.com

SystemSystem Member UncommonPosts: 3,129

imageCreative Sound Blaster AE-7 Hi-Res DAC/AMP Sound Card Review - MMORPG.com

Do you need a dedicated sound card in 2019? Creative thinks so and is out to prove it with the brand new Sound Blaster AE-7 Hi-Res DAC/Amp PCI-e sound card. It features premium components, custom audio enhancements, a set of specs to make any audiophile proud, and a desktop audio control module to keep the control at your fingertips. We went hands-on to find out the answer for ourselves.

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Comments

  • JeffSpicoliJeffSpicoli Member EpicPosts: 2,837
    I loveeee music and audio on general, I love it in games as well. Are sound cards still a thing ? Is this worth the investment. I need real talk from the community here.
    • Aloha Mr Hand ! 

  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 10,823
    Have a sound blaster Z, which tbh is more than good enough. The difference between that and the standard stuff you get with mobo's these days is large, there is more depth to the sound reproduction in not just games, but generally. To warrant the higher end soundblasters though, i think you would also have to invest some serious money in some high end speakers etc. too. ;)
    JeffSpicoli
  • Maxstone1Maxstone1 Member UncommonPosts: 47
    edited July 30
    It being a must ties into several factors including your own ability to hear a different range of frequencies than the person next to you. Not everyone will get their full mileage out of the card but those who already know they are happier with a more technical setup will want to consider some kind of add-on solution like this.
    JeffSpicoli
  • JeffSpicoliJeffSpicoli Member EpicPosts: 2,837
    edited July 30

    Phry said:

    Have a sound blaster Z, which tbh is more than good enough. The difference between that and the standard stuff you get with mobo's these days is large, there is more depth to the sound reproduction in not just games, but generally. To warrant the higher end soundblasters though, i think you would also have to invest some serious money in some high end speakers etc. too. ;)



    This kind of has me excited to try exploring sound cards. Iv been a casual PC enthusiast ( if such a thing exists) for years i never even considered exploring sound cards. Im going to shop around, any suggestions ?
    • Aloha Mr Hand ! 

  • GazimoffGazimoff Staff WriterMember UncommonPosts: 225
    To add to the other comments here, I’d agree that getting good speakers and/or headphones is an absolute must to get the best from a sound card like this (or any in the $150+ bracket). We’ve reviewed a number of headphones and speaker units (Chris has done most of them), and Massdrop do some very good deals. If you’re still using your $30 Skullkandys, factor in an upgrade before you splash out.
    JeffSpicoli
    Player of games, smither of words, former of opinions, and masher of keys. WildStar Columnist
    Currently playing: WildStar, Guild Wars 2, EVE Online, Vain Glory.
  • ceratop001ceratop001 Member RarePosts: 1,588
    Dac chip is fairly decent. A Dac needs to be isolated and the internal clock is very important if you want good sound quality. A separate power supply is usually the way way high end dacs are powered. You can upgrade your power supply in your computer. Power actually makes a huge difference in sound quality. Worth a shot it isn't terribly expensive...
    JeffSpicoliTorval
     
  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 10,823




    Phry said:


    Have a sound blaster Z, which tbh is more than good enough. The difference between that and the standard stuff you get with mobo's these days is large, there is more depth to the sound reproduction in not just games, but generally. To warrant the higher end soundblasters though, i think you would also have to invest some serious money in some high end speakers etc. too. ;)






    This kind of has me excited to try exploring sound cards. Iv been a casual PC enthusiast ( if such a thing exists) for years i never even considered exploring sound cards. Im going to shop around, any suggestions ?



    I can certainly recommend the soundblaster Z, its not 'cheap' but its 'cheaper' than some of the higher end sounblasters, my speakers are in the under £100 bracket, which is good, but not the type of high end speakers you would likely need to get the full benefit of the higher end soundblasters. Having got used to the one i have though, i can't imagine going back to not having a soundcard!
    JeffSpicoli
  • gervaise1gervaise1 Member EpicPosts: 6,168
    Someone with "low" quality headphones and on-board sound would, imo, be better off buying "better" headphones first. Should give a decent jump in quality for less cost.

    Another option would be to think about the on-board sound chip on the motherboard. Motherboards with better on-board sound might cost $20, maybe even $50 more - which will also add other features - but should be cheaper than this card.

    Which also highlights a problem for Creative Labs: on-board sound is improving. Making it harder and harder to justify a dedicated card.

    On-board sound quality would probably improve faster if this feature of motherboards got more attention as well.
    Torval
  • skeaserskeaser Member UncommonPosts: 3,949
    I run my audio through my GPU and it sounds good (in games that have good soundtracks). I don't see the need for sound cards anymore and I don't feel like having to have separate audio and video cables again.
  • SandmanjwSandmanjw Member UncommonPosts: 200
    This is one of those areas where if you want to have better than "good" sound on a computer...you need both a sound card and speakers.

    And not a $50.00 pair of speakers:)

    Is it worth spending $3-$400.00 dollars? For most, no. If you use your system to listen to music a lot...maybe...but anything you can do on your computer, i think you can do better and cheaper on a decent stereo system.

    And for anyone that really wants to go wild and spend more...naw, waste of money going the computer route IMO.

    I would say go to a good store and try out some nice headphones first.  The vast majority of people today that use a computer would barely be able to notice the difference between built on sound and a sound card.

    Sound cards have there place...but it is one of those things that if you do not know if you would need one? Then the answer is no most likely.
  • jacksonmonroesjacksonmonroes Newbie Posts: 0

    One of the things that pushed me to getting the Fiio E10k DAC was that it's just a generic USB device, so long as the OS is vaguely competent and supports USB audio at all, it'll work without any bullshit. The only annoying thing with it is that they put a bright blue LED in a position that's hard to cover with tape.


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