Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 – Is The Sound Card Really Dead?

Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5

The Sound BlasterX AE-5 packaging carries the packaging concept we mentioned previously which is instead of sleek minimalist design like we see with many other higher performance audio devices. It shakes things up with a more edgy RGB laden packaging to try and connect with the “gamer crowd” which definitely could make it stand out when on the shelf.

The rear of the package offers information on the discrete headphone amps along with other key features. Even in multiple languages which is quite impressive to have 4 languages worth of spec coverage on a small box. They are pretty efficient in their text usage to get the point across.

 

Here is everything that comes in the box. the accessory box opens up to reveal the following.

  • 5x pamphlets covering warranty, quick start and welcome guide
  • 1x RGB connection/Extension cable
  • 1x Addressable RGB Strip

Here you can see the front and rear of the card. There is not much to see here as it has a metal shield over the front, likely to help shield EMI and ensure nothing interferes with your audio quality.

The rear is PCB with no plating on the back so you can see solder points poking through along with a white silk screening on the PCB to give it a less plain and more aggressive look.

Enough of the outside now, let’s tear her apart and take a look at the guts.

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10 comments

  1. very nice review, you did not mention though, that the direct HP / speaker port will allow for 32bit / 384khz – whereas the other ports are 32/96 πŸ™‚

    love my card, paired with DT 990Pro 250ohm studio headphones.

    alot of onboard audio using the ACL1220 codec for example, will apply audio compression when you enable the equializer, making the sound sound like it is “stopped” from reaching its peak – its terrible, muddy and unclear.

    like you, i found the difference to be like night and day.

  2. I was blown away of how much better the Audio is into my B&O headphones with the AE-5…. Why are Soundcards/DAC’s so forgotten!!!

  3. Well they aren’t lol, nobody remotely interested in audio uses onboard soundcards. There are just a bunch of people online nowadays who follow the “it’s digitial and it all sounds the same”, which is of course nonsense. The best part is that 99,99% of those people have zero experience with remotely high quality headphones or audio setups, and their opinions are based on what someone else told them. Any time someone tells you there is no difference between on-board sound cards and external DAC’s or separate high quality sound card, just block out anything else they say about the topic because they clearly lack basic knowledge and have zero experience, or are just flat out deaf.

    • lol, I tend to agree, but I have also playted in a band in what seems like a previous life… The amount of difference between even the ‘high end’ or tweaked codecs/solutions (I use the word high-end very loosely when referencing any onboard audio) I see quite an improvement even in a simple card like the AE-5. There are far better solutions but for most users, this would be a huge step forward.

  4. “β€œit’s digital and it all sounds the same” The amount of times I have heard this line makes me absolutely cringe. I gave up arguing with people about this sort of stuff. ignorance is bliss for them.

  5. Iam new to this and have the HC V 770 and trying to figure out what software I need to get / edit videos from sd card for facebook or youtube . Please help , thanks

  6. Most of the comments are the usual ridiculous audiophool nonsense one would expect.

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