Sound Blaster X7 to target gamers and audiophiles, Sound Blaster E5 to bring the noise to mobile users
Creative Labs has just announced the availability of a couple of new amplifier products for mobile devices and desktop computers that are designed for those of you who care about audio. It's a welcome return from the company that used to be front of mind in the PC and portable audio scenes.
The one you see here is the Creative Sound Blaster E5.
The Sound Blaster E5 is a portable headphone amplifier that can be used on tablets, smartphones, PCs, and Macs, and with headphones of either low impedance or high impedance. It's capable of high-resolution audio processing up to 24-bit/192kHz, and it's described by Creative as a professional-grade piece of kit. It sure has the price tag to match that boast: it will set you back $300.
It has a USB 2.0 host port, allowing devices to plugged into it, and micro-USB allows for connection to a computer and to charge the Sound Blaster's internal 3200 milliamp-hour battery. Devices such as smartphones can be charged directly by the Sound Blaster, too. You can tap external devices through digital/analogue line input and output ports. Charging is via micro-USB.
You get plenty of audio processing technology built-in, and this can be activated by the SBX button on the side -- mostly for movies and gaming. Audio settings can also be customised via the Sound Blaster Central app for Android and iOS devices.
A large volume control resides on the front and gives it a characteristically serious audio feel. There are also two headphone jacks for sharing the listening love. However, it also features Bluetooth 4.1 Low Energy, and NFC can be used to tap-to-pair.
It can rest in a stand during times when it's connected to your PC or laptop, or when you want to use the built-in microphones.
The Creative Sound Blaster E5 will be available from March 2015.
This is the Sound Blaster X7, which Creative calls the 'biggest, baddest, boldest Sound Blaster ever". It sure looks different, and it has price that will knock you out: $550.
It's designed with audiophile-grade precision for listeners who enjoy the highest quality music output, and for gamers who want to hear every intricate detail of the environment they're immersed in. It supports high-resolution audio, has Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding, and as well as being able to connect via USB, it also features low-latency Bluetooth.
The Sound Blaster X7 can put out 100W via its Class-D amplifier (2x 50W at 4 ohms), so you can connect your favourite bookshelf or floor-standing speakers to it. It will also accommodate a surround sound PC speaker system, and you can hook up gaming consoles, a receiver, or any other component of your choice via optical connections.
The Sound Blaster X7 is for all devices: computers, consoles, smartphones, tablets, and TVs. It even comes with a little headphone stand for your convenience. Look for it in retail stores from March 2015.
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