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35 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A superb 'ultimate' Soundblaster card - but it's 5.1 only, has similar features to the Vx, and my Arcam rPAC sounds better
My gaming PC had an old Creative Xtreme Gamer XFi soundcard from a previous motherboard that starting crackling on both channels. So I decided to get this Soundblaster ZxR to replace it, as I love gaming and also have a massive iTunes collection ripped from CD to Apple ALAC lossless, plus my son and I are getting into video and sound editing. There are two cards in the...
Published 19 months ago by Keith_Joseph

versus
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not suitable for purpose - mis-sold on Creative's Soundblaster site
I purchased this card, having researched the card on Creative's own site. I needed a card suitable for audio creation. According to the Soundblaster site this card is ideal. They say the card offers "Studio-grade content creation - Add studio quality audio sound tracks or voice tracks to your video clips or home videos created with hardware that uses only...
Published 11 months ago by Steve


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4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfull, 30 April 2013
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This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe Audiophile Grade Gaming Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module (Accessory)
I have been using this piece of equipment few a few months and must say that it has great sound and recording ability, if you want great sound get this!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect., 26 April 2013
By 
JBV "JBV^_^" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe Audiophile Grade Gaming Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module (Accessory)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
While I mostly use my computer for gaming, I also listen to a lot of music and occasionally record my guitar on it.

This is easily the best of the current SB range. I listen to everything through HKs soundstick IIIs and love the way they handle everything from traditional Japanese koto to thrash metal (you do have to be careful with the bass though.) The ZxR is an excellent driver for them.

Unlike the other SB cards, the output sockets for the front left/right speakers are RCA while the surround and sub sockets are 3.5mm. It also has 1/4" sockets which connect to the remote for headphone and mic. The daughter board holds a ADC, two RCA connectors and optical in/out - I can't use either as I don't have any suitable equipment. That may change later in the year.

The desktop remote is a nice addition, it's a pity that the volume control only affects the headphones and can't be used as a general volume control. A nice feature though is the availability of both 3.5mm and 1/4" sockets for both mic and headphone. It also features a built in mic, but with the close proximity of my speakers, it tends to create feedback at even low mic levels. Not too sure I'll be able to solve this due to the amount of equipment on my desk.

If you need a general purpose sound card, I'd recommend the lower end SB-Z/Zx. They're much cheaper and sound nearly as good, especially for gaming. On the other hand, if you need a quality recording set-up, this is the way to go. Even without going through the daughter board, the quality of the recordings are far superior to the lower end cards. It's the price that's stopped me giving the ZxR 5 out of 5. If you need to record or run an external amp, this is a great sound card.
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5.0 out of 5 stars serious enthusiast sound, 22 April 2013
By 
Andrew "impulsive gadget buyer" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe Audiophile Grade Gaming Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module (Accessory)
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I have previously used the recon 3d from Creative and more recently the Creative Z which is a fantastic card that I have previously reviewed. Of the range there is the Z/ZX and this the ZXR.

The primary difference between the Z and ZX is the inclusion of the accessible control module (ACM). A handy desktop volume control and headphones adaptor with built in mic. The benefit of the ACM is clear, it is a direct pass through meaning the sound it pipes through should be as if you are connected direct to the soundcard, thus reducing the chances of any degradation that you might experience using the front ports on your case.

The ZXR however is the top end model aimed at enthusiast/audiophiles and professionals. It features a higher SNR of 124 compared to 116 on the Z/ZX with a much better DAC and a daughter board for optical out for pro analogue to digital conversion as well as optical in for digital recording. The main card even features four changeable op amps for those who want or need to customise.
Installation is straightforward using a free PCIE slot and the software is a breeze to install and get setup. The control panel is very easy to use and laid out in logical, clear sections. You can save profiles too for easy switching depending on what it is you are doing.

Sound quality is fantastic. I was unsure if I would notice much of a difference going form the Z to the ZXR but coupled with my Sennheiser 363's the difference is there and it provides more scope to tailor your listening experience. One thing I particularly like about the ZXR is that you can change the gain for your headphones, and it is the only one of the three cards that will allow it.

This card is simply fantastic. It is very well built and the software is fluid and easy to use. The proof is in the pudding though and the sound it produces is like nothing I have experienced so far. I have mid to high end headphones though which helps me get the best out of it. Unless you have high quality audio kit then I would tend to lean towards the Z or ZX being the fantastic balance between price and performance.

However for an enthusiast or professional I would heartily recommend the ZXR. It is perfectly at home with music, games and recording and chances are that if you are looking at a card of this class you already own, or intend to purchase some high quality kit to go with it (like the Audioengine 5+ speakers).
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best audio card but overkill if just for gaming, 17 April 2013
By 
Canopus72 "canopus72" (frozen popsicle called blighty) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe Audiophile Grade Gaming Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module (Accessory)
I originally purchased the creative Z sound card in November 2012 (see my Amazon review of creative Z). I have been waiting since then to upgrade to the ZXR. After having on order for several months, I finally received this card a few days ago. Physical installation was straight forward. You also have the choice of installing the DB Pro soundcard (if so, you need to attach it by supplied cable to the main audio unit). The DB pro card allows you to connect your pc to an external amp and speaker system. Driver installation for the sound card was very easy.

Now then, the ZXR, ZX and Z have all of the following features in common -

They all run on PCIE3 slots and they all use the creative quad core3D processor. They also utilise creative SBX pro studio support, SBX crystalliser, SBX surround, SBX smart volume, SBX dialogue plus and SBX bass, crystal voice, acoustic cancel, voice focus and noise reduction. All three models also have a dedicated 600 ohm headphone amp, gold plated connectors, dolby digital live and DTS connect.

Now this is where each card differs -

Z = double internal mic instead of ACM, 116DB SNR. No audio control module.

ZX = 116DB SNR, ACM (audio control module) support.

ZXR = 124DB SNR, TI Burr-Brown DAC, swappable op-amps, high quality DB-Pro and DB-Pro support, ACM support. The daughter board (DB-Pro) has 123DB ADC with RCA aux-in and optical outputs (to connect to external amps or other professional audio/music production hardware). The DB-pro card also has the quad core3D processor.

I was very happy with the entry model (Z). It produced noticeably better sound quality than the recon 3D sound blaster card I purchased over a year ago. The ZXR is a step up from the ZX and Z. It produces crystal clear sound reproduction with zero distortion. It is also about 15% louder than the Z (I have to decrease the volume on my Logitech X540 speaker control module). The ZXR has a lot of meat to it, particularly when gaming and listening to music. However, my Logitech X540 is not of the same calibre as the ZXR and I may need to upgrade my pc speaker system to a unit that can make the most of the ZXR. Only after I have upgraded to a high end speaker system, will they be able to extract every ounce of performance from the ZXR (I suspect the sound quality and clarity will show a circa 1.5 fold increase in performance). Another point to note, I am not using the supplied audio control module. I do not need to as, I am using the Logitech X540 control module. I therefore cannot comment on the quality of the ACM.

However, at £182-£200 and bearing in mind the high end TI Burr-Brown DACS, it is overkill if you want to use it purely for gaming, listening to music and watching bluray movies on your pc. In which case, I would highly recommend the ZX or the Z (to be honest, the main sound board for the ZX and Z is exactly the same. The only difference is that the ZX has the audio control module, but the Z does not. All things considered, it is cheaper to buy the entry Z). If you are a serious audiophile and have other audio equipment primarily for music production, audio editing or other audio work or even a high end home cinema, then the ZXR is the one for you, as long as you can afford the hefty price tag.

I have not really experienced any issues with this item, bar one. For some reason, the GUI audio adjustment software seems to switch off every now and then (and this reflects via a massive dip in audio performance). I am not certain why this happens (I never had this problem when I was running my OS on my western digital caviar black HDD). However, I suspect, it may have something to do with my new Samsung 840 SSD as my main boot drive which I installed just two days before I received the ZXR (I was also having issues with AVG internet security 2013 with my new SSD, so I had to uninstall AVG and use an alternative). I have not yet used the software to tweak settings for online gaming. I will get round to it. Either way, if I notice any significant changes (good or bad), I shall update my review accordingly.

Overall, this is a fantastic sound card and I think one that outperforms any Asus sound card (especially the Phoebus!). A must have for any serious audiophile blessed with (reasonably) deep pockets!.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top Sound Card!, 2 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe Audiophile Grade Gaming Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module (Accessory)
Really recommend this card because there are difference especially if you have amp with good speakers like Corsair SP2500 Gaming 2.1 Speaker System or high quality headphones. Perfect card!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This top of the range soundcard produces excellent sound quality whilst offering the ability to customise the ..., 10 Sep 2014
By 
Mr. D. Bell (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe Audiophile Grade Gaming Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module (Accessory)
First rate product for serious audiophiles. This top of the range soundcard produces excellent sound quality whilst offering the ability to customise the sound to suit the individual.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not suitable for purpose - mis-sold on Creative's Soundblaster site, 13 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe Audiophile Grade Gaming Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module (Accessory)
I purchased this card, having researched the card on Creative's own site. I needed a card suitable for audio creation. According to the Soundblaster site this card is ideal. They say the card offers "Studio-grade content creation - Add studio quality audio sound tracks or voice tracks to your video clips or home videos created with hardware that uses only audiophile-grade components such as 123dB analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) with RCA Aux-in and optical inputs for outstanding recording quality. With the 600 ohm headphone ampflier, you can do studio-grade monitoring as well."

Having had a problem with the card, I contacted Soundblaster Customer Services and got the following response!!

"Soundblaster Z (Z, Zx, and ZxR) series soundcards are gaming soundcards and is not meant for audio creation."

So far as I can see this card is seriously being mis-sold.

I am absolutely furious that I have spent a lot of money on a card which apparently is not suitable for purpose!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe Audiophile Grade Gaming Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module (Accessory)
Its a step forward compared with my previous xfi fatality champ.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars couldnt get any better, 18 May 2013
By 
margesimpson "wifi" (sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe Audiophile Grade Gaming Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module (Accessory)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
this is the sound card to have in our opinion its easy to install, a quick driver download to update and your off . the control knob that sits on the desk is a wonderful addition when swapping from microphone, headphones or speakers and its so easy its just plug and play ,we use this primarily for movies and games with some very good headphones of the 3D sound variety and they are much much more effective and clearer with this sound card, in fact the whole family is just very impressed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend it., 17 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe Audiophile Grade Gaming Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module (Accessory)
Very good sound.
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