Legacy = Future Ready
Onboard sound cards are becoming more popular than ever. "Good Enough" is a sad trend in PC audio. When it comes to hardware manufacturers, something that has become quite the dig on companies that have been around for along time, is to throw them in the 'legacy' category. I hear it almost daily in several hardware categories. With experience comes refinement and I'm totally cool with that so, call Creative labs 'legacy' all day long but no one matches them in what they are doing in the PC audio arena. With the Sound BlasterX AE-5, Creative Labs, who's been there since the dawn of modern PC gaming, shows that they know how to deliver quality, groundbreaking products yet not stray from their solid legacy which has become the standard in gaming. Sound quality with the AE-5 was absolutely unmatched and details in the Destiny 2 beta, Battlefield 1 and many others were laser sharp and crystal-clear.
16.8 Million Yes, But What About Billions?!
The sexy in PC hardware as of late has been bold and sharp-edged design with the AE-5 has in spades, especially with the black or white styles of the card, but also being able to customize lighting appearance on said hardware. With their Aurora Reactive lighting system, you can customize 'til the cows come home, or, until Grandma kicks you out of the basement for not paying rent.
Sexy Specs and Features
If you are a serious gamer and you are tired of the chintzy sound of your onboard sound card or outdated generic chipset, check out the AE-5 that retails for $149.99. Your eyes will thank you and the sonic clarity in games will blow you away. In the meantime, check out some of the sexy specs and features below from Creative Labs:
Xamp Discrete Headphone Amp
Delivering an industry-leading gaming headphone amplification experience, the on-board headphone amplifier is custom-built using discrete transistors and audiophile-grade WIMA® film/foil capacitors in a dual-amp design to satisfy the most demanding needs of today’s intense games and high-resolution audio. Experience the difference of a discrete dual-amp design as each audio channel is individually amplified to deliver pristine, uncompromised audio. Plus, the high heat resistance of the German-made WIMA capacitors greatly reduces noise and audio interference. The Xamp’s ultra low 1Ω output impedance also makes it perfectly capable of driving sensitive in-ear monitors as well as studio-grade headphones from 16Ω to 600Ω.
122dB DNR Sabre-Class DAC with Industry Leading Audio Processing
At the heart of the Sound BlasterX AE-5 sound card is the quad-core Sound Core3D audio DSP and a 122dB ESS Sabre-Class DAC that instantly boosts regular motherboard audio with up to 32 times more clarity. The premium audiophile-grade DAC with its high dynamic range indulges users with up to 32-bit/384kHz lossless playback and true audio fidelity for high-definition audio in games, movies, and music.
Updated, refined and perfected through years of being the leader in sound processing, Creative’s AE-5 is feature-packed with the latest and greatest version of Creative’s award-winning audio processing and algorithms that improve music, movie and gaming experiences. The legendary Sound Blaster technologies provide fully customizable DSP-powered audio enhancements, crystal-clear vocal reproduction, in-game voice communication enhancements, 7.1 virtual surround sound and other advanced audio technologies.
World’s First Sound Card with Integrated RGB Controller Powered by Aurora Reactive Lighting System
The Sound BlasterX AE-5 card is the first sound card to feature a built-in RGB controller that comes with the Aurora Reactive Lighting System. A separate RGB lighting system could set a user back by at least USD 50, but now, this is built into the card itself with the AE-5: giving users amazing value and performance for their system. This also means that valuable space within a gamer’s desktop can be saved for other components.
The RGB controller, powered by Creative’s very own Aurora Reactive Lighting System, not only lights up the card through the PCB, but also gives gamers the flexibility to build their dream gaming rig by connecting up to four LED strips to match the awesome sound with an awesome light show. The fully customizable Aurora Reactive Lighting System allows users to choose from multiple presets or program it with up to 16.8 million colors and various rhythms to choose from, using the Sound Blaster Connect PC software.
All New Scout 2.0 Feature
Scout 2.0 is an upgraded version of the Creative’s well-received Scout Mode feature – Scout 2.0 now also includes Scout Radar.
Scout Radar is a smart companion that enables gamers to visualize and pinpoint their enemy’s position on a Scout Radar app with the user’s smart device, while Scout Mode lets gamers hear their enemies before they are seen.
The all new Scout 2.0 feature is sure to give gamers that added winning edge.
5.1 Discrete Speaker System Support
The Sound BlasterX AE-5 comes with support for a full-fledged discrete 5.1 speaker set-up, enabling gamers to enjoy the full potential of surround sound in today's entertainment content.