Singapore-based Creative Technology has launched the Sound Blaster X1 USB DAC plus headphone amplifier. Available direct from Creative’s online store for $69.99, the “finger” sized device (pictured below), primed for both PCs and Macs, includes the Sound Blaster acoustic engine tech combined with Super X-Fi headphone holography from the SXFI AMP. Creative says the new DAC can deliver multi-channel, high-resolution and immersive audio “down to the last detail”.
The unit is powered by a 128dB AKM4377 32-bit DAC and Ti/Burr-Brown INA1620 dual audio operational amplifier. Access to the acoustic engine is via the Creative desktop app which lays out the suite of sound processing technologies designed for both work and entertainment.Sound Blaster’s surround virtualization promises to provide both depth and range in audio immersion for movies, music and games. A CrystalVoice feature allows smart adjustments during conference calls with volume and acoustic echo controls. There is also a SmartComms Kit for reducing background noise and auto-muting of meeting participants. These features complement a number of audio presets for gamers. Among these is a scout mode for detecting subtle audio cues and bringing them to the fore to keep gamers ahead of their competitors.
Both movie and game enthusiasts will get to use the Super X-Fi headphone holography, which should create a soundstage mimicking a premium multi-speaker setup. Creative claims this tech “redefines” headphone listening with its expansive qualities. Ear-mapping via the SXFI app tailors audio to your particular set of ears, helping to improve immersion with games and movies more naturally. You can get more info on the X1 from Creative here.
Martin, a seasoned journalist and AV expert, has written for several notable print magazines. He’s served in key roles at Lucasfilm’s THX Division, NEC’s digital cinema division, and has even consulted for DreamWorks. Despite his illustrious career, Martin remains rooted in his passion for cinema and acting, with notable appearances in several Spielberg films, Doctor Who, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. He currently resides in San Francisco.
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