While immersive audio over headphones is no new invention, it’s good to keep track of which companies are offering these solutions in the context of evolving home theater technology. Creative Technology is the latest to announce such a solution and the Sound Blaster X3 is the newest in a lineup of sound cards which the company says has come to define the quality of PC audio over the past 30 years.
The new product is a hi-res USB DAC with multi-channel playback, and includes Super X-Fi tech which promises to offer ‘holography’ over headphones and simulated 7.1 surround audio with two speakers. The quoted price is $119.99 and available direct from Creative.com.
The Super X-Fi feature recreates the soundstage of a surround speaker system inside headphones, and will personalize it for a “natural listening experience” and while enabling recreation of the sound of a “real cinema.” The unit is also a hi-res, 7.1 multi-channel USB DAC, offering up to 32-bit/192 kHz playback, and features a headphone amplifier capable of driving studio-grade headphones.
As well as a 7.1 discrete channel output, the external sound card also offers 7.1 virtualization on 2 speakers, and there is Dolby Digital Live encoding for connecting optically to external receivers. Surround virtualization technology, meanwhile, can be personalized with EQ presets to suit a listener’s particular requirements.
An Audio Balance switch allows the volume feed to be toggled between two audio sources, meaning PC and Mac users can chat while movie watching or game playing, or even listen to music while gaming. Connectivity allows cross-platform compatibility for PC, Mac, PS4 and Nintendo Switch, and a mobile app avoids having to switch to a desktop for control.
Creative is offering a 15% discount off the Sound Blaster products if you’re upgrading from an old SB sound card. For more information on the SBX3, click here.