Creative Labs: new amplifiers for gamers and audiophiles

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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