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Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D Review

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l3v1ck 24th October 2011, 09:16 Quote
Sounds promising, but there's no way I'd buy a huge external device like that.
I'd either want the PCIe version or a much smaller external version, much like the later external X-Fi's which were no bigger than a USB thumb drive.
The 3D effect over stereo headphones is especially interesting as I use bud earphones while gaming.
law99 24th October 2011, 09:32 Quote
Sounds like a rip off to me. Just a headphone out? £80? No. Thanks.
xaser04 24th October 2011, 09:56 Quote
Whilst I can see the appeal the unit is FAR too large (especially given the sparse PCB) and arguably too expensive to see mass market appeal - something we can only assume Creative are pushing for aiming this at consoles.

Perhaps creative should get onboard with some of the big motherboard manufacturers to see if they could get this (these?) audio chip on mid-to-high end motherboards on a large scale.
law99 24th October 2011, 10:44 Quote
If this costed £40 to £80 more and came with a surround headset, I'd understand the product a bit more.

To me it looks like a gimmick for those who don't know any better.
edzieba 24th October 2011, 13:14 Quote
As far as I can tell, it's a stereo soundcard with a built-in HRTF (interesting for a console, totally pointless for a PC where you can do it in software). Very little for your £90.
srgtherasta 24th October 2011, 14:02 Quote
Creatives hardware has always been pretty good, it's there woeful drivers that's the problem. After having a xfi for 2 years and never having a problem, then getting the hiss/crackle problem that creative blamed on every thing else apart from the weather. I would never buy creative again. D2x all the way
Woodspoon 24th October 2011, 14:26 Quote
seems like an expensive gimmick aimed at console owners
damien c 24th October 2011, 14:51 Quote
I must say the Creative card's are extremely good, but they are heavily let down by the drivers.

I have a Creative X-Fi Fidelity Card, and I cannot use it because the drivers cause to many issues.

I stick now to my Asus Xonar DX card.
sotu1 24th October 2011, 15:22 Quote
Genuinely interested here. How easy is it to switch between the PS3/Xbox/PC? Does it mean reaching behind each platform everytime I want to change platforms? Or Just a little switch on that remote thingy? Got great headphones already but love improving my sound.
Baz 24th October 2011, 16:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
Genuinely interested here. How easy is it to switch between the PS3/Xbox/PC? Does it mean reaching behind each platform everytime I want to change platforms? Or Just a little switch on that remote thingy? Got great headphones already but love improving my sound.

Yes, you'll need to switch the unit over to the console, with the optical audio cable and USB power connection, which will involve reaching behind You'll also need a long 3.5mm headphone jack, as the included one is short and isn't sofa friendly.
Waynio 24th October 2011, 18:54 Quote
I'd love a good quality usb sound card that could rival my auzentech prelude x-fi so I could happily switch over to mini-ATX, got to have ok gpu & sound card :) or better yet, nice quality onboard audio instead of the usual rubbish.

I feel like this isn't it though, I tried 1 of the x-fi external ones a while ago & found it to be no good.
stoff3r 24th October 2011, 19:24 Quote
This unit tells me that all the capacitors, electrodes and capacitors and what not on the bigger cards, like the creative X-fi xtreme gamer edition, is just for show and does nothing to enhance soundquality on digital sound. What you do get with an expensive soundcard is silence, no background noise.

However I have never really felt any different connecting my hifi headsets to creatives soundcards vs onboard audio like nvidias "soundstorm" etc.

Invest money in an expensive headset to get good audio, then buy a soundcard if it's on sale later.
Coltch 24th October 2011, 20:13 Quote
Certainly won't replace my X-fi Elite pro, unfortunately it's going to get harder to use that card with PCI slots disappearing!. Best £100 I ever spent was on the Elite Pro

Sent from Bittech Android app
wafflesomd 24th October 2011, 21:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio
I'd love a good quality usb sound card that could rival my auzentech prelude x-fi so I could happily switch over to mini-ATX, got to have ok gpu & sound card :) or better yet, nice quality onboard audio instead of the usual rubbish.

I feel like this isn't it though, I tried 1 of the x-fi external ones a while ago & found it to be no good.

If you only need stereo output with no silly dolby or x-fi stuff then you options are pretty much unlimited.

http://www.amazon.com/Creative-MU-8740A-Audio-Interface/dp/B004GJXTQS

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoff3r
This unit tells me that all the capacitors, electrodes and capacitors and what not on the bigger cards, like the creative X-fi xtreme gamer edition, is just for show and does nothing to enhance soundquality on digital sound.

How the hell did you reach that conclusion? Do you have any experience with circuitry?
sear 24th October 2011, 22:29 Quote
That's pretty damn expensive for what is effectively an HRTF and dynamic EQ processor. Looks like a ripoff to me.
stoff3r 24th October 2011, 22:32 Quote
No I have no experience what so ever. But it seems as though this does allmost the same job with no capacitors or the extra circuitry, thus rendering them useless... Also, after what I have experienced with a wide variety of both high and low quallity stereo outputs is that you'll need a pretty good amplifier to really notice the difference in soundquality. Buying a good or different headset on the other hand, will give you extreme differences right away.

I may be on the top of my head here but it's just what I have experienced or "heard" through the years, buying soundcards and mp3 players yet not noticing changes in sound other than the omission of "hiss".

I currently have the X-fi xtreme gamer fatal1ty ed. just for the record.
Waynio 24th October 2011, 22:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflesomd
If you only need stereo output with no silly dolby or x-fi stuff then you options are pretty much unlimited.

http://www.amazon.com/Creative-MU-8740A-Audio-Interface/dp/B004GJXTQS

G-Tek said similar a while ago to me, looks like I have some research to do, cheers wafflesomd ;).
Th3Maverick 25th October 2011, 05:18 Quote
Actually, a hi-fi DAC (as defined by 24/96 bitrate) with only a headphone out, no mic in, and none of the extra features of this card generally *start* around $150. So to me, this seems like a pretty damn good deal.
rogerrabbits 25th October 2011, 06:03 Quote
Up yours Creative.
fluxtatic 25th October 2011, 06:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoff3r
No I have no experience what so ever. But it seems as though this does allmost the same job with no capacitors or the extra circuitry, thus rendering them useless... Also, after what I have experienced with a wide variety of both high and low quallity stereo outputs is that you'll need a pretty good amplifier to really notice the difference in soundquality. Buying a good or different headset on the other hand, will give you extreme differences right away.

I may be on the top of my head here but it's just what I have experienced or "heard" through the years, buying soundcards and mp3 players yet not noticing changes in sound other than the omission of "hiss".

I currently have the X-fi xtreme gamer fatal1ty ed. just for the record.

Well, let me take a guess that a manufacturer isn't going to screen out a pcb and solder a bunch of useless components to it just to make it look good. I'd be more impressed by a nearly naked PCB that produced amazing sound than one loaded with components, personally. Not that I'm all that impressed by this glorified headphone amp, mind you. I'm just saying, maybe chalk it up advances in tech? Remember when PCs had off-die memory controllers and actual, discrete north bridges? Kinda like that.
jhng 25th October 2011, 08:15 Quote
Thanks for the review.

Did you get a chance to try it out for recording incoming audio? It would be interesting to know whether the a/d converters are worthwhile.
MBCH 1st November 2011, 11:15 Quote
What a joke of a soundcard. Huge as a brick and the optical out I thought it has is actually an optical IN. Completely useless to me and prolly most people.
LedHed 4th November 2011, 20:18 Quote
"The Sound Core3D chip at the Recon3D’s heart is much, much smaller than the old X-Fi audio processors, but boasts a four-core design that combines a digital signal processor (DSP), digital-to-analogue converters (DACs) and analogue to digital converters (ADCs) that enable it to handle audio as ably as its PCI-E, resistor-covered forebears."

You would expect someone posting reviews for Bit-Tech to know the difference between a resistor and a capacitor. I'm not saying they have to know how they work, but at least know what they look like....

The "resistor-covered forebears" should say capacitor-covered forebears.
LedHed 4th November 2011, 20:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoff3r
This unit tells me that all the capacitors, electrodes and capacitors and what not on the bigger cards, like the creative X-fi xtreme gamer edition, is just for show and does nothing to enhance soundquality on digital sound. What you do get with an expensive soundcard is silence, no background noise.

However I have never really felt any different connecting my hifi headsets to creatives soundcards vs onboard audio like nvidias "soundstorm" etc.

Invest money in an expensive headset to get good audio, then buy a soundcard if it's on sale later.

Almost all of the higher end models (like Auzentech) feature solid capacitors and high end circuitry to always lower THD and improve signal quality overall. If a capacitor or resistor is "added for show" the voltage or amperage would blow something, since that is what resistors and capacitors influence. You can't just throw resistors and caps on a board like heat sinks...
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