Long ago, when computers were big ugly boxes dirty beige, play a sound, they could not default. Well, unless, of course, except for the sound of system dynamics. To add a sound had to insert a sound card that has cost dearly. When in the mid-nineties attended to this issue, the most simple variant of unknown origin was worth about $ 50 and more than decent – production Creative – in the region of 200. I bought a simple because decent would absorb almost the entire salary.
Then came the sound of integrated motherboards, and five years from the strange little use makeweight he turned into quite a decent alternative to the sound card. So decent that sometimes I even used only integrated solution, and it seems to be even happy. But then out of curiosity set in the system unit Creative Sound Blaster Z, and have not pulled back. The difference was radical. Even the words did not really pick up. I remember in one of the letters in “Computer” that is published in his “garden” Yevgeny Kozlovsky, I compared the effect of a new card on the chip Aureal Vortex with removal from the speakers of a thick layer of felt. Tambourine before something unintelligible – and suddenly erupted details, the presence of which had no idea. Here again something like that. Of course, there are motherboards with discrete audio chip, and I even saw one where to heighten the quality of the lamp installed, but in the majority of cases, installing Sound Blaster more than justified. Of course, if you play a lot on the computer or listening to music. Typewriter excesses to anything.
But if in the case of a large computer everything is simple and clear, with a laptop start complexity. The audio part in 95% of them on a scale drawn to very liquid C grade. Actually, it’s the same integrated sound, as in the desktop, only further strangled in order to save energy and reduce the cost of construction. Traditionally good sound in laptops Apple. In some Ultrabooks can find decent speakers, especially if the manufacturers are collaborating with some audio random. But a headphone not, and there’s usually all pretty sad.
More precisely, how sad? If you connect headphones for a couple of thousand, all will be quite harmonious. Dissatisfaction arises only owners really decent technique, but is a lot of them? That’s especially for them by Creative and made an external sound card Sound Blaster E5. It not only dramatically improves audio playback on a laptop or PC, but also has a very nice twist.
But about the dried fruit in the end, but for now – the main thing. E5 is based on the production of DAC CS4398 Cirrus Logic. It works with 24-bit audio at a sampling rate up to 192 kHz. Signal / noise ratio up to 120 dB. For all sorts of special effects, such as changes in voice, echo, etc., uses its own coprocessor SB-Axx1. For his work with headphones, amplifier meets Texas Instrument TI6120A2, through which the device works even with 600-ohm models. At the same time declares support for headphones with ultra-low resistance to 2.2 ohms. Let me remind you that in most mass models resistance value is in the range of 16 to 64 ohms and 2.2 ohms – this is for very specific hypersensitive inserts. I personally in such hands and ears until the fall.
Promised also (jitter-free) playback. In real life, this does not hot and not cold, but if you suddenly decide to mount on the computer sound or video with multiple audio tracks, then this feature is useful E5.
The very sound card (or sound box, if you call a spade a spade) is comparable in size with a pack of cigarettes elongated. The user-purpose input and output, which can be either analog or optical. Responsible for writing one more chip – Cirrus Logic CS5361 (114 dB, 192 kHz). Also can be connected to the input of the microphone, if you are short of three (!) Built. Such an amount is required to ensure the function CrystalVoice: E5 trained to operate in a wireless headset and cuts your voice at all from all the extraneous noise. Two stereo microphones write, and another one just need to cut off the excess.
On one of the faces is a power button SBX, which makes the sound bright and cheerful. I was always annoyed by such things, so I did not include, and you do not advise it. In the neighborhood Prytula lever toggle headphone amplifier. The default setting is 2.2-120 ohms (gain up to 5 dB), and in High mode, get 120-600 ohms and up to 15 dB. Front, except for a large volume control, there was a place two headphone jacks. So if your girl audiophile too, will be able to enjoy together.
To PC Sound Blaster E5 is connected to USB 2.0, and is controlled in the same way as the internal solution. Even turning the volume knob affects the level of sound in the computer. More importantly, provides full compatibility with the “poppies”.
As for the sound, it is very good. Purely subjective level Sound Blaster Z, which stands for my computer. I once again a little difficult to with the selection of words, because “rich”, “beautiful”, “brighter” – seems to be not quite sound terms. Just imagine that you have long looked on the big screen, DVD, and then suddenly tried to Blu-ray. So after a standard integrated sound, you will have the feeling that dramatically once all prettier. Bass, view, detail, and volume. And back has not felt strong.
But decent external sound solutions on the market quite a lot. The same Creative releases their first year and plenty of competitors. So why am I drew attention to the E5?
Because this unit in addition to the standard functionality of such devices solves the problem of sound quality in mobile devices – tablets and smartphones. They default still an order of magnitude worse than laptops. The general background of nice stand “iPhones”, but high-impedance headphones they will not pull even. Nice sound Lumia 920 and 1020, but this is quite rare beasts. There are a number of devices on Android, which is not ashamed to listen to music in lossless format (LG G2, Meizu MX4), but to the evil they have non-expandable onboard memory, and a lot of good there not record.
In the presence of E5 to listen to music in excellent quality possible with any smartphone. Generally any. If it supports NFC, simply attach the unit to the appropriate icon. If not, go through the normal procedure of pairing via Bluetooth. Then you headphones from your smartphone Sound Blaster E5 and begin to wonder. The intensity of the surprise may be different. If more or less luck with your smartphone will be just so much better. If you are lucky average, risk of delight run through the ceiling. No, seriously – the sound is changing radically. Starting with a stock volume and ending nowhere grafted bass. When the first enthusiasm subsides, you may notice that the Creative little swindles, exposing the most notable, according to the developers, the details of the sound. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Probably the not very fastidious listener can never dig into the default settings because still good. But maniacs can install Sound Blaster Central, which is available for Android and iOS. And already there to play with the audio profile, equalizer and much more than.
The problem is to convey high-quality sound over Bluetooth, is long gone. The only question is the power electronics that will convert the data back into the sound, and the battery capacity that will feed this electronics. In this case, a full order on all counts: in the Sound Blaster E5 battery is built on 3200 mAh, which is enough for 8 hours of playback with Bluetooth-connected. Moreover, there is a standard USB-connector, from which a smartphone can be recharged during the audition. Or not a smartphone, here it depends on the user.
Again, external sound cards did decently. But the Sound Blaster E5 – the thing much more interesting. In fact, in one compact package united sound card to your PC / Mac and versatile audio path for all mobile devices. Usage scenarios are quite a few: the overall improvement of the audio portion of a personal computer, listening to music in headphones good without buying a separate Hi-Fi player, record podcasts and chat with Skype in noisy environments. E5 also you can take it to the places where you may need to upgrade the computer’s audio short – for example if you decide to have a friend’s apartment to record a few tracks. Connects all instantly snap to the platform is virtually absent. Convenient!
In the US, this model costs $ 199 without taxes (10.8% more). In America, the price is about the same 14-15 thousand rubles. Of course, as a spontaneous purchase “just in case” Sound Blaster E5 suitable medium. But if you are providing high sound quality from the usual, and occasionally worried that your technique is not up to the desired level – a suitable option. Especially that one shot you kill several birds with one stone.
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