Sound BlasterX AE-5 Review: Final Thoughts and Rating
Creative Labs makes a great argument for upgrading to a discrete sound card with the Sound BlasterX AE-5. The Xamp headphone amplifier's discrete amplification circuit really brings headphones to life. It’s virtual 7.1 produces convincing positional audio without the need for gaming-specific headphones with a ton of discrete drivers. This lets you use high-quality headphones for music and gaming at the flip of a driver panel setting.
At $150, the Sound Blaster AE-5 is worth every penny and can still teach an dog old set of headphones new tricks. Creative Labs faces tough competition from other manufacturers with USB gaming headsets sporting discrete 7.1 drivers, but less is more when it comes to audio. The Sound BlasterX AE-5 shows audio nirvana for music, gaming and movies is achievable with two drivers, a good amplifier and DSP. Not to mention there's the nostalgia of installing a new Sound Blaster in your PC, as you did a decade or two ago.