It’s A New Sound Blaster! The X5 Hi-Res Dual DAC USB Sound Card

Source: Hardware Asylum It’s A New Sound Blaster!  The X5 Hi-Res Dual DAC USB Sound Card

Sounds Like It’s Time To Upgrade

If you have been hoping for a new Sound Blaster sound card, it has been a long drought but your wait is finally over.  The new X5 Hi-Res Dual DAC USB sound card is available, for a price of $280 directly from Sound Blaster.  That will get you dual Cirrus Logic CS43198 DACs with TOSLINK Optical, RCA and USB A and C.  In addition to that your headphones can be connected to the Xamp headphone bi-amplifier either with an unbalanced 3.5mm or a balanced 4.4mm jack.  The inputs match the output choices, with an additional 3.5mm microphone jack, making it an all in one audio solution.

As to the quality of the audio, Hardware Asylum were more than impressed with how the X5 Hi-Res Dual DAC USB compared to the Sound Blaster X7 that they were using previously.  As with the majority of Sound Blaster products, they will work straight out of the box, but if you want to get the most out of it you will need to install some software.  The Creative App will extend the options on your PC and is also available on Android and iOS to link it up to your gaming console.

All shall be revealed with this link.

In this review will be looking at the new Sound Blaster X5 Hi-res External Dual DAC USB Sound Card with Fully Balanced Xamp Headphone Bi-amplifier for Audiophiles. The X5 is the current top of the Creative external DAC/Amp line and offers a fully featured solution for all your PC and console audio needs.

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it,, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.


  1. Fwank

    You can pay $120 for an Atom amp and an Apple USB-C to 3.5mm adapter as a DAC and get audiophile quality headphone sound you couldn’t distinguish between in A/B testing.

    • Jake

      No lmao u wished

      • LegoGuy23

        But you can though.
        Believe it or not, the Apple dongle measures quite well in objective metrics.
        Despite the marketing, DACs are all quite good nowadays. It’s really just the Amp (if you even need one) that would matter.

        • Sebastian Peak

          The Apple dongle is probably OK from just the DAC standpoint, but the amp (amplification passthrough via the phone, I realize) is woeful. I get labeled a “snob” but I can’t even listen with $69 headphones without noticing a huge loss of bass. They just don’t have the power, and the dongle is really only good for easy to drive things like typical earbuds. Though, a pair of Koss Portapro headphones sound OK with the dongle, honestly.

          • LegoGuy23

            I do agree with you. I was referring to it’s potential merely as a DAC, ignoring its power output level. Though for most low impedance IEMs, it’s more than enough.

            Myself, I use the Schiit IEMagni as my desktop amp (essentially the same amplification circuitry as the current gen Magni Heritic) and it’s excellent. Cheap and virtually transparent amplification.

    • Tony Neville

      Where’s the mic input and mic gain functionality on the Atom amp?

      • LegoGuy23

        Good point.
        If you need a high quality output *and* input system, this does sound like a decent option. Admittedly, I use a separate XLR ADC, so I often forget about the desire for a compact combo device.

  2. Tony Neville

    I am very much looking forward to a review of the X5 hi-res; especially the soundstage in terms of how good this DAC is at accurately maintaining audio tracking of people and vehicles in first person shooters.


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