Creative Labs Sound BlasterX AE-9 Sound Card w/ DAC, Xamp Discrete Headphone Bi-Amp, Audio Control Module
Sound Blaster AE-9
Ultimate 32-bit / 384 kHz PCI-e Sound Card and DAC with Xamp Discrete Headphone Bi-Amp and Audio Control Module
At the intersection where today's cutting-edge audiophile technology meets 30 years of Sound Blaster processing experience, we set out to redefine the best of PC audio. Paying homage to our audio enhancement legacy and our never-waning thirst to explore the possibilities of audio, the Sound Blaster AE-9 is quite simply the best PCI-e sound card we have ever made.
Marrying the best of hardware with a 129 dB DNR and 32-bit / 384 kHz playback from the hi-res ESS SABRE-class reference DAC and our very own Xamp fully Discrete Headphone Bi-amplifier, together with our critically-acclaimed Sound Blaster audio processing technology that has been refined and perfected over the last 3 decades, the AE-9 can be described with a single word; pristine.
And it's not just specifications. We have put in thought into every single aspect of the product, including the launch of a brand-new feature, the CleanLine Technology, engineered from ground up to eliminate voltage rail issues and isolate noise along the mic path for crystal clear voice communications.
Audio Quality: A Feast for Your Ears
The Sound Blaster AE-9 is built with the absolute best components to deliver pristine, detailed audio quality that would satisfy even the most demanding audiophile. The core of the Sound Blaster AE-9 is the flagship audiophile-grade hi-res ESS SABRE-class 9038 DAC. It delivers an ultra-high DNR of 129 dB, 32-bit 384 kHz playback over PCM, DSD64, and an incredibly low Total Harmonic Distortion of -120 dB (0.0001%).
Our newest innovation, CleanLine Technology is set to overthrow the need of an external desktop mixer that takes up the desktop's valuable real estate.
The CleanLine Technology is designed to filter and isolate noise along the mic path so you can truly enjoy crystal clear and uncompromised voice communications even while your GPU is pushing its limits.
High-performance GPUs pack heavy workload onto their boards, causing power supply ripple noise that manifests into audible noise and distortion when the microphone signal is amplified.
The AE-9's CleanLine technology features a specially designed circuitry and components that eliminates voltage rail issues and isolates noise along the microphone path that typically plagues internal audio cards. In addition, we utilize a differential drive for the mic signal to reduce the common mode noise that may be induced by other electronic sources.
Xamp Headphone Bi-amp: Terrific for High End Wired Headphones
The Sound Blaster AE-9 is designed to bring out the best in any headphone
It boasts the fully discrete Xamp Headphone Bi-amplifier that amplifies each audio channel individually, delivering pristine audio in an unaltered lossless mode to each earcup regardless of demand.
The Sound Blaster AE-9 works with all kinds of headphones, driving audiophile-grade headphones up to 600Ω, all the way to sensitive in-ear monitors with its ultra-low 1Ω headphone output impedance.
The Xamp Discrete Headphone Bi-amplifier
The Xamp discrete headphone amplifier uses a dual-amp design to amplify each audio channel individually for pristine, uncompromised audio. It utilizes a push-pull output stage design to achieve good amplification.
Each audio channel (Left and Right) goes through 3 stages of separate amplification circuits:
- Voltage Amplification Stage:
The differential signal from the DAC is fed into a Low Pass Filter comprising of WIMA film/foil capacitors, followed by a single-ended amplifier to condition the signal for 2nd stage processing
- Pre-Amp Stage
The input signal is further amplified to achieve an increase in current and power gain to drive the final output stage
- Output Stage
This stage gives further improvement to the power gain and transfers this power to the headphone with minimum loss. The push-pull design, consisting of transistors, is employed to achieve better efficiency, higher power output and cancellation of even-order harmonics at the final output stage
Other Audiophile Features
The Sound Blaster AE-9 has swappable op-amps, so you can further define your music's tonal characteristics.
The Sound Blaster AE-9 also utilizes Nichicon "Fine Gold" capacitors that use state-of-the-art etching techniques and offer a rich sound in the bass register.
Surround And Processing: Powerful Sound All Around
Immerse yourself in audio! The Sound Blaster AE-9 supports discrete 5.1 surround channels, and up to 7.1 virtual surround channels. The sound card also comes with Sound Blaster's Surround virtualization technology that can be fully customized, or switched off completely.
With Sound Blaster's own processing capabilities, the Sound Blaster AE-9 also supports Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect Encoding. The AE-9 comes with Sound Blaster's full suite of audio enhancements, including Surround for an incredible immersion, Crystallizer helps improve the dynamic range of audio, or Bass on the low end. Meanwhile, CrystalVoice Technology enhances voice for clear recordings and in-game comms. Enhancements are customizable in the Sound Blaster Command software suite.
Supports Scout Mode
Ready for an unfair advantage? The Sound Blaster AE-9 comes with Scout Mode, a technology that enhances important in-game audio cues such as footsteps and weapon switching sounds. This means you can pinpoint your opponent's location and predict their moves before they even know where you are.
Audio Control Module: Power at Your Fingertips
Many of the Sound Blaster AE-9's powerful features, such as the incredible Xamp, are contained within the Audio Control Module that sits on your desk. Designed to work best with phantom-powered condenser microphones, the AE-9 is perfect for serious content creators and streamers.
Control and Convenience
The Audio Control Module lets you quickly control your audio settings. The large multifunction control knob lets you control your volume and switch between headphones and speakers. Users of different headphones will enjoy the convenient knob that allows users to switch between normal headphones, high gain headphones, or in-ear monitors. The SBX button lets users turn on and off Sound Blaster processing, which the large LED display allows for easy reading of headphone or speaker volume.
|Model||Sound BlasterX AE-9 Sound Card w/ DAC, Xamp Discrete Headphone Bi-Amp, Audio Control Module|
|Audio Technology||Sound Core3D|
|DAC||ESS SABRE-class 9038 DAC
THD+N (Stereo) : 0.0001%
S/N Ratio: 129dB
|ADC||Dynamic Range (Stereo): 123 dB
THD+N (Stereo): 0.0004%
|Playback||Playback Resolution (Stereo): PCM 16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0, 384 kHz, PCM 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0, 384 kHz, PCM 32-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0, 384 kHz, DSD64 (2.8 MHz)
Playback Resolution (Optical Out): 16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0kHz, 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0kHzPlayback Resolution (Surround 5.1): PCM 16-bit / 48.0, 96.0, 192.0kHz, PCM 24-bit / 48.0, 96.0, 192.0kHz
|Recording||Mic-in: 16-bit / 16.0, 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0 kHz, 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0 kHz, 32-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0 kHz
AUX-in: 16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0kHz, 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0kHzOptical In: 16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0kHz, 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0kHz
|DSP Modes||Playback Resolution (Stereo & Surround 5.1 Modes)
16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0kHz
24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0kHz
32-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0kHz
|Headphone Amplifier||Supported Headphone Impedance: 16 ~ 600Ω
IEM: 16 ~ 31Ω (1.5V Rms)
Output Impedance: 1Ω
Normal: 32 ~ 149Ω (3V Rms)
High Gain: 150 ~ 600Ω (5.3V RMS)
1x 3.5mm Rear Out
1x 3.5mm Center / Sub Out
1x TOSLINK Optical In
1x TOSLINK Optical Out
2x RCA (L/R) Front Out
1x ACM Link
1x 6-pin PCI Express (PCI-e) Power Header (required for ACM)
Audio Control Module:
|Power||PCI-e Bus Power
+12V for ACM
Requires 6-pin PCIe connector
|Dimensions||Sound Card: 178 x 22 x 127mm
ACM: 150 x 128 x 65mm
|Weight||Sound Card: 230g
- Sound Blaster AE-9 Sound Card w/
- Audio Control Module
- Quick Start Leaflet
- Warranty Leaflets
- 2x Stereo to RCA cables
- 1x Optical TOSLINK cable