With the Creative Soundblaster X1, the manufacturer has introduced a small multi-talent. The little box, which weighs a mere 15 grams, functions as a USB DAC and headphone amplifier at the same time, which offers a high-resolution and immersive multi-channel audio soundstage. Most recently, the Creative Sound Blaster X4 external sound card had impressed in our review.
Creative Sound Blaster X1 in detail
Just 9.7 mm x 17.5 mm x 67 mm, the Creative Soundblaster X1 is small, yet it has plenty of steam under the hood. After all, the manufacturer installs a high-end 128dB AKM4377 32-bit DAC and a Ti/Burr-Brown INA1620 dual audio operational amplifier, thanks to which the USB DAC is supposed to noticeably improve the sound of connected headphones.
For example, the X1 supports the renowned Sound Blaster Acoustic Engine technology and Super X-Fi headphone holography to provide room-filling, high-resolution and immersive multi-channel sound.
Headphones connect via USB Type-C or 3.5mm jack, while power is supplied via USB. The DAC offers a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz and supports 2.0, 5.1 and 7.1 sound in 24-bit at up to 96,000 Hz.
Compatible with PC, Mac, PlayStation consoles and Nintendo Switch, the Creative Soundblaster X1 improves the sound of connected headphones there. On PC or Mac, however, the amplifier offers additional benefits thanks to access to the Sound Blaster Acoustic Engine, which lets you take advantage of the full range of sound processing technologies.
Sound Blaster Surround Virtualization is said to provide superior virtual surround sound for audio playback of movies, music, and games. CrystalVoice technology provides a variety of intelligent adjustments for conference calls with features such as SmartVolume and Acoustic Echo Cancellation. The SmartComms Kit effectively reduces background noise and automatically mutes users when they are not speaking.
Also offered are various audio and gaming presets for the sound, which the manufacturer claims are professionally tuned. Creative’s Scout mode is also on board. It detects subtle audio cues and makes them more noticeable, which is supposed to be an advantage especially in competitive shooters.
The Super X-Fi headphone holography can also be used to reproduce an individualized sound image in the style of a multi-speaker system. In addition, ear mapping via the SXFI app adjusts the sound to the user’s ears.
- More from Creative: Creative Zen Hybrid review – ANC headphones for around 100 euros
Price and availability
The Creative Soundblaster X1 is available now at a price of 69.99 euros from the Creative Online Store. For more information, visit the official product website.