PC & Console Peripherals

Tried an external sound card: the Creative Sound Blaster X3

Even if PCs and laptops nowadays have a sound card installed and you don’t necessarily need a dedicated sound card, it is usually still worth upgrading the integrated sound cards. Unfortunately this is not always possible, be it because there is no PCIe slot available, a laptop or even a console. This is where the forefather of sound cards comes into play.

Creative offers with the Sound Blaster X3 an external USB-DAC (digital-to-analogue converter) with headphone amplifier, which enables not only virtual but also real 7.1 surround sound.

The Creative Sound Blaster X3 can be connected via USB to PS4, PC or Mac. Any other source can also be used via a jack input, but then of course with reduced functionality.

Creative Sound Blaster X3

Is it worthwhile to upgrade from an internal sound solution to the Creative Sound Blaster X3 for 124.99 Euro? Let’s find out!

Technical details

Compatibility Windows, Mac, PS4, Nintendo Switch
Max. playback quality
  • Playback Resolution (Stereo): PCM 16/24/32-bit / 48.0, 96.0, 192.0 kHz
  • Playback Resolution (Optical Out): PCM 16/24-bit / 48.0, 96.0, 192.0 kHz
  • Surround 7.1: PCM 16/24/32-bit / 48.0, 96.0, 192.0 kHz, Dolby Digital Live: 16-bit, 48.0 kHz
Max. recording quality
  • line-in: 16/24-bit, 48.0, 96.0, 192.0 kHz
  • Mic-in: 16/24-bit / 48.0, 96.0, 192.0 kHz
  • What-U-Hear: 16/24-bit, 48.0, 96.0, 192.0 kHz
Power supply USB type C
ADC dynamic range: 104 dB, THD+N: 0.0017%
DAC Dynamic range (stereo): 115 dB, THD+N (stereo): 0.0004%
Audio technologies CrystalVoice, Scout Mode
Headphone amplifier
  • low gain: 32 – 149Ω (1.2V RMS @ 32Ω, 1.5V RMS @ 150Ω)
  • High gain: 150 – 600Ω (2.3V RMS @ 150Ω, 2.9V RMS @ 600Ω)
Input options
  • 1 x 3.5 mm Output front
  • 1 x 3.5 mm socket (line input)
  • 1 x 3.5 mm socket (Side Out)
  • 1 x USB Type-C port for PC / Mac
  • 1 x 3.5 mm jack (rear)
  • 1 x 3.5 mm output for center speaker/subwoofer
  • 1 x 3.5 mm headphone/headset jack
  • 1 x 3.5 mm Ext. mic input jack
  • 1 optical TOSLINK output
Dynamic range (DNR) 115 dB
Dimensions 129 x 129 x 40.6 mm
Weight 330 g
Price € 144.99*
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Creative Sound Blaster X3 externe USB-DAC- und Verstärker-Soundkarte price comparison

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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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