In this review we will take a closer look at the multifaceted and versatile Soundblaster X4: USB DAC with headphone amplifier and SmartComms Kit
Anyone who needs excellent audio quality for movies, games or just listening to music surely already knows the world of USB DAC. In this we can safely say that Creative plays an undisputed colossus role. Their products, in fact, have made their way into the hearts of many with the release of the Soundblaster X4 and her younger sister X3. Below is a review that I hope will make you appreciate the strengths and weaknesses (not many!) Of a product that surprised me above all for its versatility and ease of use.
Packaging and Unboxing | SoundBlaster X4 review
The packaging is already a symptom of quality, and this is a mantra that has been with me for years now. The packaging of the new product of Creative home it is certainly well maintained, with lots of information and lots of indications for use. Inside the package we find the hardware device, with the power cord (usb-c/usb-a) e un optical cable. Finally, the whole manuals.
Let’s start with the weight, which stands at just over 380 grams. The audio processor is Sound Blaster Acoustic Engine, with Super X-Fi (real engine of this device). The main entrance options are theoptical output, the speaker output Rear it’s a Central / Sub. Entrance microphone exterior and a front exit from 3,5mm.
The headphone amplifier has impedance supported by 32 ai 600 Ohm. As audio technologies on board we find the CrystalVoice and it ScoutMode. As a compatibility, we are spoiled for choice: Windows, macOS, PS4 e PS5, Nitendo Switch and so on and so forth.
Now let’s talk a little about the three physical buttons on the device: “Microphone”, “Mode” and “SXFI”. From the first you can check themicrophone input. When the led color is verdeinstead, we will know that the function is active Audio Balance. The Mode button in the center, on the other hand, can be colored in many different colors. Green, for example, indicates theactivation of the equalizer with SXFI (it will obviously turn on only if SXFI is active). The color white, purple and blue will notify you mode from default (music, film and footstep enhancer respectively). Using the button on the right, the SXFI, it can be turned off (in case of line-out with speaker) or green or orange (green if SXFI is active, orange if it is off).
The middle button, the largest, is a clickable volume wheel. Extremely comfortable, from satisfying and accurate feedback. The color can be blue for the Playback volume, red for the microphone volume, or green, orange or cyan for theaudio balance. Holding the button down for a long time will begin the process paring Bluetooth.
User experience | SoundBlaster X4 recnesione
I got to try this device not only with headphones, but also with a system audio 2.1. Starting frominstallation, really lightning fast, up to ease of use combined with the clarity of the dedicated Windows App. Once connected via USB-C, the product is recognized by the software dedicated and is immediately ready to be exploited in all respects. I recognize that the audio quality is certainly superior compared to most internal sound cards, and this peculiarity becomes even more important when using them headphones connected to PC or PS4.
Yes, even with the PS4 I used SoundBlaster X4, obviously by means of an optical cable. There are three default sound settings: music, film e footstep enhancer. The equalizations are however fully customizable and make the user experience truly comfortable and linear.
Directly from the Creative application it is possible to intervene on 5 variabili in Acoustic Engine. Surround for example it allows you to simulate virtual speakers around listening. Or we have Crystalizer which allows you to listen to a piece of music as the composer conceived it.
Always within theAcoustic Engine there is the function Smart Volume. This allows you to intelligently minimize sudden changes in volume by automatically changing the level of the reproduced sound. Last, but not least, we have Dialog+ which intelligently enhances music and movie voices for a sharper and clearer vocal range.
I have often and gladly used it, especially on Warzone. This mode is designed to help hear even what is not visible to our eyes: footsteps, words and shots. The acoustic characteristics are managed without an explicit remodeling of the frequencies. All of this serves to provide a complete gaming experience.
This is a function that I used to make gods voice-over on some university videos. It allows you to activate various functions including Acoustic Echo Cancellation (which eliminates the echo that interferes with conversations), Smart Volume (which we talked about earlier), Voice Morph (from which you can use very nice effects directly to the microphone) and a Equalizer with several interesting presets.
Super XFI, Mixer e SmartComms Kit | Review SoundBlaster X4
The functions we have listed above are just the main ones. But as I said earlier, the strength of this product is definitely there variety of functions that make it really suitable for everyone. From SmartComms Kit, which is a suite of features intelligent communication which helps simplify the way you communicate during online calls. There are two functions inside: VoiceDetect (which allows you to automatically activate and deactivate the microphone while speaking), and NoiseClean which allows to reduce static background noises from both ends of communication.
The function of the Mixer it is the most obvious one, but in my opinion also the most complete and homogeneous. There are two channels: Volume e Device. From Volume you can manage monitoring, playback and recording, while from Device you will be able to set the output inputs optical and not.
Not to mention the Super XFI, real novelty of this SoundBlaster X4. This captures the listening experience of a multiple speaker system in a professional studio and recreates the same extended experience within our headphones. We have to say it all: the pairing process of this feature is a bit tedious; needs a pairing via smartphone app in my opinion avoidable.
Conclusions and prices | SoundBlaster X4 review
We have reached the end of this review which I believe has described this product properly. SoundBlaster X4 it is definitely a product that satisfied me, from the construction (plasticky but at the same time elegant), to the functions so disparate and apparently disconnected but very much ever connected and useful for the most varied uses. An App that certainly deserves praise for its clarity, ease of use. The only flaws found reside in Super XFI, in my opinion long enough to activate and use and in thehigh impedance headphone output which may negatively impact headphones with lower impedances.
For the rest, the product is absolutely worth the price it costs: approx 150€. What do you think of this SoundBlaster X4? Let us know with a comment below and keep reading allotek to stay updated on the latest news and more.