Creative Sound Blaster E5 USB DAC/Amp Combosearch

Creative Sound Blaster E5 USB DAC/Amp Combo

Creative Sound Blaster E5 USB DAC/Amp Combo

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Hi folks, anyone run into swollen battery issue? What should I do with it? How to deal with it long-term? I am willing to sacrifice mobility if it is possible to remove the battery altogether to avoid running into same issue a year later. Swollen battery is slowly disintegrating entire device, turned it off and stopped using it as soon as I noticed the issue.
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Hey does anyone know if it's work with a USB headphone
Killerslayer
nope, it does not
When will this drop come back?
Thean
you'd be better off going for a mayflower audio arc or something
Missed it....was at 33 sold then when I got back from work over the weekend now sold out. Let me know if someone wants to sell theirs...
I got the Creative Sound Blaster X7 and I im in love with it. If you can get it instead , do it. It has the same SBX PRO Studio, that I use daily for my PS4 PRO. I use it for every game and tv shows and movies, and change the settings to match the game I am playing. When the SBX PRO Studio is off what ever I am playing sounds so crap, it is needed for best sound. I got the Creative Sound Blaster X7, because of it works for the PS4, the E5 does not. I use it for my lossless audio collection. My favorite feature, is the Op Amp Rolling, replacement.I replaced the stock Op Amps with the AD8065 and MUSES8920. The sound was amazing at stock but with the replacements the sound is ultra amazing with great vocal, bass, mid range and treble. The Creative Sound Blaster E5 does not have this feature. In the future I am going to change the Op Amps again to something better like the flagship MUSES01 and MUSES03. Again get the Creative Sound Blaster X7 it is way better and more features for only little bit more money. I use the Beyerdynamic DT990 600 Ohms, and my newest headphones the Beyerdynamic T90. The E5 only great feature over the X7 is the 7.1 surround sound as the X7 is only 5.1, but is there really a diffence for headphones? Review for the X7 https://www.head-fi.org/threads/creative-sound-blaster-x7-detailed-review-impressions.756102/ and MUSES OP Amp http://www.njr.com/MUSES/index.html#Home
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Well crud, that sucks. Well, at least the Creative BT-W2 USB-AptX Bluetooth dongle I bought is advertised to work with the E5. And while waiting for the E5, I've tested it (using standard Bluetooth headphones rather than the E5), and thankfully, it works with my Switch (and likely PS4 too, haven't tested). I don't have any AptX headphones to test with yet, but even without that, the latency was surprisingly minimal. Too bad E5 doesn't work over USB, though. Thanks for the info!
JacobSyndeo
I found this hifi forum about the E5 that might help you out. https://www.head-fi.org/threads/what-will-the-sound-blaster-g5-do-that-the-e5-wont.792627/
These are unique and pretty awesome. Most reviewers call it the “Macguyver” or words to the effect; I bought it for my daughter and ended up keeping it! The software does add something to its’ value (the mixer certainly), and this is the trick for every situation. some special stuff is being able to be a remote mixing station into ipads/iphones etc (yes android too), and having paid for the apple codec, can save a whole convert process and keeps sound pristine.
For me? It was powering some B&W headphones that were too low impeadance to avoid bass bloat from my Xonar sound card; with this E5 I enjoy them fully, for the first time ever... saving them from being sold off. (I sold off my bluetooth Sony MDR1a as the E5 makes any headphones bluetooth capable.)
This is definately the best one box solution out there- and I am a purist. There might be a tonne of musical boxes, in chain (source-pre-power) than would out gun this unit, but at greater cost, less portable, and no where near the tricks,... and their benefit would be lost if not for critical listening- which I put to you, my reader, should not be the main/sole purpose for this player. This is a lifestyle tool. One that will continually prove its’ worth over and over again.
note; to not charge an android phone you may need to use a different cable (that isn’t provided). With newer firmware Creative came up with a method to avoid using the E5 as a recharge box for android devices. I use bluetooth mode, sometimes even when listening intently... I find this unit even with all enhancements defeated, makes music ‘very musical’. It vastly improves our car audio sound, and has also proven the cleanest way to get apple files into the home hifi...
and today my daughter discovered the voice changer....(!)
This vs Fulla 2
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Go Fulla 2 then... the E5 is a bit of a swiss army knife and more applicable to those that want the bluetooth and sound processing software. The fulla is all about the sound, no features to speak of really.
Ilikedifferentthings
Just ordered Both. I can't wait to A/B them with my music and in gaming!
I wan't to know, does a sound card really make a difference beyond an amp/dac combo and does the E5 surround work well in gaming. I'm gonna hear it for myself!
does this power both headphone jacks simultaneously? if so, i might need to get it.
chrisgcc
yes you can plug 2 headphones at the same time
Anyone know if this works with Nintendo Switch? In the latest OS update, it added support for USB audio, and several DACs are confirmed to work, but not all of them. Has anyone tested this with a Switch?
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new software on the switch may harm non Nintendo devices plugged into the switch as well as possibly bricking the system. it may be fixed soon.
Hi may i know what is the model number for the creative aptx low latency bluetooth dongle? would love to get it.. many thanks!!
@DigitalRonyn I have had my unit for ~18 months and the battery is beginning to degrade pretty badly. I used to get a solid 8 hours but now I'm lucky to get ~4 hours. Is there a replacement battery guide or specs I can get to replace it myself? I'm pretty sure it's past the warranty now.
RidevaDemocritus
Hey there, contact me at socialmedia@creativelabs.com and I'll work with you on this.
Any reason I should consider this over the likes of Topping NX4 DSD and XDuoo XD-05?
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I came across them a while ago but barely found any review :( hows the sound quality compared to this?
Duyduy
I've seen mostly god reviews for NX4. Not too many reviews for the DSD version though. However, it is one of the few implementations of ES9038, and a good one at that (based on very few reviews I could find). It's pretty much a calculated risk for me as there is nothing in this price range with this kind of specs.
Would this work if I have both a PC and an Xbox One hooked up to it (PC USB and Xbone on Optical) so I don't need to switch the headphones around? Does it support the Dolby output from the Xbone?
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I am waiting for a pair of HD6XX from the December drop, so that bit of info is very relevant! I'm gonna go pull the trigger as this seems like it will be very useful to me as well. Thanks!
silverthornne
Heck yeah! Enjoy them! Make sure you update the firmware (on the E5 not the HD6xx, obv)
Is this better than Creative Sound Blaster G5?
jhyi7128
Yes, it is. G5 is 'simplified' gamer targeted version of E5
jhyi7128
yep it is. the way i look at it, the "G" in G5 stands for gaming. the "E" in E5 stands for enthusiast.
I bought the E5 for $129 on Black Friday last year. Coming from built in PC audio it made a huge difference to everything from trance to classical to game music. I currently use the unit with 598s and they sound great. I do on occasion use the software EQ for a bit of bass boost since my 598s are a little lacking in that department. The software works well on my Windows 10 machine.
For the first 2 or 3 months I did have an issue with the headphone sometimes emitting high pitched noises for a few seconds but for the last 9 months the issue has not occurred again. I'm not sure if Creative solved the issue or whether the issue was Windows 10 related. Either way it's gone in case you see similar issues in older reviews online. Please note that the Creative support website is (was) a mess but they did reply quickly to email for support.
Another nice feature I enjoy is the built in line in for when I use chat for games. Overall I'm happy with my purchase. I've been thinking of getting an upgrade but not sure what to get since I'm not sure what would happen if I tried to use a desktop DAC but still use the PC sound card for mic input. Has anybody resolved this issue?
Also, has anybody upgraded from this to the Modi Multibit with either a solid state or tube amp ($350 or less for the amp portion)? How was the improvement in sound?
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Funny enough I used the E5 in my car and it improved the sound there too. I will have to check out the X7 and see how they compare.
Thanks for the information. I will start checking out reviews for those.
I bought it from Massdrop on October, and it's $159 at that time...Why it's $10 cheaper just after one month? is it possible to get a price match??
I bought one about a year ago and have been using it on my pc. It's has decent quality for music and its awsome for gaming. I love the fact that it's portable and can charge your USB devices while being used. Some of its features are awesome like being able to take phone calls via Bluetooth to my headset and being able to screw with my friends with the voice changer. However I do have 3 issues with it.
1. In the front you have two headphone 3.5mm outputs and a line in in the back. So if you have a headset with a mic you have to plug into both the front and the back of the unit. For someone who appreciates cable management this looks ugly and makes me want to hide the Unit. I would have preferred both a Line out and line in located in the front. 2. When I leave it plugged into my pc with both the unit and the pc tuned off the battery drains. Idk if it's trying to supply power to my pc or what is going on but it's annoying. 3. This one almost made me return the unit. If you are using a separate mic which plugs into the unit. Good luck. I was unable to figure out how to enable the line-in without the Creative software. Even with the software installed its not intuitive and requires you to play with the settings. The documentation doesnt provide an answer and the unit is set by default to use its built in mic(which is actually pretty good).
As a gaming product I would buy again.
EvilMrMe
I read somewhere that clicking the power button twice disables charging.
EvilMrMe
EvilMrMe, thanks for the comments and feedback.
As you know we're always looking for ways to improve (like adding virtual surround capability after launch..etc). I'm forwarding the comments here to the design / engineering team. We'll also get a FAQ item up on the microphone issue. I definitely see what you're talking about in regards to it not being clear in the manual. One of the "problems" with making a product that is capable of so many things is making sure all of the items it CAN do are noted correctly. Thanks for the catch on this capability!
How would this compare to a schiit magni/modi
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Yeah tube amps do not sound better, they just sound different. Whether you like the tube sound more is just a matter of preference.
I compared with both Flac files via foobar (wasapi) and mp3.
Please note I do not have the sb e5, I have the sbz card instead but I think they should be similar.
Anyway this was my own experience and may be very different to yours.
Jet.com has this at 149.99 free shipping.
Cphr
$199
johiwans
You missed it then. It was 149.99 earlier Today. I guess if you still want it then you need to stick with massdrop.
How does this thing manage to have the same power output for 32 ohms and 300 ohms? O_o
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Yes this is a great value amp/dac. Power output is good on this.
iatsbohdan
it has a little switch on the side for low/high gain headphones which range between 16-120 and 120-600 ohms accordingly.
Vs the mojo?
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My car is the same as you. I connect my phone to this thing and it line-out to my car stereo via the 3.5mm cable.
I don't get better SQ, I get the connectivity.
This thing has NFC, so anybody can quickly pair their cell phone to my car stereo by touching it with his/her phone.
I also power it from my car cigar lighter, so as soon as I start my car, this thing will boot up and connect to my phone automatically.
This thing's line-out jack provides higher amplitude signal than normal phone audio jack and the volume is adjustable via the nob it is faster and easier than pressing buttons on the phone.
Additional connection option is to connect your phone to it through USB, theoretically you get better SQ then BT, but I don't think it can compare to PO from a good SQ phone.
Nowadays, cell phone's sound quality can be really good, this thing won't improve SQ because usually the bottleneck is the SQ of your car stereo. By the nature of the using scenario of car speakers, it is really really hard to get good quality sound.
So I do all of above things is only for my convenience. Hope it can help you.
ccc888
thanks for the info. I am going to try to use it for a Bluetooth connection and see how that works👍🏻
I got my E5 about 2 months back. It's been a pain in the butt learning to work it as an Android operated DAC / amp. The documentation is terrible, every user forum is filled with confusion. That said, the sound was decent, and as I figured out I needed to buy an otg cable and get a HiRes audio app the sound got better. Now just when I start to figure this thing out, it seems now to be malfunctioning. I now can not turn the internal mics off, while not using USB host or PC. Like immediately after disconnecting from the PC the internal mic "test" within the crystal voice menu somehow activates. I connect to USB host and look at the settings and unpress mic test then switch to org cable and the mic reactivates. All I hear is background sounds through my headphones. This happened spontaneously as I've never attempted to ever use the mic features in any capacity. USB host mode is a downgrade and not my intent for this purchase. Please help. FW update did not resolve.
Mc_365
Hey there Mc_365, I've reported the issue you are experiencing to our QA / QC team. If possible can you fire a mail to me at socialmedia@creativelabs.com with the Android OS version and the model of the phone or tablet you are using as well? This will help us try to recreate the issue you are experiencing and get a solution for you. We're here to help!
My E5 came Saturday. The optical input works fine with my Sony D-FJ75TR Discman and iRiver H120 jukebox. Whether its sound (through Yamaha YHD-1 planar-magnetic headphones) is superior to that from these devices' headphone outputs isn't clear. But it certainly isn't inferior.
What is inferior is the horrible user documentation. I'd gone through it before ordering, but it turned out even worse than expected. It's apparently written by someone whose native language isn't English, and who commits the greatest technical writing sin of all -- assuming the reader already understands how to use the product.
The failure to explain the distinction between the USB Host and USB connections is annoying. Worse is its failure to explain why all the functions of Sound Blaster Central aren't available (particularly Crystal Voice) . It's garbage documentation, written by someone who thinks that because he can use a word processor, he's a qualified technical writer. Be prepared for a long learning curve.
The optical cable supplied is "defective". Like too many so-called TOSLINK cables, it doesn't click into place. And as for cables, the manual says the USB Host cable isn't supplied. Wrong. The orange charging cable works just fine.
The most-important part of any product is the user manual, yet it receives the least attention from most manufacturers, because producing a good one takes time and money. Very few companies get it right.
I received my E5 yesterday, and I just found that there's a $25 coupon from Amazon, which makes it the same price ($160) as Massdrop...
After a year my E5's battery start swollen.... Should I fix it myself or contact Massdrop?
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yes but took way longer than expected
NEX0N
Welp that sucks, sent email to massdrop they just 'noped' out of it: "sorry 30 day return policy only". Not buying sensitive electronics from massdrop and creative products every again. (Sent email to creative like 10 days ago still no response)
How does it compare to H2 Designs MIYO?
Hey all! I own the X7 signature edition with E-mu bookshelf speakers, and was wondering how the E5 stacks against this. I need a booster for the MONSTER GODJ I use for portable party sets so I was thinking of daisy chaining the Portable mp3 player to the E5 and exporting that to the 45watt Sharkk Beast. That way I have a cheap battery powered audio set that I can fit in a backpack/messenger back and haul from small party to small party.
Also I'd appreciate it if anyone can recommend an microphones that will play nicely with this setup, preferably with the 1/8th jack output.
My MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014) with macOS Sierra (and earlier versions) crashes when I connect the E5 using USB and attempt to set the sample rate to more than 96 kHz. I have the corresponding software installed. Luckily, the MacBook Pro has optical out, and I was lucky enough to find a (Mini Toslink to Toslink) cable + (Toslink to Mini Toslink) adapter that works with 192 kHz (not all cables and adapters I tried worked), so it's usable.
On Windows, USB at 192 kHz is working just fine.
On Android I can also use 192 kHz when using the host mode of the E5 (which charges the phone, which I cannot turn off). When I use an OTG cable instead (where the phone charges the E5, which I can turn off by double clicking the E5's power button), I have to use the USB Audio Player Pro app, and only get up to 96 kHz out of it.
@DigitalRonyn Any idea on the Mac crashes? Thanks!
DontDooDad
Hey there, can you send me a message at socialmedia@creativelabs.com? I'll get our QA folks on this and see if we can find what the issue is. Already have forwarded the item to the team here.
Are you updated to the latest firmware for the E5?
DigitalRonyn
Hi Ryan, I'll send an email shortly! I just downloaded the firmware update tool for Mac OS again to make sure I have the latest firmware. It's tough to tell, because the updater will happily update the firmware every time I start it, instead of telling me that I already have the latest firmware. But I tried that a few months ago and the latest firmware is from 2016, so I should have had the latest for a while now, and should have it now. Wish the Control Panel would just tell me! The updater says "Device version: 20160905(L),20151022(A),20150928(B)". (20)160905 matches the version in the file name of the updater.
A colleague was brave enough to let me try the same with his brand new MacBook Pro and I did the same on my machine again just now. I install the drivers, I plug in the E5, I use the "Audio MIDI Setup" tool to step by step increase the sample rate, but when selecting either 176 and 192 kHz, the drop down reverts back to 96 kHz. If you then start the Control Panel, the Mac will crash (even the newest one, sadly).
@DigitalRonyn dude is there any way to make this stuff get invoiced as 90 dollars with shipping ?
in my country every single electronic over 100 usd with shipping will get 45% tax that's ridicoulous
under 100 still get 20 % tax :(
aditxman
What country are you in? That is a HARSH tax! I'll see if there's any possible remedy here...but Massdrop handles the fulfillment.
DigitalRonyn
indonesian yes that's harsh tax but its true tax over 100$ is over 30-45% depending on item but electronic like this will over 40% theres a new rules about that please can u do something miracle to me ?? 90-95 usd invoice include shipping is it possible ? i still paid full price don't worry just asking to a little help about invoice
This is a good desk/portable AMP/DAC and pairs pretty well with my Fidelio X2/27 for PC gaming and brought a new life for my SE425 IEM. Important to notice that if you think about using it with and android device, you may have the problem I have with the smartphone being charged with the E5 batery This is my main problem and it`s impossible to deactivate it. Maybe this is a positive point for some but this thing really bothers me. It`s powerfull too and can play my DT990 PRO 300ohm problably until it`s max. For playing music in home it`s obvious you`ll find something better but for a portable DAC/AMP and mainly for games I think it`s a good step up for a lot of people that plugs their headphones into an onboard device. Plus: it has a very good and sensitive built in stereo mic that made my life easier as I like to play with the X2 instead of a headset.