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  • Creative Sound Blaster X7 and E-MU XM7 Speaker Review
  • Creative Sound Blaster X7 and E-MU XM7 Speaker Review


    Creative Sound Blaster X7 Software and Drivers

    Creative provides supporting software for your desktop, notebook, tablet or smart device as the Sound Blaster X7 Control App and the Sound Blaster X7 Control software.  I am working with the latest version of the X7 Firmware (Version 160916) and of the software (Version L9_1_02_03).  The screenshots were all generated on the Windows Driver.

    Almost all of the features can be accessed using the left hand navigation starting with the SBX Pro Studio.  In this tab you can tune the onboard SB-Axx1 advanced audio processor to enhance playback.  This section includes a short demo to help with tuning.  Options are: SBX Pro Studio Surround to adjust your surround sound stage, SBX Pro Studio Crystalizer to restore dynamic range to heavily processed audio like MP3s, SBX Pro Studio Bass to help add/tune the bass, SBX Pro Studio Smart Volume to help compensate for abrupt volume changes, and SBX Pro Studio Dialog Plus to help bring out dialog from the background noise.

    Crystal Voice technologies apply audio processing to the microphone input.  It’s not just about those annoying voice alterations you also get a suite of tools to clean up communications.  Options are: CrystalVoice FX to mess with your voice, CrystalVoice Smart Volume to track and ajust mic volume on the fly, CrystalVoice Noise Reduction to help eliminate background noise, CrystalVoice Acoustic Echo Cancellation to detect and eliminate echoes, and CrystalVoice Focus uses those beamforming mics to focus and enhance your voice and eliminate all other sounds.

    Ah Scout Mode.  Scout mode is one of those mystical things that provide an advantage in games however slight.  Turning this on enhances sounds that help the player detect enemies at a greater distance.  I recommend mapping to a key to allow toggling on and off as needed.

    The Speakers tab offers a wide variety of set up options that can be saved to a specific profile.  This is also where you can switch between headphones or speakers from the software to prevent the annoying plug chasing when you don’t need your headphones. A ton of audio modes are here and I recommend a quick trip through the user’s manual over a quick description here! 

    I will tell you that the X7 detects the presence of the XM7 speakers and allows you to tune their sound profile directly. Sweet!  You can choose between Energetic designed for movies and games, Neutral for audio and monitoring, and Warm for non-monitor music.

    Headphones is just what it sounds like but also includes the ability to switch to 600? high gain if you own a nice pair of audiophile grade headphones.

    Cinematic offers some control over the onboard Dolby Digital Decoder; it offers three degrees of Dynamic Range Control enabling crisp, clean delivery of 5.1 discrete channels at low data rates.

    The Mixer allows for adjusting the playback and recording volume for your various inputs and outputs.  This is also where you can mute or adjust volume levels for simultaneous playback.

    The Equalizer section provides no big surprises offering a variety of presets and the ability to custom tune the sound signature across 10 bands.

    Not pictured but available in the latest driver is the Advanced tab. This tab simply allows you to set the auto standby off and on.  This only offers a 20 minute standby setting at this time.