Sound Blaster Z & Audigy Rx – Detailed Look at PC Sound

Motherboard audio or add-in sound card? USB audio or analog sound? Detailed look at multiple ways to get sound into and out of your PC!
— Detailed Product Links Below – Expand Video Description —

Sound Blaster Z — @Amazon — @NewEgg
Sound Baster Audigy Rx 7.1 — @Amazon — @NewEgg
Sound Baster Audigy Rx 5.1 — @Amazon — @NewEgg

Blue Yeti USB Mic — @Amazon — @NewEgg

Basic USB Audio Device — @Amazon — @NewEgg

— My Current Sound Gear — (All links @Amazon)

RODE PSA1 Swivel Mount Studio Mic Boom Arm —
Audio-Technica AT2035 Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Mic —
Audio-Technica AT4053B Hypercardioid Condenser Mic —
Audio-Technica AT875R Condenser Mic —
Neewer 48V Phantom Power Supply —
K&M 21021 Overhead Mic Stand —
XLR Audio Cable —


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ChaoticaExtreme says:

From research, It seems both cards are based on Audigy 2 technology, probably with a PCI-E bridge chip. Well old.

Most onboard are Realtek, and only the upper level devices are decent. You don’t find the higher quality devices on most boards, and the lower ones sound awful.

flashgord2007 says:

ty very much awsome video good info on this subject i have soundcard on pc but audio to louder than it is ,not enough power to feed signal for optimal volume to speakers on mixer accross the room , this from a new soundcard addon .

fxscreamer says:

Considering you’re using some decent analog equipment, I think the Soundblaster cards are quite a bit “budget” and barely even “prosumer” for what you use. If you want some really good preamps with a full audio interface, I think you should be looking at small desktop USB or Thunderbolt outboard gear that would greatly improve the sound of your recordings, and be nicer to use and control on your desk. They can also make nice high-end speakers sound a lot better, using much better components.

Brands like Audient and Universal Audio (all a bit pricey) make units that have great preamps and control through either USB or Thunderbolt. Universal Audio (like their just released Arrow) come with $100’s or even $1000’s of industry leading plugins right out of the box that can run realtime with near zero latency. You can run a software compressor and limiter on your voice and microphone that would normally be 1-2K equipment, all in a small desktop form factor for a fraction of the cost, which you could even use for livestreams. Seriously, those plugins can make your voice sound like a rockstar DJ in New York City. The Audient products are a bit cheaper and give you the basics, but also perform really well (no plugins though). They’re also USB if you need better compatibility.

Nice informative video as usual though. I like how detailed and concise you are in explaining everything. 😀

fug33 says:

sound cards are useless and worse compared to even cheap DAC/AMP combos

Kevin spacey says:

This video is flawed since motherboards also include the soundblaster core3di audio processor which is the same as the dedicated cards in your video. Thats if you pay that extra cost on the motherboard.. its a better deal though then buying the card sepretly.. I bought a gigabyte z97 g1 sniper board in 2016 for my 4790k.. With a good set of stereo headphones and i dont mean those shitty gaming headphones.. And pair it with a good audio processor like these… you can have wayyy better sound then those so called surround gaming headsets.

Im TIRED of people always saying onboard audio compared to dedicated cards.. stop that, because for years motherboards have creatives audio processors now.. If you buy the ones with it.. sure other cheaper boards have cheap standard audio but yea

JohnPaul Sein says:

im a passionate gamer since the mid 80s . I have to say that GOOD sound adds to the immersion of the experience to the gaming .. i have the $90 sound card with a Edifier s350DB… the sound is AMAZING!!! speaker system is $299 and i use the optical cable to install into the card..

Fridgemusa says:

Bitstreaming to a surround sound amp/receiver is the way to go 🙂

ajay nath says:

I have Gigabyte motherboard(GA-B250M-D3H-rev-10), for some cases, the inbuilt sound card is not producing good enough to hear it.
I have already tried installing audio software from gigabyte site and realtek site, but its no use…
any suggestions ????

McRom37 says:

Tech Deals; the sound card your using sounds good man.But i am getting headaches, since i am researching to do A PC-Buld, and all i want is for the is when i am done Building the PC, is for it to have sound, i will be Animation, and or coures i want to hear the finish product, so which motherboard, or do all motherborads includ sound?

Oliver Jimenez says:

Hey, long time fan, got a question, i have a 60 ohm HyperX cloud headphones, i dunno if my B150 Gigabyte board is powering it enough though, what do i need to get the best our of it? sound card or external dac/amp? i tried a Dolby Atmos powered Nokia 6 recently and was amazed by how the audio improved vs the one coming out from the motherboard.

Richard Grzegorczyk says:

I’m looking at buying a sound card, specifically the newer Sound BlasterX AE-5. I’m wondering if disabling my onboard Realtek audio through my bios to use the Sound Blaster will provide me with any audio benefit when gaming with my USB headset (SteelSeries Arctis 7). Thanks for the help.

Scott Reasbeck says:

I use a 2.1 sound bar that can make use of DTS and dolby for my PC sound so what would be a good sound card to use with this? I use the optical jack on my Xonar DG but I don’t think it has dolby Live or anything. There must be a better sound card out there? Perhaps one the these in the video? I don’t even know if a PCM optical jack can produce dolby stuff.

Lando Parada says:

I stopped using onboard sound in 2001, bought me an Audigy X Gamer and I’m still using it in my 2nd rig.
Currently using the SB-Z and the sound quality is amazing, the detailed sound you hear from orchestras on videos is mind-blowing.
I don’t think I’ll ever use the onboard sound, it’s been 17 years since I haven’t nor I think I ever will.

SkillerGameS says:

What sould i buy if i have hyperx cloud alpha

Robert Jif says:

Thumbs on you bro!
I learn so much from your video

Constantino says:

Hey Jason, I seen your review video on pc speakers, the logitech z333 are indeed the sweet spot for performance to cost ratio, always on the money, sir.
May i suggest making a video on external sound cards -aka- Audio Interfaces. M-Audio, Scarlett, PreSonus, Behringer all have under $100 audio interfaces with basic layouts of input/output. Seems reasonable for ppl that have figured out how to build a pc, im sure they can figure out the I/Os of a simple audio interface.

Id personally be very interested on your take of audio interfaces for the entry level user. An alternative to sound cards, since they really are a one trick pony, as opposed to an interface that can take inputs/outputs for recording/playback at professional quality levels. Some of the other reviewers have barely touched on this and have done so very poorly. my 2 cents, Mr. Deals.

thanks again for the great content.

Brian Greve says:

The Behringer U-FORI UMC404HD Audio Interface is a brilliant external sound card for the pro or semi-pro sound creation and recordings + phantom power + 48V…. Maybe the best card for under 3-500 Euro´s, believe me i have had more expensive, but i got stuck, at this fantastic card… Maybe overkill for most and you need to have a “small” metal box standing on you table, but WOW it rocks!!!
(mostly for music production, but works great in games and whatever)

Please check it out Master Tech (love your videos)

Bhaskar Guin says:

Awesome reviews… Vivid and lucid..

Sasaki Haise says:

What im wondering is if he is still using an audio interface for the audio technica 2035 or if hes just plugging it in straight to his sound card with an xlr to 3.5mm audio jack.

Bryan Arnold says:

Nice straightforward presentation. I like your videos and started watching them a month or so ago. Just subscribed today 🙂 Keep up the diligent work. I’m truly impressed with your work ethic! I have a Asus Xonar DGX with the built in headphone amp. It’s only a $30 sound card but a popular one because of the headphone amp. I’m surprised you didn’t mention the headphone amps built into these cards you’re reviewing as it does make a significant difference when gaming even with just everyday earbuds (vs. nicer full sized headphones). To me that is another main reason to consider adding one to your system. If you game and your motherboard is slightly older and doesn’t have a headphone amp, even these $30-$35 cards make a huge difference with the sound quality when gaming. Great video though.

captainthrall says:

i thund wike im thwearing a retainer

Personnalité Suspecte says:

Hello did audigy rx can drive well a 300ohms headphone ? Sorry if you have talk about it in the video but my english isn’t very good

g6qwerty says:

Or you want to drive 2, 8ohm stereo speakers from a old pioneer. On board sound won’t power them loud enough.

BlkJ19 says:

Streaming, the yeti mic is going to be okay if you dont want to be a casual streamer. Anything else go with a xlr mic,mixer or usb audio interface, make sure it has 48v phantom power.

sherlouie mojica says:

Good day, i want to know what is the Most Quality Audio Amp in gaming motherboard line up. . . is it asus, msi or gigabyte? and what model in 370 series in intel and what in 470 series in amd. . . hope you answer it. . .thank you in advance. . . =)

HeadBassVTEC says:

I have started with $20 pc speakers and sounblaster pci cards as well like two decades ago and the upgrades brought me to $3,5k “pc speakers” setup lol

currently use $1300 PreSonus Sceptre S8 monitors with $200 IsoAcoustic stands, $200 Audio Technica AT2020 phantom mic into old $250 Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 usb soundcard and a $800 USB DAC/Pre-Amp/headphone amp Pioneer U-05 and modded $150+ Sennheiser HD558 and heavily modded $300+ Hifiman 4xx

also have about 3k audio setup for my tv in another room.

yeah once you start to mess with audio gear it gets expensive pretty fast

Masticina Akicta says:

With windows Vista cutting direct hardware routes Creative pretty much had to redefine themselves. Up till then they had for gamers the best card. BUUUT Vista came and direct hardware support died. Another reason to own a good sound card was that a good direct hardware sound card would safe you CPU cycles. And in the early days that was very much needed. How more you could push on the GPU/Audio Card how more CPU cycles left for the actual game. Nowadays we have multi core cpu’s that have so many cycles to offer that a soundcard with an actual half decent chip might give you less than 1% more performance. Aka, you won’t notice. On the older machines you noticed though.

Still I would say that an RX or Z at least has a better chip with better sound and definitely better AMP’s on board to push headsets and speakers harder. And it should be clearer since it is not directly on the motherboard.

The Rx actually uses a pretty old chip. Think 12 year old, from the time of EAX and so on, and since Vista that is pretty much killed off. So it really is a bit odd to use. BUT, it has very clean audio so it is still very usable.
The Rx might be old hat but still does its work just fine and has been updated to work under windows 10, unlike the older cards that Creative cut from support.
So in a way it is an older card, reworked to work under Windows 8/10/etc with a few tweaks. That sounds pretty darn good! And that is all you need to know.

The Z, I haven’t tried it, I heard it supports the new standards for hardware accelerations for games. I guess that means better sound in games?

Doc Lex says:

spoil alert -half of the video (or more) is about this guy’s studio, not about the topic, i noticed all of ‘youtubers’ like to talk about their stuff, rather than about certain topic

cosmichero 2025 says:

I find that having a low-end sound card is all you need for gaming between $15-50 bucks any higher than that and you’re burning money. Although if your a video/audio creator then I could see how a higher end one would hep out. Oh ya and I loved your video you explain things and an extremely digestible way for people to understand.

G Motorsport & Landscapes says:


Mr Rygar says:

@Tech Deals Hello Mr Deals, Another great video and review. I own this sound card and I was just wondering what settings you using on the Sound Blaster Z Software and would you be willing to share your settings please? I own the Sennheiser Game Zero headset. Thank you and keep up the great work. 🙂

Project TheGift Bodybuilding says:

you deserve way way more subscribers. amazing channel and very to the point ! keep it up

AduCop Medicine says:

i <3 tech deals, please give me gpu

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