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Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced

Creative announces Sound Blaster Recon3D, a cross-platform USB audio device they call "The Ultimate Sound Processor for the PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PS3." These will be available next month for a suggested retail price of $129.99 USD. Here's what this involves:

The Sound Blaster Recon3D comes in a compact size similar to a gaming mouse and easily connects to an Xbox 360, PS3, PC or Mac via USB. It dramatically improves the audio playback quality and experience with THX TruStudio ProT, a suite of audio enhancements developed by the collaborative expertise of Creative and THX audio engineers. The Sound Blaster Recon3D features Dolby Digital® enabled via the optical input to provide full 5.1 surround decoding, which combines with THX TruStudio Pro Surround to deliver stunning accuracy and positional audio playback over a gaming headset and an amazing virtual multi-speaker movie listening experience over headphones. In addition, for voice communications, the Sound Blaster Recon3D improves voice quality with CrystalVoiceT processing, which implements innovative technologies that are specially designed to deliver crystal clear vocal fidelity in multiplayer games, online chats and video conferencing.

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38 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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38. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 3, 2011, 20:39 ViRGE
 
WaltC wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 15:16:
If all you do is movie playback then I can understand being happy over ditching your Creative x-Fi, I suppose... But if you want 5.1 positional sound in games, I wasn't aware of there being much of a choice outside of Creative.
I largely concur. I only use headphones; no one has a HRTF system nearly as good as Creative's. Most games may do their own 5.1 mixing (as Verno notes), but for headphones you still need further processing to make that surround sound for headphones. But when it comes to speakers I'm not sure if Creative has such an advantage here.

I am not impressed by *anything* USB as far as sound goes, so this thing Creative has released sounds a bit goofy/ungainly to me. But all of this pent-up angst against Creative doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
It looks like there's going to be a USB version and a discrete PCIe soundcard. I'd imagine the guts are much of the same other than the interface, but the PCIe version should nicely bypass the problems wrought by pumping out audio over USB.
 
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37. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 2, 2011, 20:55 Ant
 
I used to have an Audigy 2 ZS, but my nine months old motherboard didn't have enough PCI slots so I had to take it out. I left the two PCI slots for my old two old HDTV tuner PCI cards. I am not happy with the onboard RealTek audio. Audigy 2 ZS beats it easily in terms of bass and quality. I haven't found a good sound card for movies, HDTV shows, 2.1 analog setup, etc. Do newer games still EAX? That is the reason why I had an Audigy 2 ZS. I don't play computer games much hence why I used onboard. I still use Windows XP Pro. SP3.  
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36. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 22:36 jdreyer
 
I've had my X-Fi card for 5 years, and it's still humming along nicely. If it died, I don't know what I would get, but I've been pretty happy with it. It worked fine in XP, and in W7 when I upgraded. Heck, I've burned through two vid cards in the time I've had my X-Fi.  
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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35. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 18:40 Cutter
 
I can't believe these guys are still around. I don't even recall the last time I used a soundcard my mobo handles everything just fine thanks.

 
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"Bye weeks? Bronko Nagurski didn't get no bye weeks, and now he's dead… Well, maybe they're a good thing." - Moe
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34. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 18:07 Rosco
 
WaltC wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 15:16:

Heh...;) Didn't realize I'd interrupt a Creative bitching session.

If all you do is movie playback then I can understand being happy over ditching your Creative x-Fi, I suppose... But if you want 5.1 positional sound in games, I wasn't aware of there being much of a choice outside of Creative. I had the x-Fi Titanium along with a Klipsch 5.1 analog gaming system and the fidelity and positional sound in games was terrific. Positional sound in games doesn't transmute so well (or at all) in a digital setup. My wife is still using an Audigy 2Zs card in Win7 and the card sounds great--but not as good as the x-Fi--the difference between the cards even in games is detectable by the naked ear. (I had the Klipsch system hooked up to the Audigy 2 before buying the xFi.)

I am not impressed by *anything* USB as far as sound goes, so this thing Creative has released sounds a bit goofy/ungainly to me. But all of this pent-up angst against Creative doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I know they don't put out drivers every week or month, but the ones I'm using for Win7 work fine for both products.

Admittedly, though, all I use the cards for is gaming and home theater. Perhaps the angst here comes down on the so-called "professional" features that maybe Creative doesn't support so well...?

I use mine for all the above, games and multimedia, more the latter. I also have a Bluray drive and HDTV card, so when watching a movie in BD the audio really has to kick clean and clear. Believe it or not for movies my ALC888 and the X-Fi were close in my comparison. With games the ALC888 was fair to ok but did not compare to the X-Fi. For television audio is broadcast only in stereo so I want my card to do surround and throw some audio to the rears, and even though the ALC888 drivers say it is doing that, it isn't. The backs just crackle and make a distant sound. To note, this is using Windows 7 64 bit.

I'm switching to Xonar because I want a card that can handle a more overall experience better then the X-Fi or ALC888 is capable of.
 
Consoles are schwag.
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33. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 17:08 MattyC
 
PHJF wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 16:09:
MattyC wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 15:29:
PHJF wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 14:50:
Because toslink is incompatible with the current top-end audio formats, formats which have been in place for YEARS. Say what you will about HDMI as an industry standard, but regardless it IS the industry standard. Toslink is 25+ years old and was designed specifically for stereo sound.

Such as? Seems to be working fine for me. And my current setup is stereo. I have 4 Infinity Interlude IL10s and a IL36C, but I currently only use 2 of the IL10s simply to reduce clutter. This is a PC setup, not my HT. I don't really see the need to change anything on it.

Bluray formats... DTS-HD, TrueHD, and PCM. Toslink can handle PCM as long as it's two channel. I spent all of $200 on my Sony HTIB for use with my PS3 and I get 5.1, uncompressed LPCM audio via HDMI.

I am talking about for a PC. I have a HT setup with 5.1 and HDMI for movies, TV, and my Xbox. I just see no use for it on the PC. Particularly when I rarely have anything but 2.1 hooked up to it. I <3 my Interludes. They sound and look great, but they are also huge to be using in a 5.1 computer setup, so most of the time only the two are out.
 
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32. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 16:09 PHJF
 
MattyC wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 15:29:
PHJF wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 14:50:
Because toslink is incompatible with the current top-end audio formats, formats which have been in place for YEARS. Say what you will about HDMI as an industry standard, but regardless it IS the industry standard. Toslink is 25+ years old and was designed specifically for stereo sound.

Such as? Seems to be working fine for me. And my current setup is stereo. I have 4 Infinity Interlude IL10s and a IL36C, but I currently only use 2 of the IL10s simply to reduce clutter. This is a PC setup, not my HT. I don't really see the need to change anything on it.

Bluray formats... DTS-HD, TrueHD, and PCM. Toslink can handle PCM as long as it's two channel. I spent all of $200 on my Sony HTIB for use with my PS3 and I get 5.1, uncompressed LPCM audio via HDMI.
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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31. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 15:29 MattyC
 
PHJF wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 14:50:
Because toslink is incompatible with the current top-end audio formats, formats which have been in place for YEARS. Say what you will about HDMI as an industry standard, but regardless it IS the industry standard. Toslink is 25+ years old and was designed specifically for stereo sound.

Such as? Seems to be working fine for me. And my current setup is stereo. I have 4 Infinity Interlude IL10s and a IL36C, but I currently only use 2 of the IL10s simply to reduce clutter. This is a PC setup, not my HT. I don't really see the need to change anything on it.
 
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30. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 15:24 z0dd
 
Duh, you guys aren't seeing the big technical achievement......
3D!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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29. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 15:21 Verno
 
Most games(probably all?) do positional audio in software these days and a $20 Asus card will do just fine if people really want to insist that onboard is bad because of EMI or whatever.

Creative killed their own hardware accelerated sound market when they wrote literally years of terrible drivers that were responsible for a huge percentage of XP blue screens. They tried charging for drivers, threatened to sue someone who modified a Creative driver, bought out their superior competition and wasted their IP, bundled bloatware in their software and the list goes on. I'm more surprised to find people who don't hate Creative.
 
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28. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 15:16 WaltC
 
Rosco wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 13:09:
I'd pull my X-Fi right now and use onboard audio, but the one on my board is a Realtek ALC888, not very good sound from that and poor 5.1. I would if I had the ALC889 though. Nope, Xonar is next and soon.

Heh...;) Didn't realize I'd interrupt a Creative bitching session.

If all you do is movie playback then I can understand being happy over ditching your Creative x-Fi, I suppose... But if you want 5.1 positional sound in games, I wasn't aware of there being much of a choice outside of Creative. I had the x-Fi Titanium along with a Klipsch 5.1 analog gaming system and the fidelity and positional sound in games was terrific. Positional sound in games doesn't transmute so well (or at all) in a digital setup. My wife is still using an Audigy 2Zs card in Win7 and the card sounds great--but not as good as the x-Fi--the difference between the cards even in games is detectable by the naked ear. (I had the Klipsch system hooked up to the Audigy 2 before buying the xFi.)

I am not impressed by *anything* USB as far as sound goes, so this thing Creative has released sounds a bit goofy/ungainly to me. But all of this pent-up angst against Creative doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I know they don't put out drivers every week or month, but the ones I'm using for Win7 work fine for both products.

Admittedly, though, all I use the cards for is gaming and home theater. Perhaps the angst here comes down on the so-called "professional" features that maybe Creative doesn't support so well...?
 
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27. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 14:58 Verno
 
I get what you're saying but there are some situations that HDMI doesn't accommodate. I don't think compatibility is very high on devices for carrying the audio channel alone from HDMI. You can carry DD 5.1 on optical which is more than most of the world will ever care about too unfortunately.  
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26. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 14:50 PHJF
 
Because toslink is incompatible with the current top-end audio formats, formats which have been in place for YEARS. Say what you will about HDMI as an industry standard, but regardless it IS the industry standard. Toslink is 25+ years old and was designed specifically for stereo sound.  
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25. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 14:13 MattyC
 
PHJF wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 12:59:
You're fucking kidding me, right? Optical audio?

What is this, 1985?

What is wrong with optical? I don't need to pass video so I see no reason to upgrade my setup just to use HDMI.
 
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24. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 14:05 Bob
 
I stopped using my Xfi when my new nvidia card arrived and outputs 7.1 channel sound over hdmi to my home theater system.  
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23. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 14:00 Dev
 
So which is it? USB or optical?  
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22. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 13:34 Verno
 
PHJF wrote on Sep 1, 2011, 12:59:
You're fucking kidding me, right? Optical audio?

What is this, 1985?

I was agreeing with him on the "hook up to a receiver" part, not the optical connection. I don't know why that's so shocking though, a lot of people still haven't upgraded their receivers and optical is probably the best way to do it if you don't have a HDMI over Ethernet cable run.

Edit: oh, if you meant the Creative device well what else were they supposed to use? HDMI isn't practical and it probably has RCA ins anyway, most of these little devices do.

This comment was edited on Sep 1, 2011, 14:07.
 
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21. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 13:09 Rosco
 
I'd pull my X-Fi right now and use onboard audio, but the one on my board is a Realtek ALC888, not very good sound from that and poor 5.1. I would if I had the ALC889 though. Nope, Xonar is next and soon.  
Consoles are schwag.
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20. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 13:07 Fartacus
 
Still won't buy anything from Creative Labs after the "shadow patent" they got after seeing a technical presentation of Doom 3. (Yeah a sound company is going to be expert renderers Then they turned around and used it against id software. Thieves.

You have your facts very wrong. Creative Labs' engineers discovered the z-fail algorithm in October 1998, a year before id published anything about Carmack's independent discovery. At the time, Creative was still in the graphics business and had experts in graphics programming and rendering on staff. Creative was also the first to apply the algorithm to a game. They released a stencil shadow patch for Unreal (that's right, Unreal 1), which was released years before Doom 3 was.
 
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19. Re: Sound Blaster Recon3D Announced Sep 1, 2011, 13:00 Halo
 
I haven't heard a improvement in sound since I added an actual sound card to hear midi and cd sound instead of and "bleep boop" CPU sound.  
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38 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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