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Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 RGB 5.1 Discrete / 7.1 Virtual Surround Pro Gaming PCIe Sound Card

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  • Xamp Discrete Headphone Amplification: Each audio channel is individually amplified, allowing the AE-5 to deliver a whole new level of pristine audio fidelity in an unaltered lossless model to each earcup regardless of demand (The ultra-low 1O output impedance drives 16-600 ohm headphones perfectly)
  • SABRE32 Ultra Class DAC: Perfect for hi-resolution audio for games, music, and movies (It delivers up to 32-bit 384 kHz playback with a 122dB DNR, ultra-low distortion and jitter)
  • Aurora Reactive Lighting System: The AE-5 has customizable RGB LEDs on its body, and also features an included RGB LED strip (Program up to 16.8 million colors in different patterns with the free downloadable Sound Blaster Connect software for PC)
  • BlasterX Acoustic Engine: BlasterX Acoustic Engine is a suite of fully customizable audio processing technologies that deliver new levels of audio immersion and precision for the ultimate competitive advantage

  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

General information

A great upgrade your motherboard audio, the Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 sound card delivers the ultimate audio performance with the full force of a 122dB 32-bit/384kHz ESS Sabre DAC, a kick-ass custom-designed 600O discrete headphone amp, top-notch audiophile-grade components and exclusive Sound Blaster audio enhancement technologies.

This sound card also upgrades your gaming rig with arresting light show, in addition to the premium, lossless sound. The world's first sound card with integrated RGB controller, the Sound BlasterX AE-5 gives you unique control over the lighting effects in your PC case so you have the ability to create and customize gaming gear that's as brilliant as your gaming prowess.

General information

Xamp Discrete Headphone Amplification

The Sound BlasterX AE-5 is the first sound card to feature Xamp, Creative's custom-designed discrete headphone amplifier. Each audio channel is individually amplified, allowing the AE-5 to deliver a whole new level of pristine audio fidelity in an unaltered lossless model to each earcup regardless of demand. The ultra-low 1O output impedance drives 16-600O headphones perfectly.

General information

General information

SABRE32 Ultra Class DAC

The Sound BlasterX AE-5 is a SABRE32 Ultra Class PCIe DAC which is perfect for hi-resolution audio for games, music, and movies. It delivers up to 32-bit 384kHz playback with a 122dB DNR, ultra-low distortion and jitter.

General information

Aurora Reactive Lighting System

Enjoy a symphony of lights and sound with the Aurora Reactive Lighting System! The AE-5 has customizable RGB LEDs on its body, and also features an included RGB LED strip. Program up to 16.8 million colors in different patterns with the free downloadable Sound Blaster Connect software for PC.

General information

BlasterX Acoustic Engine

The Sound BlasterX AE-5 rides on Sound Blaster's long legacy of audio processing and enhancements. BlasterX Acoustic Engine is a suite of fully customizable audio processing technologies that deliver new levels of audio immersion and precision for the ultimate competitive advantage. These sound technologies create unprecedented levels of audio realism, including stunning 3D surround effects for your speakers and headsets.

General information

Scout 2.0

Expand your horizon with the world's first smart gaming companion that enables you to visualize and see where enemies are on the radar through your mobile device for any First Person Shooter game. Scout mode has been given an updated feature that is sure to bring the pain to whoever you meet in the battlefield!

General information


Learn more about the Creative Labs AE-5

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details
  • Return Policies
    • Return for refund within: 30 days
    • Return for replacement within: 30 days
  • This item is covered by Newegg.ca's Standard Return Policy.
Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
Verified Owner
4/ 5
Top-end sound. Worth it for me, but onboard solutions are very close. Is it worth it for you? 12/31/2019 2:56:03 PM

Pros: -Excellent sound quality on Analog or SPDIF
-Beats every onboard audio chip I've heard, some by a TON, others by just a bit
-Clean, clear highs
-Punchy, VERY clean bass (the best attribute of this card in my opinion)
-Decodes and passes through Dolby Digital & DTS signals if supported by the game/software/file type

Cons: -Doesn't encode Dolby Digital Live or DTS, but that doesn't mean you'll only hear L + R channels on your Left and Right speakers; these are interpolated by your receiver with all the benefits of the card's processing (for example, I have many stereo audio files that sound great in a 5.1 configuration on all speakers using SPDIF/Optical - this is a problem with cheaper cards/onboard chips).
-It's really a nice, high-end card which I enjoy very much, but in comparisons, it's only a bit better than some onboard audio devices (enough for me to notice clearly on a Logitech Z-680 speaker system, but for typical users, the difference is probably less clear). So, it's worth it for me, but YMMV.
-Software is pretty average, but not a problem at all for me and doesn't inhibit the card.
-I did have some issues with the LED lighting at first (while updating software, drivers, etc. and going through reboots - only 2 LEDs lit) - if this occurs, just check your settings, make sure you're running the latest SB Connect software and drivers, and unplug & re-plug-in your LED strip.

Overall Review: This card is absolutely worth the money if you have a very good speaker system and listen to lots of music or movies (in addition to games), however if you're a gamer who uses mostly a pair of nice headphones or smaller stereo speakers... while I'd like to support Creative Labs (they are the best in the business and have been for a long time), I must admit that onboard audio is quite close these days, and you may not notice a big difference (or none at all, of course, with separate audio devices like USB headphones).

Worth the money? Yes, but only for the right kind of speaker system & audiophile!

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Anonymous
2/ 5
Why can't Creative create better software after more than 20+ years of being in business? 11/7/2019 5:35:59 AM

Pros: - Alchemy software makes the card compatible with older games, provided you can find it in the AE-5 software bundle.
- The only sound card that gets extra support in games (eg - EAX).
- Cleaner sound than your average motherboard audio solution.
- Reasonable consumer level card for the dying market of add-in audio solutions.
- I've heard this card has basic Linux driver support, but I haven't confirmed it yet.

Cons: - Terrible software. Why are there two control panel applets and driver notes that tell users to download the older software package to fix audio problems?
- Motherboard audio solutions are often sufficient, and Windows doesn't do hardware based audio anymore, which makes add-in audio cards obsolete.
- Audiophiles who prefer movies or music are better off spending more money for a dedicated DAC.

Overall Review: EVGAs NuAudio was dinged for immature drivers and software, despite being a great option for movies and music, and an okay option for games. It's only fair to point out that Creative's AE-X line has terrible software too, and Creative should have enough experience at this point to do better given how often they boast about being around at the dawn of consumer PC audio. The AE-5 has the worst software I've seen from Creative Labs in a while. I'll update this review and give a better rating when the promised software updates arrive.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
Verified Owner
4/ 5
Great value! 11/6/2019 6:26:31 AM

Pros: The sound quality is amazing. So many ways to adjust the sound! The install is easy, plug and play!

Cons: The software is not easy to navigate, at first. It is worth the time to figure it out.

Overall Review: I would buy this for another build.

Did you find this review helpful?
Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
Verified Owner
5/ 5
Great Soundblaster 10/19/2019 1:03:37 PM

Pros: Awesome sound card replaced my aging sound card as a gamer I would say for the money it is a worthy successor

Cons: None here for me anyway

Overall Review: Great sound card

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
Verified Owner
5/ 5
Phenomenal Hardware. Clumsy Software. 10/19/2019 12:09:20 AM

Pros: -Incredible audio creation.
-Easily the best internal sound card Creative has made. (Alongside with AE7/9)
-Music is exceptional.
-Built-in headphone amp.

Cons: -As usual, Creative software is finnicky.
-Mid to high end headphones required to truly experience it at its full potential.

Overall Review: I've always been a proponent of internal sound cards. I've had 4 total in nearly 20 years of PC building. 3 of them Creative Labs. This is easily the best in terms of hardware. Games are precise. Music is out of this world. I really like the features Creative Labs offers for both hardware and software.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Ownership: more than 1 year
Verified Owner
1/ 5
It was be a nice device, but bad software/driver 8/30/2019 8:18:58 AM

Pros: NO

Cons: Sound stops working from time to time because of terrible software. I have to change some parameters to restore it back.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?
4/ 5
Excellent sound on speakers, major flaw on headpones 8/26/2019 8:55:52 PM

Pros: The sound over my cheap 5.1 creative speakers is amazing, pristine, crisp, just plain awesome, way better than onboard. It's also immensely amplified. I never go over 20% on the sound bar because its blaring and may shatter my windows.

Cons: Sound quality through headphones is also amazing, with one MAJOR flaw. When playing shooting games, for example, (PUBG, Black Ops 4) loud sounds like shots or explosions DROWN all other sounds drastically, for several seconds. This is extremely irritating in combat. I'll be trying to hear enemy footsteps, then gunfire nearby drowns all sounds, I can't hear the enemy approaching, then I get killed.

Overall Review: If they would address this issue, perhaps in new drivers, this sound card would be the perfect last addition to a beat gaming rig

2 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?
Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
Verified Owner
4/ 5
Best Sound card I ever had so far! 8/20/2019 9:25:16 PM

Pros: Works great, very pristine sound, very small, it rocks with Senhiser's GSP 600 headsets. RGB controller is a plus. Creative reputation is well earned in this department.

Software works flawlessly.

Cons: 1 Year of warranty. Are you serious Creative? So far is working good but that was not cool.

Overall Review: Where in the world besides Creativelabs com I can find the RGB strips and under what name I find them?

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