- Product Dimensions: 28.9 x 6.2 x 20.3 cm ; 386 g
- Shipping Weight: 386 g
- Item model number: SB1356
- ASIN: B00654PTT2
- Date first available at Amazon.ca: Nov. 22 2011
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #203,855 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D THX PCIE Fatal1ty Pro Sound Card SB1356 (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
- Quad-core Sound Core3D Audio Processor
- THX TruStudio Pro sound technologies
- Dolby Digital Live for compelling 5.1 surround sound from any source
- Scout mode, allows you to hear your enemies before they hear you providing a distinct tactical advantage in combat
- Calibrate and customize every aspect of the Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional audio and voice settings to really get into your game
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Amazon.ca Product Description
Sound Blaster and Johnathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel have once again teamed up to create the ultimate PC gaming audio card. Whether you’re on a headset or desktop speakers you’ll have a distinct tactical advantage over the competition with massively powerful THX TruStudio Pro audio technologies that deliver incredibly immersive surround sound with pin-point accurate audio placement. Go “headset-free” with exclusive CrystalVoice Voice Clarity technology and the included Sound Blaster advanced beamforming microphone for a new way to communicate with your team mates by allowing for advanced voice communication even while playing audio over speakers! Get the PC audio choice of Champions, and hear the sound of victory. Get Sound Blaster.
From the Manufacturer
Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D THX PCIe Fatal1ty Pro Sound Card
Sound Blaster and Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel have once again teamed up to create the ultimate PC gaming audio card. Whether you're on a headset or desktop speakers you'll have a distinct tactical advantage over the competition with massively powerful THX TruStudio Pro audio technologies that deliver incredibly immersive surround sound with pin-point accurate audio placement. Go "headset-free" with exclusive CrystalVoice Voice Clarity technology and the included Sound Blaster advanced beamforming microphone for a new way to communicate with your team mates by allowing for advanced voice communication even while playing audio over speakers. Get the PC audio choice of Champions, and hear the sound of victory. Get Sound Blaster.
Hardware-accelerated THX TruStudio Pro audio technologies deliver unsurpassed audio playback quality, while the innovative CrystalVoice processing, coupled with the included beamforming microphone, gives you the edge in multiplayer games with crystal clear vocal fidelity. Its impressive internal hardware is matched by an equally stunning design, complete with a red-hot glowing Sound Core3D processor.
Engineered for low power consumption and high performance, the Sound Core3D processor is Creative's first sound and voice processor to integrate a quad-core high-performance digital signal processor (DSP) and high-quality converters onto a single chip.
Powered by Sound Core3D
Sound Core3D is a high performance Sound and Voice processor for accelerating advanced audio and voice technologies. The quad-core Sound Core3D audio processor offloads THX TruStudio Pro and CrystalVoice effects processing from your primary CPU, improving your gaming experience with faster frame rates and drastically superior audio and voice quality.
THX TruStudio Pro Sound Technology
THX TruStudio Pro Sound Technology creates unprecedented levels of audio realism including stunning 3D surround effects for your speakers and headphones by producing additional virtual speakers around, above and below you.
CrystalVoice Voice Enhancement And Clarity Technology
Let your teammates hear you clearly thanks to the CrystalVoice suite of realtime audio processing tools. CrystalVoice Acoustic Echo Cancellation eliminates echoes that interfere with your conversation. CrystalVoice Noise Reduction eliminates unwanted background noise from your conversation. CrystalVoice Smart Volume allows you to be heard clearly without having to shout or whisper. CrystalVoice FX morphs your voice into different characters and accents. And CrystalVoice Focus suppresses noise outside your acoustic zone and be heard with amazing clarity.
Sound Blaster Beamforming Microphone
When used with CrystalVoice Focus, the included stereo microphone creates an acoustic zone and suppresses noise outside it, enabling you to be heard with amazing clarity.
Hear your enemies before they hear you. Scout Mode is a proprietary technology that allows you to hear your enemies from further away, giving you a distinct tactical advantage in combat.
Dolby Digital Live
Connect the Recon3D to your home theater system through a single digital cable and enjoy cinematic DVD movies by transforming any stereo or Dolby Digital 5.1 audio streams into high fidelity immersive surround sound.
Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe Control Panel Software
Calibrate and customize every aspect of the Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe audio and voice settings to really get into your game.
High Quality Headphone Amp
The dedicated high quality headphone amp supports studio quality headphones and headsets with up to 600 ohm impedance.
What's in the Box?
Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional PCIe sound card, Quick Start leaflet, installation CD containing drivers for Windows, Creative software suite, and User's Guide.
- Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD equivalent processor, 2.2 GHz or faster
- Intel, AMD or 100% compatible motherboard
- Microsoft Windows 7 (32/64-bit)
- 1GB RAM
- 600 MB of free hard disk space
- Available PCI Express (x1, x4 or x16) slot
- Available CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
Which Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D Sound Card is Right for You?
|Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Champion |
|Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Pro |
|Sound Blaster Recon3D THX PCIe |
|Microphone in||2 x 1/8" mini jacks||1 x 1/8" mini jack||1 x 1/8" mini jack|
|Headphone||2 x 1/8" mini jacks||1 x 1/8" mini jack||1 x 1/8" mini jack|
|Speaker Out||3 x 1/8" mini jacks||3 x 1/8" mini jacks||3 x 1/8" mini jacks|
|Auxiliary In||Stereo RCA jacks|
|TOSLINK Optical Out/In|
|Stereo/ 2.1 Speakers|
|PCI Express 1x|
|Sound Blaster Recon3D Control Panel|
|THX TruStudio Pro Effects|
|EAX Advanced HD|
|Creative Music Server|
|Sound Card||Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Champion||Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Professional||Sound Blaster Recon3D|
|Quick Start Leaflet|
|Sound Blaster Beamforming Microphone|
|Sound Blaster I/O Drive|
Top Customer Reviews
2 time better than "X-Fi technology" sound card.
The only down side is the "no support for 7.1" via direct Jack output, you need to use the Optical output plugin to your home theater for 7.1 THX surround.
But for gamer, you just can't make a better chose.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
INSTALL & JACKS
Installing was a breeze (which I show in the video). It comes with an optical input instead of the standard minijack input of most onboard sound. Of course you can just overuse the mic input if you had something you needed. But it is meant to be able to plug an xbox or other high end output device into it to share the speakers. It comes with 3 unlabelled output jacks (just numbered and colored), but they are really the same purpose as the same color for other cards. But I believe it will probably let you reassign them, which I could do on my onboard sound anyway even though they were labelled. One thing that you might not notice, is that the card has an internal header for "HDA FP", which is for your HD audio front panel cable (shown in the video). It wasn't stated in the quick start instructions. But on a PC, you probably want your headphone jack on the front of your case so you don't have to reach around for a headphone port in the back under your desk. Many cases have a front panel headphone port, so if you do, this card does support it.
I was pleasantly surprised that this card only drew an extra 1.4 Watts according to my Kill-A-Watt meter. I was worried it would chug power like a high end video card. Before the card my PC drew 50.2W and with the card it draws about 51.6W while idle, playing audio, or playing video.
I liked my onboard sound from my Intel motherboard. But I was really surprised at its transformation. Sound is a matter preference. Some people say vinyl records sound better than CDs, or love songs for how they sounded in the car stereo, so the particular mix is still a matter of preference. For me, I preferred my music about 80% of the time more on this card's mix than the default mix on my onboard sound. To be fair, it is largely the difference in the mix and enhancement that each offer their own flavor of and default settings that differ, and vary by how they sound on your speakers. This is no lazy card, and I think it delivers an honest effort to make a claim for its value. But whether this control, enhancements, and particular flavor is the perfect value for you is a matter of preference. Of course the microphone is something special I have never seen before, but a novelty if you don't use the mic a lot to communicate.
Check out the video review.
The card came as advertised, shipping was great as usual from Amazon. The box was sealed and undamaged. Arrived as advertised (Prime) two days shipping.
BOX CONTENT & INSTALLATION
The box contained the sound card (Recon3D), a beam forming microphone, and an installation disc. Along with a quick install guide. THat's it. Kinda miss the old days when creative used to bundle quite a lot of free stuff with their cards in the form of games, applications, that would take advantage of all the new technology in their cards. But oh well, that was all that was included.
Installation was a breeze, dropped the card in a PCI-e 1x slot, mount the bracket to the case via the screw. That's it you're good to go. Incase your motherboard has onboard audio as many do nowadays, make sure you disable the onboard audio to make it less confusing.
The sound card has a really cool red light, that lights up the entire inside of the case, although for those that don't like that sort of thing, you probably already have a case without a window so that pretty much negates that.
Switched on the PC, Windows 7 detected the card and installed the drivers via the disc provided. That was it. had the card running in 10min installation time. I've read that a lot of people had issues with creative drivers in the past, and I can assure you this was a breeze to install, I'm using a 64bit version of Windows. So really quite pleased with the easy install.
The beam-forming mic included with this card is rather nifty, sits on top of your LCD, I just wished creative had some kinda adhesive tape that would help secure the mic further. I just placed it on my monitor and luckily it sat quite well there. HP 22" LCD. The wire runs from behind and into the sound card's rear panel.
SOUND QUALITY & INCLUDED SOFTWARE
I'm using a 5.1 setup so this applies to that. The improvement in sound is quite noticeable, the bass sounds meatier , the centre channel clearer. there is a marked improvement in quality. I'm really pleased with this, since this was the major reason in buying this sound card. Improvement in games that I play such as SW:ToR, WoW, Skyrim, etc.
The software provided is also quite easy to use and isn't a ram hog like some of the old creative tools that had to be installed in order for the card to run it's best.
NOTE: For those that don't want the sound card with frills like the red led illumination and the casing the card is in along with the beam forming microphone, i'd suggest just opting for the Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D THX PCIE Sound Card SB1350, it's slightly cheaper about $50 but still has all that quad core processing goodness.
Over all I'd recommend this card to anyone that wants their games to sound great. I haven't used the headphone amplifier that is built into the card, but i'm quite pleased with my purchase. This is probably the best gaming sound card out there and I recommend it to anyone that wants the very best sound quality in their games.
This sound card is deigned to give you the best precised audio precision and this sound card delivers with flying colors in that category. You can easily hear precised foot steps in games like Counter-Strike: GO in the correct positions they are coming from. The Recon3D also includes an updated version of Alchemy to enable games with software accelerated sound.
The microphone is comes with is pretty neat. It has dual microphones that connect together to give you a omnidirectional like microphone. It's post to latch onto your voice and block out environmental sounds. I don't use it because all my friends say I sound clearer with my $10 Logitech microphone. The Creative control panel also includes a feature to help reduce ambient noise.
Overall, if you are looking at purely a gaming sound card then this one is the best one to get. If you are looking more for audio quality, maybe take a look at an Asus Xonar. If you want an overall good in both categories but nothing amazing take a look at Creative's Titanium HD.
ASUS PCI 5.1 Channel Sound Card XONAR_DG
I ended up returning the Xonar DG because of some driver issues and the non-functioning microphone jack in the sound card itself. I then decided to splurge and buy this card that costs over 6x the price of the cheap Xonar.
So far I'm extremely happy that I did. Again, I first had to make sure that my onboard sound was disabled, I fully uninstalled the Xonar drivers through Windows Control Panel uninstall, as well as Driver Sweeper to remove any leftover files. I then installed the Recon 3D drivers from the included CD. As of 12/10/2011, the CD drivers are the latest for this device. In fact, I usually try to get the drivers directly from the website before using the included CD, but in this case, this particular sound card is not yet listed in the driver support section of the Creative Labs website. I tend to think that the drivers for the Recon 3D external amp that works for the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 might just be the same as this internal sound card's drivers, but I didn't want to risk it.
Right from the start, this sound card worked exactly how I needed it to. No extra fiddling with drivers and software required. The only caveat to this is that Creative pushes a ton of shovelware in your face, especially once you try the auto-updater. I now have around 4 different sound configuration softwares to choose from, but I haven't yet decided to uninstall the non-essentials. Software like "Alchemy" don't really appeal to what I need. I could probably get by with the simple/intuitive default Sound Blaster control panel.
I have not fully tested the card's features, but I bought it for use in Star Wars: The Old Republic, Battlefield 3, and Skyrim - in other words, I'm using this card for gaming specifically. So it's overkill, but I figured that I may want to use other features in the future. One feature that I like in theory is the "CrystalVoice Voice Clarity technology" which is part of Creative's "THX TruStudio Pro" technology. It's supposed to allow you to use speakers along with a table mic in a way that prevents your speakers from broadcasting into your mic. Sounds good, but I haven't had a chance to test that out. For now, I'm simply using the 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks with my Seinheisser PC360 G4ME headphones.
Sennheiser PC 360 Headset for Pro Gaming
Over the past week, the sound from this card to my headset has been nothing short of spectacular. The card boasts a nice headphone amp and support for 600ohm impedance which is ample for most any headphone setup. My PC360s use 50ohm as a reference.
"Scout mode" actually works well in Battlefield 3, but I think it would be better tested in a game like CoD or even moreso, Counter-strike where CQC is generally more applicable, and vehicles are not present. Still, in BF3 where there are tanks, choppers, and other vehicles making tons of noise, you can pick up footsteps decently. Sounds are crystal clear.
All in all, I recommend this for gamers. It was the most hassle-free driver installation I've ever encountered with a sound card. Installation was a breeze - it sits right above my 1st GTX 580 in a PCI-E slot. There may be other alternatives that do just about the same for less money, but I'm perfectly content with this purchase. I feel that it is a card I will be using for several years to come.
That's ok, though, because the SB1356 offers a host of other features, including dedicated headphone amp and I/O optical jacks that distinguish it from many other offerings in its price range. It also includes the standard surround sound audio and microphone jacks. The headphone amp is a nice touch, as external USB amps can be expensive; the specs claim that the amp runs at 600 ohms. The addition of the optical in jack is pretty unique, and useful if you record audio or route the audio from digital sources such as your game console or television into the Recon3D for processing. The main difference between SB1356 and the lower priced, entry level Recon 3D Fatal1ty model is a beam forming microphone and some added voice software features. You will need a free PCI Express x1 slot to use this card.
The card functions as a 24-bit DAC at up to 96KHZ, which means that audio -- particularly games -- sound pretty good. The initial settings are a little bass heavy (probably as a result of the THX branding and its intended market), but this can be adjusted via the myriad of programs that Creative includes on the installation CD. If you're a gamer looking for surround sound audio, the SB1356 is probably your best bet in the price-range; if you're more of a stereo music listener, you might want to check out Creative's SB1270 Titanium card, or ASUS' Xonar Essence SE series.