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Editor's take: One of the most overlooked upgrades when building a computer is an aftermarket sound card, and for good reason. For many, the onboard audio supplied by the motherboard is more than adequate to drive a set of basic desktop speakers or headphones. If you’re the type with an affinity for audio quality or demand a bit more in terms of feature sets, however, a discrete sound card can be a worthwhile investment and there’s a "new" one on the market to consider.
Creative Technology recently welcomed an additional member to its Sound Blaster Z family. The Sound Blaster Z SE (short for Special Edition) features the same core audio specifications as its predecessor including up to 116 dB SNR and a bit rate of up to 24-bit / 192 kHz.
Creative’s latest now supports up to 7.1 virtual surround on speakers and headphones alongside discrete 5.1 on speakers. You also get new gaming profiles that have been optimized for some of today’s top titles including Fortnite and PUBG, plus pre-tuned microphone EQs that compensate for your headset’s built-in mic for clearer voice chat.
The Creative Sound Blaster Z SE is available directly from Creative’s website priced at $109.99.
In all honesty, this is more of a re-release of the original Sound Blaster Z than a truly new product. Unless you just absolutely need the handful of new features it affords, you can save at least $20 by opting for the original or even more by going with a different card entirely.
Masthead credit Oleksandr_Delyk