The Singapore-headquartered brand has launched the new Sound Blaster X5 desktop DAC headphone amplifier. Unlike most similar devices, the novelty retains its generic connection with computer USB-audio interfaces and is equipped with a built-in microphone amplifier, so it can be used in home recording studios, as well as for network streams and podcasts.
This is the brand’s first model with a dual DAC based on two Cirrus Logic CS43198 chips with a claimed signal-to-noise ratio of 130 dB. DoP128 and DSD256 single bit streams are supported. The coefficient of non-linear distortion does not exceed 0.00018%. The output impedance of the headphone amplifier is 1 ohm. Built on the same discrete Xamp circuit as used in the Sound Blaster AE series and Sound BlasterX G6 devices. Supports a proprietary PC application that includes a 10-band equalizer and many proprietary processing – Surround, Crystalizer, Bass, Dialog +, CrystalVoice, etc. Drivers – with ASIO 2.2 support.
Headphone outputs – regular 6.35 mm and balanced 4.4 mm, microphone input – 3.5 mm. Details about the microphone amplifier and ADC are not reported. There is a built-in Bluetooth 5.0 receiver and a dedicated USB-A port for wireless transmitters, external USB speakers and headsets. Connecting to a computer and powered by USB-C. The suggested price in the US is $279.99.