Sound Blaster X Fi Hd

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CFO (Chief Fun Officer). This is a review and measurements of the SoundBlaster X-FI HD DAC/ADC and headphone amplifier.

It is on kind loan from a member and it retails for USD $100 from Amazon with Prime shipping.The box itself is plastic but doesn't look too bad:The volume control is a rotary control of some sort with the worst feel positive. It is stiff with no notches and of course no indicators.Connectivity is good though with headphone and microphone inputs in front and line out/in plus phono input in the back.

We also have our usual set of USB, S/PDIF and Toslink inputs.Plugging in the device into my Windows 10 did nothing so it is not UAC2 compliant.

Went to get the driver and it is a 150 megabyte or so of what we used to call at Microsoft, "crapware." I used the custom install and disabled a bunch of stuff it wanted to install. Good news was that it also came with ASIO driver making it easier to test with my Audio Precision hardware.Let's get into the measurements and see what we have here.MeasurementsSince the X-FI HD has RCA out, I started by testing its DAC portion alone:Excessive harmonic distortion pushes the distortion specs to merely "OK." Reducing the digital level improved the situation by just a dB or two.