Sound Blaster Z Manual

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Page Count: 49

  • Introduction
    • System Requirements
    • More Help
  • About Your Hardware
  • Connecting Speakers and Headphones
    • Positioning Your Speakers
    • Connecting Analog Speaker Systems
    • Connecting Digital Speaker Systems
    • Connecting Home Theater Systems
    • Connecting Headphones and Headsets
    • Connecting Audio Control Module
  • Installing and Uninstalling Software
  • Using Your Sound Blaster Z-Series
    • Playing Games
    • Watching DVDs
    • Playing / Recording Music
  • Using the Creative Software Suite
    • Using Your Audio Device
  • General Specifications
  • Troubleshooting
SB1500 / SB1502SB1506
Congratulationson yourpurchaseofCreative'slatest audiorevolution,Sound BlasterZ-Series!With
cutting edge technologyfromthe leadersin PC audio,Sound BlasterZ-Serieswillgiveyou yearsof
reliableentertainment on yourPCIExpress(PCIe®) enabled personal computer.
ThisUserGuidecontainssoftwareinstallation and usageinformation foryouraudiocard.
Minimum Requirements
lIntel®Core™2 DuoorAMD®processorequivalent (Core™2 2.0 GHz, AMD processorequivalent or
lIntelorAMD compatiblemotherboard
lMicrosoft®Windows®8 32-bitor64-bit; Windows 7 32-bit or64-bit
l>600 MB offreehard diskspace
lCD orDVD driveforsoftware installation
lHigh qualityheadphonesorpoweredamplifiedspeakers(availableseparately)
lDVD playersoftwaresuch as InterVideo®WinDVD®or CyberLink®PowerDVD®(latest version
l5.1 speakersforoptimallistening experience
l*Somemotherboards reservethePCIExpressx16 slotsforvideo cardsonly.Useax1 orx4 slot
instead.Formoreinformation,consult thedocumentation ofyourmotherboard.
lOtherapplicationsmayhave highersystem requirements.Formoreinformation, consult the
Introduction 1
Forthe latest news and products forSound Blaster,visit The site also includes
information on making purchases,technicalhelp,and thelatest driverupdates.
Locating,downloading, and installing updatesforyourCreativeproductsisnowsimplerand fasterwith
When you connecttoCreativeSoftwareAutoUpdate viatheInternet,the web sitewillanalyzeyour
computersystem to determine whatoperatingsystem (OS), language, andCreative products are
After the online analysis, youwill be able toselect from a list of only the most relevant software and
driverupdates.The fileswillthen be retrieved and installed on yoursystemforyou.
To learn moreabout CreativeSoftwareAutoUpdate,
lFirst-time users of Creative Software AutoUpdatemay bepromptedtoauthorize thedownloadof a
browsercomponent required forsystem inspection.Ensurethat the content issigned by Creative
lEnsurethat allyourCreativeproductsareconnected and installed on thesamecomputerrunning
Introduction 2
Forinstructionson installing yourSound BlasterZ-Series,and anyadditionalaccessories,consultthe
To learn moreabout yourproduct, consult thefollowing sections:
lAudio ControlModule
Actualproductsmaydifferslightlyfromthoseshown in thischapter.
Your SoundBlaster Z-Series audio card has the jacks andconnectors below to enable the attachment of
1.Line In/Microphone In
Connects to line-level sources(for example, MP3
2.HeadphonejackConnects to stereo headphones witha 3.5mm(1/8-
3.Line Out1jack
Connects to theFrontLeftand FrontRightinputs on
4.Line Out2jack
Connects to theRear Leftand Rear Rightinputs on
5.Line Out3jack
Connects to theFrontCenter andSubwoofer inputs
6.Optical S/PDIFOutjackConnectstorecording devices withoptical
recorders, MiniDiscrecorders or external hard disk
7.Optical S/PDIF InjackConnects to playback devices withoptical
connectors (for example, Digital Audio Tape players,
8.FrontPanel Header
Connectstooneend of theIntel FrontPanelAudio
cable (available separately). See FrontPanel Header
Toggle toselect the appropriate inputdevice (forexample, Microphone or Line-In)from the Sound
BlasterZ-Series Control Panel. Refer to SoundBlaster Z-Series ControlPanelMixer Settings for more
About YourHardware4
An externalACM(AudioControlModule)provides abuilt-in beamforming microphoneand
The ACM accessoryisbundled with Sound BlasterZxonly.
1.Volume Control KnobControls theplayback volume of the
2.Beamforming MicrophoneBuilt-inSound Blaster Beamforming
3.6.3mmMicrophone InjackConnects to line-levelsources(for
microphoneswith a6.3mmplug.
4.6.3mmHeadphone jackConnects to stereo headphones or head-
5.3.5mmMicrophoneInjackConnects to line-level sources(for exam-
3.5mm(1/8-inch) plug.
6.3.5mmHeadphone jackConnects to stereo headphones or head-
The6.3mmMicrophone In jacktakespriorityoverthe3.5mmMicrophoneIn jack.
Whenconnectedto the SoundBlaster Z-Series,the built-inbeamforming microphone features
CrystalVoice technologies whichis designed to delivercrystal clearvocal fidelity in multiplayergames,
online chats andvideoconferencing. Italso enhances voice communications for popular VoIP solutions.
Voiceeffectscan be controlledusing theSound BlasterZ-SeriesControlPanel.Simplytogglebetween
yourheadphone andspeakers system witha flip of a switchin the control panel.
The optionsof3.5mm and 6.3mmMicrophone and Headphone jacksletyou havechoicesofyour own on
which headset ormicrophoneto beused forrecording, and audiophilegrade connection through the
About YourHardware5
The Volume Control knobonthe ACMcontrols the volume outputtoyour headphones, givingyouquick
control over the audio level fromyour games or music.
TheACM VolumeControlKnob allowsyou toadjustheadphonelevelsconvenientlybased on the
maximum levelset byyourcomputer'smastervolumecontrol.Werecommend that you determine
the desired maximum volume onyour computerbefore using the ACM.
The connectorsand associated components shown heremaybedifferent fromthat ofyourspeaker
system.Consult thedocumentation ofyourspeakersystem toidentifysimilarinput connectors.You can
upmixyourstereo sources(forexample,CDAudio,MP3,WMA,MIDIand Wave)to enjoymulti-channel
To learn how to connect differenttypes ofspeakersystems to youraudio card,consult the following
lConnecting Analog SpeakerSystems
lConnecting HomeTheaterSystems
lConnecting Audio ControlModule
For tipsonhowtoarrangeyour speakers, consultPositioningYour Speakers.
For alist of supportedCreative speaker systems or interactive help onspeaker connectivity, visit
lActualproductsmaydifferslightlyfromthoseshown in thischapter.
lSelect the correctspeakersetup or headphone optioninthe SoundBlaster Z-Series Control Panel to
get thebest experience. Formore information,referto theirrespectiveOnline Help.
lThe cables shown inthis chapter may be bundled withyour peripheral orare available separately
lFormoreinformation on theCreativeperipheralsmentioned in thischapter,visit
Connecting Speakersand Headphones7
Good speakerplacement iscrucialto getting optimalperformance from youraudio system and
achieving anenhanced listening experience.Belowareourrecommendation for5.1 channelspeakers.
For detailedspeaker placementtips, consult the documentationof your speaker system.
1. Subwoofer
3.Front Center
5.Rear Right
Connecting Speakersand Headphones8
Youraudiocard supports analog speakersystemsofup to5.1 channels.To learn moreabout connecting
different channelspeakersystems,consult the following sections:
l5.1 channelanalog speakers
1.LineOut 1 jack(Front L/R)
3.Audio Inputjack
Jack, Connector or Cable
2.Line Out2jack (Rear L/R)
4.5.1channel audio cable (available separately)
6.Rear (Audio Input) jack
Connecting Speakersand Headphones10
Your SoundBlaster Z-Series comes withanOptical S/PDIFOutjack whichallows youto connectyour
digital speakersystem. Most digital speakers systems connect the audio card to the subwooferoran
For more informationonyour digital speaker connections, consultthedocumentationof your digital
Connecting your digitalspeakers tothe Sound Blaster Z-Series
-- 6.1/7.1
2 3
1.Optical S/PDIF Outjack
3.Optical S/PDIF Injack
Your SoundBlaster Z-Series comes withanOptical S/PDIFjack whichallows youtoconnectyour home
theatresystem.Most home theatersystemsconnect theaudiocard to an A/Vreceiver.
Formoreinformation on yourA/V receiver'sspeakerconnections,consult thedocumentation ofyour
Connecting your A/V receiver to the Sound Blaster Z-Series
1.Optical S/PDIFOutjack
3.Optical S/PDIF Injack
Connecting your A/V Receiver using LineLevelinputs
IfyourA/Vreceiversupportsmulti-channelline-levelinputs,you can connectthem directlyto your
audio card's Line Out jacksinstead oftheOpticalS/PDIFOut jackasshown below.
1.LineOut 1 jack(Front L/R)Connectstothe Front left andFront Right
(1/8-inch) stereo-to-RCAcable(available
2.3.5mm(1/8-inch) stereo-to-
Connectsyour audio card and A/V receiver.
3.Front Right jackConnectstothe Line Out 1jackon your
stereo-to-RCA cable (available separately).
4.FrontLeftjackConnects to the Line Out1jack onyour
stereo-to-RCA cable (available separately).
1.Line Out2 jack (Rear L/R)Connects to the Rear Left andRear Right
(1/8-inch) stereo-to-RCAcable(available
2.3.5mm(1/8-inch) stereo-to-
Connectsyour audio card and A/V receiver.
3.RearRight jackConnectstothe Line Out 2jackon your
stereo-to-RCA cable (available separately).
4.Rear LeftjackConnects to the Line Out2jack onyour
stereo-to-RCA cable (available separately).
1.LineOut3jack (Center/Subwoofer)ConnectstotheCenterand Subwoofer
(1/8-inch) stereo-to-RCAcable(available
2.3.5mm(1/8-inch) stereo-to-
Connectsyour audio card and A/V receiver.
3.Subwoofer jackConnects to the Line Out3jack onyour
stereo-to-RCA cable (available separately).
audio card, using a3.5mm(1/8-inch)
Connecting Speakersand Headphones15
Do notlisten to audioon yourheadphonesorheadsetsathigh volumesforprolonged
Connecting your headphonesand headsetsto theSound Blaster Z-Series
Jack, Connector or CableDescription
1.HeadphonejackConnects to stereo headphones witha
For headsets:
1.Line In/Microphone InjackConnects to the 3.5mm(1/8-inch) micro-
2.HeadphonejackConnects to stereo headphones witha
Connecting Speakersand Headphones16
TheACMaccessoryisbundled with Sound BlasterZxonly.
1.Line In/Microphone InjackConnects to the 3.5mm (1/8-inch)
2.HeadphonejackConnects to your ACM witha 3.5mm
Connecting Speakersand Headphones17
Jack, Connector or CableDescription
1.3.5mmHeadphone jackConnects to stereo headphones or headsets
2.3.5mmMicrophone InjackConnects to line-levelsources(for
microphoneswith a3.5mm(1/8-inch)
Whentwo headphones are beingconnected to the 6.3mm and3.5mm Headphone jacks simultaneously,
you willbeableto hearboth headphoneswith thesameoutput.
However, the Microphone In jacks onthe ACMfollow the below priority sequence:
lPriority 2: 3.5mmMicrophone In jack
For example, whenuser plugs in external microphones to both6.3mm and3.5mm Microphone In jacks,
the 6.3mm Microphone In jack willtake priority over the 3.5mm Microphone Injack andthe built-in
Beamforming Microphone.However,when nomicrophoneisconnected to allMicrophoneIn jacks,the
Connecting Speakersand Headphones18
To takefulladvantageofyourSound BlasterZ-Seriesaudiocard,you need toinstalldevicedriversand
applications.At times,you mayalsoneed to uninstallsomeorallofthedevicedriversand applications
tocorrect problems, change configurations, or upgrade outdateddrivers orapplications. To learnhow to
do soin allsupported Windowsoperating systems,consult thefollowing sections:
lInstalling Driversand Applications
Beforeyou begin, closeallrunning audio applications. Applicationsthatarestill
ForWindows 7:
2.Select the SoundBlasterZ-Series entry.
If the UserAccountControl dialog box appears,clicktheContinue button.
5.When prompted, restart yourcomputer.
1.At the right toolbar,clickSettings> Control Panel > Uninstall aProgram.
3.Click the Uninstall button oroption.
5.When prompted, restart yourcomputer.
Tocomplete the uninstallation, you willalso need to remove the followingcomponents:
Carryout the followingsteps ONLYIFthere are no other Creative applications onyoursystem that
ForWindows 7:
1.Click Start> Control Panel > Uninstall aProgram.
3.Click the Uninstall button oroption.
When the ConfirmUninstall dialog box appears,clickthe OK button.
1.At the right toolbar,clickSettings> Control Panel > Uninstall aProgram.
3.Click the Uninstall button oroption.
Carryout the followingsteps ONLYIFthere are no other Creative applications onyoursystem that
ForWindows 7:
1.Return to theStart>ControlPanel>UninstallaProgram window.
3.Click the Uninstall button oroption.
When the ConfirmUninstall dialog box appears,clickthe OKbutton.
1.At the right toolbar,clickSettings> Control Panel > Uninstall aProgram.
3.Click the Uninstall button oroption.
Afteryou havecompleted thestepsabove,you can installtheoriginalorupdated devicedriversand
applications forSound BlasterZ-Series.Forinstructionson installing the software,consultInstalling
Installing and Uninstalling Software20
Ensurethatyour audio card isinstalled beforeproceeding. For instructionson
installing your audio card, consultyour QuickStartleaflet.
After youhaveinstalledyour audiocard, turnonyour computer. Windowsautomatically detectsyour
ForWindows 7:
1.Insert theInstallation CD into yourCDorDVD drive.
YourCDshould startautomatically.Ifit doesnot,followthe steps below:
ii.Right-click the CDor DVDdrive icon, andthenclick Open AutoPlay.
2.Tocomplete the installation, follow the instructions onthe screen.
3.When prompted, restart yourcomputer.
1.Insert the Installation CD into yourCD orDVD drive.
2.Ina short while,a drive icon willbe displayed. Click on the icon, andthenchoose Run setup.exe.
If youdo notsee the drive icon, follow the steps below:
i.Right-click onthe backgroundof the Windows start screen, and thenclick All apps.
iii.Right-click the CD or DVDdrive icon, andthenclick Open AutoPlay.
3.Tocomplete the installation, follow the instructions onthe screen.
4.When prompted, restart yourcomputer.
YourSound BlasterZ-Seriesworksseamlesslywith manyexternaldevicesto performdifferent tasks.
Tolearnmore about these tasks andhow to connect additional devices, consult the followingsections:
lWatching DVDs
lCreating Music
lActualproductsmaydifferslightlyfromthoseshown in thischapter.
lThe cables shown inthis chapter may be bundled withyour peripheral orare available separately
lFormoreinformation on theCreativeperipheralsmentioned in thischapter,visit
Playing Games
YourSound BlasterZ-Seriesisspeciallydesigned to enhanceaudioin gamesusing Creative'scutting
edgeaudiotechnologies.Playing gameswillbemoreexhilarating than everbefore!
To learn moreabout thefollowing audiotechnologies,visit
Makeyourgamescomealivewith EAX®ADVANCEDHD™and immerseyourselfin worlds that their
Hearmultipleaudioeffects being played simultaneously,and preciseenvironment settingsapplied to
them tocreate alife-likeenvironment and heighten thesenseofrealism.
Eacheffect is also accuratelypositionedin its 3Denvironment, allowingyou to tell where it is coming
fromrelativeto yourlocation, and you willbe ableto discern whereyourteammates and enemiesare
EAXADVANCEDHDisaweapon that willgiveyou the competitiveedge,especiallyin multiplayer
Creative ALchemy
CreativeALchemy is a powerful tool thatrestores the audio for a DirectSound®3D game running on
Windows7 orWindows8 to itsformerglory-in fullsurround sound with hardwareaccelerated audio
DolbyDigital Live
Dolby Digital Live is a real-time encodingtechnology from Dolby Laboratories thatconverts any audio
signalinto aDolby Digitalbitstreamfortransportand playbackthrough yourhome theatreordigital
Transformyourgameplayinto an exciting and realisticexperienceusing DolbyDigitalLive.Audiocues
and effectsthat followtheonscreen action arereproduced, immersing you in 5.1 channelsurround
To learn moreabout DolbyDigitalLive,visit
DTSConnect is a real-time encodingtechnology from DTS, Inc. forinteractive media andis only
availableon the PCplatform.It convertsanyaudiosignalon thecomputerinto 5.1 channelDTSformat
WithDolby Digital Live or DTSConnect, a single digital cable is allthatis neededto connect your
computer to your home theatre system, simplifying the setupandeliminatingthe confusion ofmultiple
To learn how to connect your A/V receiverordigitalspeakersystem to your audio card, consult the
lConnecting HomeTheaterSystems
Watching DVDs
YourDVDs areencoded with Dolby Digitalaudiotechnologies,which have to be decoded to enjoymulti-
Decoding with asoftwareDVD player
You can useasoftwareDVD playerto decode DolbyDigitalorDTSencoded signalsfromyourDVDs,and
output multi-channelaudio throughyouraudio card to yourspeakers.
To do so, you need to installa software DVDplayersuchas PowerDVD or WinDVD(latest version
Decoding with an externaldecoder
YoucanpassDolby Digital or DTSencodedsignals from your DVDsthroughyour audio cardtoan
externaldecoder(forexample,an A/Vreceiver),and output multi-channelaudioto your5.1 speaker
systems.Somedigitalspeakersystems arealsocapableofdecoding Dolby DigitalorDTS encoded
Tolearnmore, consultthe documentationof your external decoder or digital speaker system.
To learn how to connect your A/V receiverordigitalspeakersystem to your audio card, consult the
lConnecting HomeTheaterSystems
Using YourSound BlasterZ-Series23
Youcanplay music from, and/orrecord music toexternal devices (forexample, Digital Audio Tape
player/recorder)by connecting them to yourSound BlasterZ-Series.
Connecting your external devicetotheSound Blaster Z-Series
Jack, Connector or CableDescription
1.Optical S/PDIFOutjackConnectstorecording devices with
DATrecorders, MDrecorders or
2.Optical S/PDIF InjackConnects to playback devices with
DATplayers, MiniDisc players or DVD
3.Optical cable (available
Connects the playback or recording
Using YourSound BlasterZ-Series24
You can set up ahome musicstudiousing yourSound BlasterZ-Series.
Put togetheryourown productionsconsisting ofmultiplemusictracksfroma MIDIsynthesizeroran
electric guitar.Alternatively, connectyour electric guitar usinga pre-ampbox to the Line In/Microphone
Injack.Use a converter ifyour pre-amp box comes witha larger(forexample,a 6.35mm (1/4-inch))
You can alsoconnect amicrophoneto yourSound BlasterZ-Series.
Jack, Connector or CableDescription
1.Line In/MicrophoneInjackConnects to line-level sources (for
witha 3.5mm(1/8-inch) plug.
YourSound BlasterZ-Seriescan also be connected tohands-freemicrophones orthe Sound Blaster
Beamforming Microphone,making over-the-Net chatting ahassle-freeaffair.Nowyou can enjoyclear
voicechat forgaming and otheronlinechatting purposes.
Jack, Connector or CableDescription
1.Line In/Microphone InjackConnects to microphones or the Sound
a 3.5mm(1/8-inch) plug.
The followingsoftware is designedforyouto access the basic as wellas the advancedfeatures ofyour
audiocard.Werecommended that you familiarizeyourselfwith theirfunctionsin orderto makefulluse
Tolearnmore abouteachapplication, consult its Online Help. Dependingonthe application, youcando
this by clickingonthe toolbar ofthe application, or selectingHelpTopics from the Help menu.
lSound BlasterZ-SeriesControlPanel
lCreative Software AutoUpdate
lCreativeProduct Registration
lDolby Digital Live encoder
lSound BlasterSpeakerSetup
Various otherbonus Creativeapplications are also compatibleforyouraudio card. Visit and navigate to therelevant product pageto viewand download these
lTheapplications includedwithyour audio cardmaydiffer from those describedhere. Your audio
lSomeapplications areavailableforcertain operating systemsorcertain cardmodelsonly.
lThe colorofSound BlasterZ-SeriesControlPanelmaydifferfordifferent sound cards.
Managing Your Profiles
Activate aprofileby clicking theand selecting it fromthe list.
Clickto save allsettings to the current profile orcreate a new
Sharing Profiles
You can export yourcustomsettingsand sharethemwith others,orimport othergamers'custom
Customizing Your Avatar
Youcancustomize the avatar for eachprofile.Double-clickthe currentavatar to openthe selection
window. You caneitherselect an avatarfrom thelist orclickto select yourown image fileto
Using the CreativeSoftwareSuite 27
Drag the master volume slider to adjustthe volume level. Youcan
mute/unmute the volume by clicking the speaker icon.
Clickeach featureto accessits settingspage.Moreinformation on each
featurecan befound in theirrespectivesectionsin thismanual.
Youcanchange thelanguage settings or restore settings to theirdefault values. You
can alsocheckforsoftwareupdates.Clickand configurevariousoptions fromthe
l"Options"-Enablethesystemto automaticallycheckforsoftwareupdateswhen yourcomputeris
lSelect whethertheSound BlasterZ-SeriesControlPanelisactivated when Windowsstarts.
lSelect the audioplaybackdevice
lSelect the supported softwarelanguages availableforyoursystem.
lGeneralinformation regarding yourSound BlasterZ-SeriesControlPanelsoftware.
1.SBXPro Studio enhancements
Select to turn on orturn offeach enhancement.You can hoveryourmouse cursorovereach
2.Enhancement Levelsliders
3.Audio Test controls
Enhancing Your Listening Experience
Youcanadjustthe amount to applyforeach enhancement by dragging its slider left to decrease orright
toincrease.To test the effects of the audio enhancements, clickand listento the demo video.
lSBXProStudioSurround provides immersion controlofsounds not just around you, but also
aboveandbelow forafull3D audio experience. Hearthe naturalsense ofaudio depth, spaciousness
and stunning 3D surround effects fromyouraudiocontent.Enjoyan unbelievablytrue-to-lifeaudio
experience, whether it's overstereo speakersor headphones.
lSBXProStudioCrystalizer restoresthedynamicrange thatislostwhen iTunesand MP3 music
gets compressed. This makes the music sound as goodas the artist originally intended, andadds an
lSBXProStudioBass fills in the low frequency tones andgives the extra impactfora better
entertainment experience. Itdramaticallyimproves thesound experience without a subwoofer.
lSBXProStudioSmartVolume addressesthe problemofabrupt volumelevelchanges during
playbackand between songs byautomaticallyand continouslymeasuring volume,and intelligently
applying gain and attenuation to compensate forthosechanges.
lSBXProStudioDialogPlus enhancesthe voicesin moviesforclearerdialog, allowing the
listener to hear the dialogoverthe restof the soundtrack andover ambient noise inthe listening
Using the CreativeSoftwareSuite 29
1.First select therecording device.
2.Next,turn on CrystalVoiceand select toturn on orturn offeach ofthe availableenhancements.
After configuration, clickandspeak intoyour microphonetohear how your voice sounds
lCrystalVoiceFX enablesthespeaker'svoiceto bealtered with avariety ofeffects,which can be
used to enhance the tone of the speaker'svoice, create interestingaccents or to soundlikea
lCrystalVoiceSmartVolume automatically adjusts the loudness of the speaker's voice to
maintain aconsistent volume level.Thismakesit convenient forthe speakerto conversenormally,
regardless ofwhetherthe speaker is close to orfar awayfrom the microphone.
lCrystalVoiceNoiseReduction enablesthespeakerto be heard clearlyoverbackground noiseby
constantly monitoringthe environmentandeliminate the unwantednoise that interferes withthe
lCrystalVoiceAcousticEchoCancellation eliminatesechoesand enablesthespeakerto listen to
the otherparty clearly.Echoes areacommon problempresent in voicecommunication systemsthat
disruptsconversations by making it difficult to hearthe otherparty.
lCrystalVoiceFocus createsazoneand suppressesnoiseoutsideit to enablethe speakerwithin to
be heard with amazing clarity.Multiplemicrophones areused to focus,enhancethespeaker'svoice,
Using the CreativeSoftwareSuite 30
Scoutmodetransforms your hearingandenables youtohear your opponents fromfurther away, giving
1.Scout mode
Clickto configure hotkeys forturning on and turning offScout mode.
1.Switch between SpeakersorHeadphonesmode.
Select yourcurrent physicalspeakerorheadphoneconfiguration.
StereoDirectisan option fordirectplaybackto stereospeakerchannelsampledat 192kHz.The
following features willnot beapplied to thisplayback:
Selectthe appropriateconfigurationbasedonyour setup,thenclicktohear asample audio
Using the CreativeSoftwareSuite 32
1.Encoder settings
Select"No Encoder"if youwishtoturnoff encodingor select"Dolby Digital Live" or "DTSConnect"
Setting up DTSConnect
UnderDTSConnect,select orunselect theoption "DTSNeo:PC" and configureitsvarious settings
according toyouraudioplaybackneeds.Tolearn moreabout DTSConnect,
1.Volume sliders
Adjust theplaybackand recording volumeforyourvarious inputsand outputs.
Select the inputdevice source from the following analogsources: FrontMicrophone, Rear Micro-
phone orRear Line-in. Only one source canbe active at any one time.
Slide the volume levelsliders rightto increaseandleft to decrease.Clicktheiconto mute/unmute
the input/output. Youcan click theicontoadjustthe settings for your input/output.
Your audio card supports audio input from the followinganalog sources:
lRearMicrophone(LineIn/MicrophoneIn jack)
Only one of the above inputsources can be active at any time. The InputDevice configurationallows
you to specifythe input sourceyou wish to activate.
Step 1:Launch the Sound BlasterZ-SeriesControlPanelfromyourWindows start menu.
Step 2: Select"Mixer"to viewtheMixerconfiguration interface.
Step 3: Click the InputDevice buttonandselect the appropriate inputsource.
For example,ifyou would like to record froma microphone connected to the IntelHDFront Panel,
select"Front Microphone"asshown in the figurebelow.
1.EQ presets
2.EQ sliders
Customizing Your EQSettings
Select theEQ checkboxtoenablethisfeature,then clicktheEQ drop-down arrowand selectapreset
Selectinga preset willmove the EQsliders to the appropriate values. Youcanthenadjust the equalizer
setting by draggingthe sliders upor downto the desiredlevel.Clicktosave the new
Thelistofdefault EQ presetscannot bedeleted oroverwritten.
1.Playstereo mixto digitaloutput
Select the checkbox to downmix the audio withits effects to a stereo PCM stream to be channeled
You must firstselect"Speaker"asthe playbackdevicetousethisfeature.
Playing Games
Youraudio device is equipped withcuttingedgeaudio technologies andsoftware to enhance the audio in
yourgames. SBXPro Studio willelevate yourgamingexperience to the next level, allowingyouto hear
sound details in games youhave never heard before!
Fordetailson thevariousSBXProStudioenhancementsand itsconfiguration,pleasereferto SBX Pro
Creative ALchemy
When configuringDirectSound®3D games on Windows 7 and Windows 8, the game loses its
immersivenessand environmentaleffects duetochangesin audioarchitecture.
Torestore these effects and experience the full audio immersion, follow the steps below:
1.Navigate tothe folder where you have installedthe game.
2.Right-clickon thegame'slauncherand select Properties.
3.Select theCompatibility tab and selecttheCompatibilityMode checkbox.
4.Click the CompatibilityMode drop-down arrowand select Windows XP (Service Pack 2), then
EnabletheGamein CreativeALchemy
1.Click Start >ProgramsorAllPrograms >Creative >ALchemy >Creative ALchemy
2.Thegameshould be detected automaticallyand appearin theleft column.
3.Select the game andclickto move it to the right column.
ForWindows 8:
2.Thegameshould be detected automaticallyand appearin theleft column.
3.Select the game andclickto move it to the right column.
When you launch thegame,you should heartheoriginaleffects.
If the game is not detected, do the following:
1. Navigate to the folder where youhave installed the game.
2.Right-clickon thegame'slauncherand select Run asadministrator.
3. Exit the applicationand launch Creative ALchemy again. The game should now appear in the left
Using the CreativeSoftwareSuite38
Communicating with VoiceoverInternetProtocol(VoIP)
Useaheadsetwith youraudiodevicetoenjoyoutstanding acousticperformancein popularVoIP
applications likeVentrilo® and TeamSpeak®. Hearand beheard clearlybyteammates during multi-
Youcanenhance suchvoice communications usingCrystalVoice enhancements. Formore details,
Using the CreativeSoftwareSuite39
CreatingYour Audio'SweetSpot' with the SBSpeaker Setup
Generally, for a 5.1speaker configuration, there is anideal speaker placementthatallows youto
position yourselfin the audio sweet spot, givingyouthe best surroundand audio pleasurepossible.
Please refer toPositioningYour Speakers or your speaker system documentationfor details onthe
Often,however, wemay be unable to place our speakers ideallydue to physicalconstraints such as
roomsizeand object placementsetc.Hence,theSound BlasterZ-Seriesaudio card comesbundled with
theSound BlasterSpeakerSetup application.Simplylaunch thisapplication from theSound BlasterZ-
SeriesControlPanel(icon found in Speakers/Headphonessettings),oryourWindowsstart menu
and adjust thesettingsto createa virtualspeakerplacement.
Here youcanconfigure yourcurrent speakersystem and also conduct soundtests to checkyoursetup.
Direct bassaudioto yoursubwooferusing thevariousconfiguration options found in thistab. You can
performabase test to monitorforfrequenciesthat drop asthetonesweeps fromyourfront speakersto
Using the CreativeSoftwareSuite40
Ifyou havean audio/video (A/V) receiver,yourspeakersmust bewired appropriately(in-phased) in
ordertoreproducesound fieldscorrectly.ThePolaritySelection tab helps you correctlyconnect all
negative andpositive output terminals onthe A/V receiver to the inputs onthe speakers.
Click the Start buttonand follow the onscreenprocedure to check your the speakerwiring.
Thistab helps you tomaximizeyourspeakers'audioperformancewhen you areunableto optimizeyour
speakerpositioningdue to physicalspace constraints. Youwillneed to specify:
lthe distance between the ideal listeningpositionandeachof your speakers
lposition oftheFrontCenterChannel(ifavailable),to compensateforitsactualposition eitherabove
Using the CreativeSoftwareSuite41
This set of configurations enables youto achieve a balancedlevelfor eachspeaker. Speaker level is
affectedmainly by the distance betweenthe speakerand the listener.
Click the LevelTestbuttonandadjust the speakerlevelfor eachspeaker accordingly.
Thissection detailsthespecifications ofyourSound BlasterZ-Seriesaudiocard.
lPCIExpressSpecification Version 1.1 compliant
lBusmastering reduceslatencyand speeds up system performance
lAdvanced hardwareaccelerated digitaleffects processing
lDedicated DSPcapableofboth timeand frequencydomain audioprocessing
l24-bit Analog-to-Digitalconversion ofanalog inputsat up to 96 kHzsamplerate
l24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion ofdigitalsourcesto analog outputs
l16-bit to24-bitrecording sampling rates:44.1,48 and96 kHz
lSupports Sony/Philips DigitalInterface(S/PDIF)formatofup to24-bit/96 kHzquality
lS/PDIFoutput atselectablesampling rateof44.1,48 or96 kHzfromMicrosoftControlPanel
lS/PDIFoutput not availableduring playback ofprotected digitalaudiocontentauthored with DRM
Depending on yoursystemconfiguration,output sampling frequenciesmaybeavailableat 48 and96
FlexibleMixer Control
lSelectableinput sourcefrom various audiosourcesforrecording
lIndependent volume control
lSBX Pro Studio Crystalizer
lSBX Pro Studio Bass
lSBX Pro Studio Smart Volume
lCrystalVoice Acoustic Echo Cancellation
lCrystalVoiceSmart Volume
lCrystalVoice Focus
Thissection detailstheconnectivity ofyourSound BlasterZ-Seriesaudiocard.
Audio Inputs
lOne3.5mm(1/8-inch)LineIn jackforAnalog Line In orMicrophone In
Audio Outputs
lThree3.5mm(1/8-inch) Line Out jacks forsixchannelanalog audio output:
Front Left, Front Right,Front Center,Subwoofer,RearLeft and RearRight channels
lOne2 x5 pin FrontPanelHeaderforconnection with IntelHDFrontPanelAudiostandard header
Connection Compatibility
Notcompatible withAC97or Intel-compatible HDFront PanelAudio
PinSignal NameDescription
2 GNDGround
4 PRESENCE#Activelowsignalthat signals BIOSthat an
analog header.
dongle is connected.
6SENSE1_RETURNJack detectionreturnforFrontpanel (JACK1)
7SENSE_SENDJack detectionsense linefromthe Intel HDAudio
8KEYConnector Key
10SENSE2_RETURNJack detectionreturnforfrontpanel (JACK2)
Thissection provides solutionstoproblemsyou mayencounterduring installation ornormaluse.This
lProblemswith DigitalAudioDevices
lProblemswith MultipleAudioDevices
Ifyou haveanyothertechnicalproblemswith thisproduct,you can alsoconsult ourself-help tool
"KnowledgeBase"foronlinetroubleshooting and solutions. Visit and select your
Problemswith Digital AudioDevices
TheDMAfeaturemaynot be enabled foryourcomputer'sdrives.
ForWindows 7:
1.Click Start>ControlPanel>Hardwareand Sound >DeviceManager.
If the UserAccount Control dialog box appears,clicktheContinue button.
3.Foreach ATA Channelin thelist,right-clickand selectProperties.
4.Click the AdvancedSettings tab and selecttheEnableDMA checkbox.
ForWindows 8:
1.At the right toolbar,clickSettings>ControlPanel>Hardwareand Sound >Device
Manager. If the UserAcocuntControl dialog boxappears,clicktheContinue button.
3.Foreach ATA Channelin thelist,right-clickand selectProperties.
4.Click the AdvancedSettings tab and selecttheEnableDMA checkbox.
Problemswith Dolby Digital Live orDTSConnect
Beforeenabling DolbyDigitalLive orDTSConnect:
lStop allaudioplaybackthrough yourselected output device.Ifnot,Dolby DigitalLivemaynot be
DolbyDigital Live/DTSConnectisnotworking for myapplicationsand games.
lSetthe Speakers optionof your audio device as the default playback device in the settings menu of
yourapplications and games,and in the WindowsSound ControlPanel.
IfDolby Digital LiveorDTSConnect is enabled, only PCMaudio andcertaincompressed audio (for
example,MP3) canbe played, whichwillbe encodedby Dolby Digital Live orDTSConnectthrough
Problemswith Multiple AudioDevices
You may havean existing audiodeviceinstalled in yourcomputer.Theaudiodevicemaybe an audio
card oran onboard audio chipset.Beforeyou installyouraudio device,you areadvisedto disableor
completelyuninstallandremove your existingaudio device.Operating multiple audio devicesin your
Alternatively, during the installation ofyouraudio card, do the following:
lIfyourcomputerdetects an installed Sound BlasterAudigy series,Sound BlasterLive! seriesor
Sound BlasterPCI512 audiocard,amessage boxrecommending that you completelyuninstalland
remove the older audio device willappear. Clickthe Yes button and followtheinstructionson the
screen to complete the removalofthe oldaudio device. Remove the oldaudio cardfrom your
lIf your computer detects any otherinstalled audio card, amessage box recommendingthat you
completelyuninstallandremove the older audio device willappear. Click the Yes button to continue
After the installation ofthe audio card, completely uninstall the existing card and remove the audio
If thesystemhasan onboard audiochipset.
Disable your computer's onboardaudio chipset.Consultthe documentationof your computer's
Problemswith Sound
Checkthe following:
lTheheadphonesareconnected tothe card'sLineOut 1 jack(Front L/R).
lInthe Speakers/Headphones tabof the SoundBlaster Z-Series ControlPanel, the Headphones
No audio output whenplayingdigital files suchas .WAV,MIDIfiles orAVI clips.
lThe speakers'volume controlknob,if any, is set atmid-range. Adjustthe volume inMixer Settings
oftheSound BlasterZ-SeriesControlPanel,ifnecessary.
lThepowered speakersorexternalamplifierareconnected to thecard'sLineOut jacks.
lThereisno hardwareconflict between thecard and aperipheraldevice.SeeProblemswith Sound.
lThe Speakers/Headphones Configurationsettings in the Speakers/Headphones tabof the Sound
BlasterZ-Series Control Panelcorresponds to youractualspeakerorheadphone configuration.
Referto the following informationto useyour product safely,and to reducethe chanceofelectricshock,
short-circuiting,damage,fire,hearing impairment or otherhazards. Improperhandling mayvoid
the warrantyfor your product. Formore information,readthe warranty available with
lDo not dismantleorattempt to repairyourproduct.
lDo not expose yourproduct to temperatures outside the rangeof0°C to 45°C (32°F to 113°F).
lKeep yourproduct awayfrom strong magneticobjects.
lDo not subject yourproduct to excessiveforceorimpact.
Ifyourproduct ismoisture-resistant, takecarenot toimmerseyourproduct in waterorexpose it to
SafetyInformation 47
Information in thisdocument issubject tochangewithout noticeanddoesnot represent acommitment on the part
of Creative Technology Ltd. No partof this manual may be reproducedor transmitted inany form or by any means,
electronic ormechanical, including photocopying and recording, for anypurposewithoutwrittenpermissionof
Copyright©2012CreativeTechnologyLtd. All rights reserved. Creative, theCreative logo, Sound Blaster, the
Sound Blaster logo,CrystalVoice, Creative ALchemy, SBXPro Studio and the SBXlogo are trademarks orregistered
trademarksof Creative Technology Ltd. in the UnitedStates and/or other countries.Manufactured under the
license from Dolby Laboratories.Dolby and the double-Dsymbol are trademarks of Dolby Laboratories.Allother
trademarksare properties of their respective owners. Allspecifications are subject to change withoutprior
notice.Use of this productis subjectto a limitedhardware warranty. Actual contents may differ slightly fromthose
pictured.Thesoftwareincluded inthis package may notbe used separatelyfromthehardware. Beforeusing the
software, youmustagreeto be bound by thetermsand conditions of theEnd User License Agreement.
October 2012