Creative X7: a feature-packed high-res DAC and amp

Billed as the "biggest, baddest, boldest Sound Blaster ever", Creative claims the flagship X7 will also do the job for discerning audiophiles. It's a DAC, amp, headphone amp, soundcard and more, all in one pyramid-shaped unit.

It's certainly not going to leave you short in terms of connections, with optical, asynchronous USB, RCA and 3.5mm inputs, plus optical, 5.1-analogue, headphone and standard speaker outputs.

The Creative Sound Blaster X7 also sports aptX Bluetooth connectivity so you can stream audio from your computer, smartphone or tablet.

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If you plan to use those digital inputs, you'll be glad to hear they support music files right up to high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz. A Burr-Brown (PCM1794) DAC takes care of that.

A Texas Instruments Class D amp delivers 2 x 50 watts of power, and you can connect any passive speakers via the standard terminals or drive a pair of headphones thanks to the built-in headphone amplifier.

If you're more concerned with movies and games then there are a host of Sound Blaster audio processing options, while Dolby Digital decoding is also supported. There are also 5.1-analogue outputs.

A built-in mic means the X7 can work as a speakerphone, too, while there's also a free Sound Blaster Central mobile app for taking full control of your EQ options, volume control and more on your Android or iOS device.

Plenty to get your teeth in to, then, and we will look to do just that in the not too distant future when we get to our X7 review.

The Creative X7 is due on sale in December and will cost £330. For more details head over to the Creative X7 microsite.

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).