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Buy the Sound Blaster AE-9

Sound Blaster AE-9

Ultimate 32-bit / 384 kHz PCI-e Sound Card and DAC with Xamp Discrete Headphone Bi-Amp and Audio Control Module

VIDEO

Features

Overview

At the intersection where today's cutting-edge audiophile technology meets 30 years of Sound Blaster processing experience, we set out to redefine the best of PC audio. Paying homage to our audio enhancement legacy and our never-waning thirst to explore the possibilities of audio, the Sound Blaster AE-9 is quite simply the best PCI-e sound card we have ever made.

Marrying the best of hardware with a 129 dB DNR and 32-bit / 384 kHz playback from the hi-res ESS SABRE-class reference DAC and our very own Xamp fully Discrete Headphone Bi-amplifier, together with our critically-acclaimed Sound Blaster audio processing technology that has been refined and perfected over the last 3 decades, the AE-9 can be described with a single word — pristine.

And it's not just specifications. We have put in thought into every single aspect of the product, including the launch of a brand-new feature — the CleanLine Technology, engineered from ground up to eliminate voltage rail issues and isolate noise along the mic path for crystal clear voice communications.

Audio Quality

A Feast for Your Ears

The Sound Blaster AE-9 is built with the absolute best components to deliver pristine, detailed audio quality that would satisfy even the most demanding audiophile.

The core of the Sound Blaster AE-9 is the flagship audiophile-grade hi-res ESS SABRE-class 9038 DAC. It delivers an ultra-high DNR of 129 dB, 32-bit 384 kHz playback over PCM, DSD64, and an incredibly low Total Harmonic Distortion of -120 dB (0.0001%).

CleanLine Technology

Our newest innovation — CleanLine Technology — is set to overthrow the need of an external desktop mixer that takes up the desktop's valuable real estate.

The CleanLine Technology is designed to filter and isolate noise along the mic path so you can truly enjoy crystal clear and uncompromised voice communications even while your GPU is pushing its limits.

High-performance GPUs pack heavy workload onto their boards, causing power supply ripple noise that manifests into audible noise and distortion when the microphone signal is amplified.

The AE-9's CleanLine technology features a specially designed circuitry and components that eliminates voltage rail issues and isolates noise along the microphone path that typically plagues internal audio cards. In addition, we utilize a differential drive for the mic signal to reduce the common mode noise that may be induced by other electronic sources.

Xamp Headphone Bi-amp

Terrific for Headphones

The Sound Blaster AE-9 is designed to bring out the best in any headphone.

It boasts the fully discrete Xamp Headphone Bi-amplifier that amplifies each audio channel individually, delivering pristine audio in an unaltered lossless mode to each earcup regardless of demand.

The Sound Blaster AE-9 works with all kinds of headphones, driving audiophile-grade headphones up to 600Ω, all the way to sensitive in-ear monitors with its ultra-low 1Ω headphone output impedance.

The Xamp Discrete Headphone Bi-amplifier

The Xamp discrete headphone amplifier uses a dual-amp design to amplify each audio channel individually for pristine, uncompromised audio. It utilizes a push-pull output stage design to achieve good amplification.

Each audio channel (Left and Right) goes through 3 stages of separate amplification circuits:

Other Audiophile Features

Surround And Processing

Powerful Sound All Around

Immerse yourself in audio! The Sound Blaster AE-9 supports discrete 5.1 surround channels, and up to 7.1 virtual surround channels. The sound card also comes with Sound Blaster's Surround virtualization technology that can be fully customized, or switched off completely.

Incredible Processing

Sound Blaster has been in the audio processing game since 1989. The Sound Blaster AE-9 comes with Sound Blaster's full suite of audio enhancements, including Surround for an incredible immersion, Crystallizer that helps improve the dynamic range of audio, or Bass that provides bigger punch on the low end. Meanwhile, CrystalVoice Technology enhances voice for clear recordings and in-game communications. All enhancements are fully customizable from the Sound Blaster Command software suite on PC.

On top of Sound Blaster's own processing capabilities, the Sound Blaster AE-9 also supports Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect Encoding.

Supports Scout Mode

Ready for an unfair advantage? The Sound Blaster AE-9 comes with Scout Mode, a technology that enhances important in-game audio cues such as footsteps and weapon switching sounds. This means you can pinpoint your opponent's location and predict their moves before they even know where you are.

Audio Control Module

Power at Your Fingertips

Many of the Sound Blaster AE-9's powerful features, such as the incredible Xamp, are contained within the Audio Control Module that sits on your desk. Designed to work best with phantom-powered condenser microphones, the AE-9 is perfect for serious content creators and streamers.

Control and Convenience

The Audio Control Module lets you quickly control your audio settings. The large multifunction control knob lets you control your volume and switch between headphones and speakers. Users of different headphones will enjoy the convenient knob that allows users to switch between normal headphones, high gain headphones, or in-ear monitors. The SBX button lets users turn on and off Sound Blaster processing, which the large LED display allows for easy reading of headphone or speaker volume.

REVIEWS

IGN

The Sound Blaster AE-9 is a pricey card but it does everything it sets out to do incredibly well.

9/10 Amazing

Sound Blaster AE-9

2019-09-24

Windows Central

The built-in audio on your PC motherboard is usually just good enough, but sometimes you want to really get immersed in games and enjoy movies how the production teams intended. That's where something like the Sound Blaster AE-9 really makes a difference.

4.5/5 Recommended

Sound Blaster AE-9

2019-08-19

Digital Foundry/Eurogamer

if you want both top-notch sound quality and a wide range of recording options, the AE-9 is a clever all-in-one solution that justifies its premium price tag.

Sound Blaster AE-9

2019-09-23

Customer Reviews

M. Davies

Easy to setup well performing card

B. Nelson

I have had this card for a few weeks now and it still amazes me! I went from a WAY older soundblaster card to this and its a night and day difference. I do everything from listening to music to playing games with the occasional watching a movie and everything sounds so rich and clean. I do have the DAC paired with a pair of Sennheisers HD660S AND HD650. I thought the headphones were awesome before....

A Closer Look

Specifications

Weight
Main Card: 230g, Audio Control Module (ACM): 480g
Dimensions
Main Card: 178 x 22 x 127 mm, Audio Control Module (ACM): 150 x 128 x 65 mm
Headphone Amp
Supported Headphone Impedance: 16 - 600Ω, IEM: 16 - 31Ω (1.5V Rms), Output Impedance: 1Ω, Normal: 32 - 149Ω (3V Rms), High Gain: 150 - 600Ω (5.3V RMS)
Audio Technology
Sound Core3D
Direct Mode
Playback Resolution (Stereo): PCM 16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0, 384 kHz, PCM 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0, 384 kHz, PCM 32-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0, 384 kHz, DSD64 (2.8 MHz)
Playback Resolution (Optical Out): 16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0kHz, 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0kHz
Playback Resolution (Surround 5.1): PCM 16-bit / 48.0, 96.0, 192.0kHz, PCM 24-bit / 48.0, 96.0, 192.0kHz
Recording Resolution
Mic-in: 16-bit / 16.0, 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0 kHz, 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0 kHz, 32-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0 kHz
AUX-in: 16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0kHz, 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0kHz
Optical In: 16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0kHz, 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0, 192.0kHz
DSP Mode
Playback Resolution (Stereo & Surround 5.1)
16-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0kHz, 24-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0kHz, 32-bit / 44.1, 48.0, 88.2, 96.0kHz
Platform
PCI-e
Connectivity Options (Main)
1 x ⅛″ Rear Out, 1 x ⅛″ Center / Sub Out, 1 x TOSLINK Optical In, 1 x TOSLINK Optical Out, 2 x RCA (L/R) Front Out, 1 x ACM Link, 1 x 6-pin PCI Express (PCI-e) Power Header (required for ACM)
Connectivity Options (Accessory)
Line In:
2 x RCA (L / R)
1 x ⅛″ Mic-in (Mono)
1 x ⅛″ HP Out (3-pole)
1 x ¼″ HP Out (3-pole)
Headphone Amp
Output Impedance: 1Ω, Normal: 32 - 149Ω (3V Rms), IEM: 16 - 31Ω (1.5V Rms), Supported Headphone Impedance: 16 - 600Ω, High Gain: 150 - 600Ω (5.3V RMS)
DAC
Dynamic Range (Stereo) : 129 dB, THD+N (Stereo) : 0.0001%
ADC
Dynamic Range (Stereo) : 123 dB, THD+N (Stereo) : 0.0004%
Power
PCI-e bus power, +12V for ACM (requires 6-pin PCI Express power connector from PC power supply)

System Requirements

For Windows® OS
  • Intel® Core™ i3 AMD® equivalent processor
  • Intel, AMD or 100% compatible motherboard
  • Microsoft® Windows 10 32 / 64 bit, Windows 8.1/8.0 32 / 64 bit, Windows 7 32 / 64 bit
  • 1GB RAM
  • >600 MB of free hard disk space
  • Available PCIe slot
  • Available PCI Express Power Connector for Audio Control Unit
  • PC Power Supply Unit must be 80Plus Bronze Certified with minimum 500 Watt power output and 2 x 6 Pin PCI Express power connector

Package Contents

  • Sound Blaster AE-9 (main card)
  • Audio Control Module
  • Quick Start Leaflet
  • Warranty Leaflets
  • 2 x Stereo to RCA cables
  • 1 x Optical TOSLINK cable

Warranty

1-year Limited Hardware Warranty

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