Built with high-quality components to satisfy the most demanding audiophiles, the Sound Blaster AE-9 from Creative Labs delivers pristine and detailed sound. It is compatible with 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 10, 8.1, 8, and 7, and features an ESS SABRE-class 9038 DAC that delivers a 129 dB DNR at up to 32-bit / 384 kHz PCM and DSD64 playback, plus a low Total Harmonic Distortion of -120 dB (0.001%). It also features a 1 Ohm headphone output impedance that can drive studio-grade headphones of up to 600 Ohms, 5.1-channel discrete surround, and up to 7.1-channel virtual surround.
Included with the AE-9 is an Audio Control Module, two stereo to RCA cables, and an optical TOSLINK cable.
High-performance GPUs pack heavy workloads 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 specially-designed circuitry and components that help eliminate voltage rail issues and isolate noise along the microphone path that typically plagues internal audio cards. In addition, it utilizes a differential drive for the mic signal to help reduce the common mode noise that may be induced by other electronic sources.
Voltage Amplification Stage
The differential signal from the DAC is fed into a Low Pass Filter made up of WIMA film/foil capacitors, followed by a single-ended amplifier to condition the signal for 2nd stage processing.
The input signal is further amplified to achieve an increase in current and power gain to drive the final output stage.
This stage gives further improvement to the power gain and transfers this power to the headphone with minimum loss. The push-pull design, consisting of transistors, is employed to achieve better efficiency, higher power output, and cancellation of even-order harmonics at the final output stage.
On top of Sound Blaster's own processing capabilities, the Sound Blaster AE-9 also supports Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect Encoding.