Creative Labs Sound Blaster AE-9

BH #CRSBAE9 • MFR #70SB178000000
Creative Labs Sound Blaster AE-9
Key Features
  • Hi-Res PCIe Sound Card and DAC
  • Supports 5.1- & 7.1-Channel Surround
  • ESS SABRE-Class 9038 DAC
  • Playback: 32-Bit / 384 kHz PCM & DSD64
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.
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Creative Labs AE-9 Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2General Features
  • 3Audio
  • 4Xamp Headphone Bi-Amplifier
  • 5Surround and Processing
  • 6Audio Control Module

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.

General Features
Audio
A Feast for Your Ears
The Sound Blaster AE-9 is built with high-quality components to deliver pristine, detailed audio quality for demanding audiophiles. The core of the Sound Blaster AE-9 is the flagship audiophile-grade hi-res ESS SABRE-class 9038 DAC. It delivers a high DNR of 129 dB, 32-bit / 384 kHz playback over PCM, DSD64, and a low Total Harmonic Distortion of -120 dB (0.0001%).
CleanLine Technology
CleanLine Technology is set to overthrow the need of an external desktop mixer that takes up your desktop's valuable real estate. It is designed to filter and isolate noise along the mic path so you can enjoy crystal clear voice communications, even while your GPU is pushing its limits.

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.
Xamp Headphone Bi-Amplifier
Terrific for Headphones
The Sound Blaster AE-9 is designed to bring out the best in your headphones. It has a fully discrete Xamp Headphone Bi-Amplifier that amplifies each audio channel individually, delivering high-quality audio in an unaltered lossless mode to each earcup. The Sound Blaster AE-9 works with all kinds of headphones, driving audiophile-grade headphones up to 600 Ohms, all the way to sensitive in-ear monitors with its low 1 Ohm 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 uncompromised audio. It utilizes a push-pull output stage design to achieve good amplification. Each audio channel (left and right) goes through three stages of separate amplification circuits:

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.

Pre-Amp Stage
The input signal is further amplified to achieve an increase in current and power gain to drive the final output stage.

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.
Swappable Op-Amps
The Sound Blaster AE-9 has swappable op-amps, so you can further define your music's tonal characteristics.
Nichicon "Fine Gold" Capacitors
The Sound Blaster AE-9 utilizes Nichicon "Fine Gold" capacitors that use etching techniques and offer a rich sound in the bass register.
Surround and Processing
Powerful Sound All Around
Immerse yourself in audio! The Sound Blaster AE-9 supports 5.1 discrete 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.
Processing
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 within Windows.

On top of Sound Blaster's own processing capabilities, the Sound Blaster AE-9 also supports Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect Encoding.
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 Xamp, are contained within the Audio Control Module that sits on your desk. Designed to work well with phantom-powered condenser microphones, the AE-9 is great 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 them 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.
UPC: 054651192294

Creative Labs AE-9 Specs

Key Specs
System Connection
PCIe
Inputs/Outputs
1x TOSLINK S/PDIF Input
1x TOSLINK S/PDIF Output
2x 1/8" / 3.5 mm Line Output
1x 2RCA Line Output
1x Proprietary Link Input/Output
Channels
7.1
OS Compatibility
Windows 10
Windows 8.1
Windows 7
General
System Connection
PCIe
Inputs/Outputs
1x TOSLINK S/PDIF Input
1x TOSLINK S/PDIF Output
2x 1/8" / 3.5 mm Line Output
1x 2RCA Line Output
1x Proprietary Link Input/Output
Channels
7.1
Chipset
Creative Sound Core3D
Impedance
1 Ohm (Output)
16 to 600 Ohms (Headphone)
16 to 31 Ohms (IEM)
32 to 149 Ohms (Normal)
150 to 600 Ohms (High Gain)
Max Sample Rate/Resolution
384 kHz / 32-Bit
THD
0.0004%
Software System Requirements
OS Compatibility
Windows 10
Windows 8.1
Windows 7
Memory Requirement
1 GB
Storage Requirement
600 MB
Physical
Audio Controls
Yes
Power Requirements
2x 6-Pin PCIe Power (500 W PSU)
Dimensions
7.01 x 5 x 0.87" / 178 x 127 x 22 mm (PCIe Card)
5.91 x 5.04 x 2.56" / 150 x 128 x 65 mm (Module)
Weight
8.11 oz / 230 g (PCIe Card)
16.9 oz / 480 g (Module)
Packaging Info
Package Weight
2.8 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)
8.5 x 7.8 x 4.7"

Creative Labs AE-9 Reviews

See any errors on this page? Let us know

Will this work with the 2019 Mac Pro?

Will this work with the 2019 Mac Pro?
Asked by: Antonio
The Sound Card Creative Labs Sound Blaster AE-9 doesn't support Mac Pro 2019.
Answered by: ilich
Date published: 2020-07-09

Will this card fit in a Hyte Y60 case?

Will this card fit in a Hyte Y60 case?
Asked by: Paul
The Creative Labs Sound Blaster AE-9 will fit inside the HYTE Y60 Mid-Tower Case.
Answered by: Paige K
Date published: 2023-11-07

Can you connect Yamaha HS8 studio monitors to ...

Can you connect Yamaha HS8 studio monitors to this?
Asked by: Charles
Yes, the Creative Labs Sound Blaster AE-9 could be connected to studio monitors such as the Yamaha HS8, but as it lacks balanced outputs you will require adapter cables - such as RCA to XLR.
Answered by: calvinm
Date published: 2023-08-31

I have a MSI Godlike Z370 motherboard, and the ...

I have a MSI Godlike Z370 motherboard, and the sound is pretty good. I'm wondering if this AE-9 would be a noticible improvement over the motherboard's built-in sound? Does anyone have an opinion or experience with this? Thanks!
Asked by: Nick
Yes, the Creative Labs Sound Blaster AE-9 can deliver sound quality up to 384 kHz. The MSI Godlike Z370 motherboard can deliver sound quality up to 192kHz.
Answered by: Nathan F
Date published: 2022-02-06
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