Final Thoughts and Conclusion
I was very impressed with the overall performance and features of the Sound BlasterX AE-5. Not to mention, it looks great in a system and lit up. Not just the sound card either. The four RGB strips that come with the Pure Edition of the AE-5, is a great feature that adds further value to an already excellent product. I’ve always said I’m not a huge fan of RGB lighting unless its done right. It’s my opinion that Creative Labs not only did the light right, buy in one of the most innovative ways I’ve seen yet. Sure, almost everyone puts RGB lighting on almost everything. But, I think the discrete RGB controller on the AE-5 was a welcome addition and just a cool feature. If they could somehow find a way to sync with the rest of your system, it could be even better.
Beyond just the aesthetics, the performance was excellent. I may not have high-end, studio-grade headphones. But my Sennheiser HD 598s are far from low quality. With that, they have never sounded better than through the AE-5. This is in part to the XAMP technology that amplifies each channel separately. The HD 598s sounded noticeably better through the AE-5. The amount of customization through the Sound Blaster Connect software allows you to create a truly unique listening experience, custom fit to your personal taste. The Sound BlasterX AE-5 can be purchased for $149.95 -$179.99USD. Even for just a sound card of this quality, I think this is a great price. Add in the fact it has a built-in RGB controller, and its value just increased. Especially when you consider a good RGB controller, with four RGB strips with cost upwards of $50 USD. Once again, Creative Labs shows us why they are the premier name is audio technology.