Originally Posted by iEATu
Hm even though the DAC chip is better. I remember reading on the sound blaster Z+ZX+ZXR thread that people who had bought the ZX after owning the Titanium HD said the ZX was much superior sounding. And conveniently the Z series have high potential (potential is the right term right DaveRT?) amps included while the ZX is the same price or cheaper than the Titanium HD.
I'm pretty sure the audio processor on the ZX at least, and probably Z also, is more powerful than the Titanium HD.
And to counteract you saying how the Titanium HD has a higher quality DAC, I remember many saying how the other parts on the Titanium HD were of inferior quality as compared to other sound cards around it's price. And that is why Auzentech came out with their Forte, which is no longer being made...but at least now there is the sound blaster Z series.
I was careful not to say the TiHD (Titanium HD) sounds better then the SB Z & Zx (Sound Blaster Z & Zx), I was just trying to point out the TiHD does come with better hardware (mostly)
The TiHD was selling as low as $100-$110, at least it use to, have not check the price in the past two months, prices went up when I was not looking, my bad.
Creative Labs took the basic design of the audio processing chip that is used in the XtremeGamer, Titanium, Titanium HD, stripped off some of the hardware features and added some so-so quality DAC features and called it the SoundCore and used this new audio processor in the Recon3D and Z series sound cards, so the Z series uses a stripped down audio processor, can't see how anyone can say it's a better audio processor then the TiHD's audio processor.
The Z & Zx series improved audio quality wise (over the Recon3D) because Creative added a separate DAC chip, the CS4398 (which I do consider a good DAC chip). The SB-ZxR $250 sound card uses the same DAC chip (PCM1794) as the Titanium HD, so how can the TiHD's DAC audio quality be inferior when it's DAC is also used on the top of the line SB-ZxR sound card?
(In all fairness the SB-ZxR also uses a separate DAC chip for the rear, center and sub-woofer channels).
The Titanium HD headphone jack does not come with a headphone amplifier and it's headphone output is 35-Ohm, which is a negative for headphones, so I push for people to get a separate headphone amplifier with a very low, output impedance (less then 1-Ohm) and connect it to the TiHD's RCA output, (the TiHD can pass headphone surround sound thru the RCA outputs).
The SB Z series headphone amplifier has a 10-Ohm impedance, which can work as a negative on headphones that are under 80-Ohms.