Got the AE-9, a day later than estimated, but still it arrived - whew. I installed it last night, but didn't have much time to do anything with it since there was a new episode of The Mandalorian out yesterday. I've listened to some music, but no gaming yet, and that may have to wait until this weekend, we'll see.
When I opened it up, I was impressed by how good it looks. It's a dang sexy sound card. It needs a 6-pin power plug from my PSU, I knew that ahead of time, but it's still weird (probably for the RGB on the card itself, it's subtle and not too glaring or overbearing).
The software is really robust! It's much different than it used to be. It's got specific game profiles, and also ones for music and movies as well. Once inside the music section, I can adjust the EQ myself, or pick different ones based on the type of EQ band I want. It's pretty nice so far. The breakout control box is fantastic. It's volume dial is great, and feels great. It connects to the rear of the sound card with a single cable (mini-HDMI according to the manual), as opposed to multiple cables.
I'll test it more over the coming days, and share some more thoughts. If you have questions, please ask.
"Full frontal nerdity," that quote suits me. Thanks, Better Off Ted.