I’ve been using the Creative Labs X7 DAC to power my desktop speakers and wired headphones for almost 6 years now and have consistently been impressed with the performance, especially when it comes to having it paired up with my speakers. But I rarely run wired headphones because switching between the devices is complicated and you can’t use both at the same time. Not to mention the X7 gets toasty warm on the front when I use it with headphones. All of these issues have had me thinking about adding a dedicated headphone DAC into the mix and given the performance I have seen from the X7 it only makes sense that I would give their Sound Blaster X3 a look. So today I’m going to see what the X3 has to offer and then test out its performance to see if it fits the bill. I’ve heard great things, so I have high expectations. Let’s go check it out!

Product Name: Sound Blaster X3

Review Sample Provided by: Sound Blaster/Creative

Written by: Wes Compton

Amazon Affiliate Link: HERE






129 mm x 129 mm x 40.6 mm


Dynamic Range (Stereo): 115 dB, THD+N (Stereo): 0.0004%


Dynamic Range: 104 dB, THD+N: 0.0017%

Dynamic Range (DNR)

115 dB

Max. Playback Quality

Sampling Rate (Playback) :
Direct Mode:
Playback Resolution (Stereo): PCM 16/24/32-bit / 48.0, 96.0, 192.0 kHz
Playback Resolution (Optical Out): PCM 16/24-bit / 48.0, 96.0, 192.0 kHz
Surround 7.1: PCM 16/24/32-bit / 48.0, 96.0, 192.0 kHz
Dolby Digital Live: 16-bit, 48.0 kHz

Max. Recording Quality

16/24-bit, 48.0, 96.0, 192.0 kHz
16/24-bit / 48.0, 96.0, 192,0 kHz
16/24-bit, 48.0, 96.0, 192.0 kHz

Connectivity Options (Main)

1 x TOSLINK Optical Out, 1 x ⅛″ Rear Out, 1 x ⅛″ Center / Sub Out, 1 x 1/8″ Headphone / Headset Jack, 1 x 1/8″ Ext. Mic-in Jack, 1 x ⅛″ Front-out, 1 x ⅛″ Side Out Jack, 1 x USB Type-C port for PC / Mac, 1 x ⅛″ Line-in Jack

Headphone Amp

Supported Headphone Impedance: 32–600Ω, Low Gain: 32–149Ω (1.2V RMS @ 32Ω, 1.5V RMS @ 150Ω), High Gain: 150–600Ω (2.3V RMS @ 150Ω, 2.9V RMS @ 600Ω)

Audio Technologies


Scout Mode

Supported Operating Systems

Windows® 7, Windows® 8.1, Windows® 10


USB Bus Powered, USB-C

Package Contents

Sound Blaster X3

USB Type-A to Type-C Cable

Quick Start Guide and Leaflets

Warranty Leaflets

System Requirements

Windows® OS

  • Intel® Core™i3 or AMD® equivalent processor
  • Intel, AMD, or 100% compatible motherboard
  • Microsoft® Windows 10 32 / 64-bit, Windows 8.1 / 8.0 32 / 64-bit, Windows 7 32 / 64-bit
  • 1 GB RAM
  • > 600 MB of free hard disk space
  • USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 port

Mac® OS

  • Mac OS X® 10.12 or higher
  • 1 GB RAM
  • USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 port


  • Firmware Ver 5.0 or later
  • Available USB port

Nintendo Switch

  • Switch OS 5.0 or later
  • Available USB port (in docking mode)
  • External USB Power (not included)
  • Voice communications is title dependent

Android ^

  • Android OS Ver 7.0 or later
  • Device must have built-in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) support

iOS ^

  • iOS Ver 11.0 or later
  • Device must have built-in Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) support

^ Use as a remote controller for Sound Blaster X3 on PS4 / Nintendo Switch only, does not support Bluetooth audio streaming


1-year Limited Hardware Warranty



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