To be honest, I haven’t thought about a dedicated sound card for a while. The onboard audio solutions have really improved over the past 10 years or more; so much so that I don’t even have another sound card in my inventory of parts to use if I wanted or needed to. When I built my first PC in 2002, if you wanted any semblance of quality audio, you HAD to have an add-on sound card, which prompted me to buy a Creative Sound Blaster card to match my Athlon XP system. Well, here we are 20 years later, and Creative is still a major player in the PC audio game, and in this review we take a look at the Sound Blaster X4, a 7.1 external USB DAC and amplifier sound card. We’ve looked at the X3 before, so follow along as we take a look at the latest iteration of this line of audio devices from Creative.
Special thanks to Creative for providing the Sound Blaster X4 test sample!
The Sound Blaster X4 is packaged in a small box with a picture of the device on the front, along with a list of some of its more relevant features. This list of features makes it easy to scan the shelves in a retail environment and find a product that might suit your needs, depending on the feature set.
At the back, we have another feature list, this time with more information about each feature, in multiple languages.
Opening the box, we find the front and center of the X4, held in place by a snug-fitting cutout and a foam ring attached to the lid of the box. It’s a nice unboxing experience, but nothing special.
Inside, we get not only the X4, but also several printed items such as a warranty card and multiple user guides for the sound card itself, as well as some of the software that can work with it. The Sound Blaster X4 also comes with a 2m USB-A to USB-C cable for power and connectivity to your PC or console, as well as a 1m optical cable.