Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D THX USB External Sound Card Review

  1. Introduction
  2. Specifications and Photos
  3. Gaming and Audio performance
  4. Conclusion

Too expensive for what it gives?

The Recon3D THX isn’t a very easy to recommend a card since at its price range you get some decent USB DACs that offer better SQ. However, most of those DACs are PC only so they don’t have the Recon3D’s ability to pair with consoles. Compared with its PCI-E brother, the SQ of both are around the same but the PCI-E version boasts multi channel support, a very capable headphone amplifier for hard to drive headphones and a slightly lesser MSRP ($99 compared to $129 of the USB version). However, the USB version boasts of a far simpler installation process and support for consoles along with the external controls for disabling/enabling enhancements like Scout Mode and THX Trusound profiles.

Also while many would have moved to Windows 7 or even Windows 8 by now it has to be mentioned that this card does not work with Windows XP (either 32 bit or 64-bit versions). So if for some reason you are still using Windows XP this card will simply not work. Driver support is only for Windows Vista, 7 and 8 (support for 32 bit and 64-bit versions for all OS).

At the end of the day…

To sum up, this is a competent sound card and worth a buy if you like to use headphones or speakers and don’t wish to go through the hassles of installing a PCI-E card or lack the space in your cabinet for another PCI-E card. For pure VFM, the PCI-E card is a better bet for support of 5.1/7.1 speaker systems and for the powerful headphone amplifier which will comfortably drive practically any dynamic headphone on the planet.


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