[SOLVED] Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z with Sennheiser 58x Jubilee siounds bad.

Maxamis10

Commendable
May 11, 2016
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1,510
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Recently I purchased the Sennheiser 58x Jubilee from Massdrop as the overwhelming majority of comments on the headphones was that they're absolutely incredible. Plugging the headphones directly into my motherboard, the sound quality was good but the volume level was very quiet for my liking. Messing around with drivers and Windows settings didn't seem to do much of anything.

Even more recently (April 30th) I installed the Sound Blaster Z sound card from Creative Labs into my system as it states that it is capable of driving up to 600ohm headphones (The 58x I have is only 150ohm). After going through the trouble of installing the drivers and software for the Sound Blaster Z, I plugged my headphones into the sound card and I was instantly unimpressed. The volume issue was mostly solved, but the sound quality is borderline unacceptable. Nothing I tweak with the card seems to do anything to improve the quality, in fact, most of the settings makes things worse.

Any advice on how to solve my issue would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

System Specs:
MSI Z370 Gaming Plus
Intel i7 8700K
MSI GTX 1080Ti
32GB RipJaw DDR4 3200 (4x8GB)
EVGA 850W PSU
 

jimmysmitty

Polypheme
Moderator
Which port on the SB-Z are you using? There is a dedicated headphone jack that has the 600Ohm amp on it.

And I have been using a SB-Z for quite a while and the sound is pretty phenomenal. Louder than most onboard audio and clear as can be.
 

Maxamis10

Commendable
May 11, 2016
10
0
1,510
0
Which port on the SB-Z are you using? There is a dedicated headphone jack that has the 600Ohm amp on it.

And I have been using a SB-Z for quite a while and the sound is pretty phenomenal. Louder than most onboard audio and clear as can be.
If you look at the card from the back, it's the second to last on the left side, the one marked with headphones. My 58x is a single pin 3.5 jack.


I feel as tho if it were plugged into any of the other audio ports then the headphones wouldn't have sound altogether. But I'm pretty new to the audio side of hardware and I'm just now starting to understand a little about impedance levels and whatnot. :sweatsmile:

I've messed around with the controller software that comes with the card, but like I said, anything I touch makes the sound either worse or muted altogether.
 

jimmysmitty

Polypheme
Moderator
Just checking you used the correct port.

As for the software I typically turn off Crystalizer and set it to stereo sound for headphones (thats my preference). You might also want to turn off the bass enhancements or lower them.

The headphones would probably work in the primary output but the volume levels would be lower than the headphone jack.
 

Maxamis10

Commendable
May 11, 2016
10
0
1,510
0
I have the Crystalizer turned off, as I read that on another forum, but I play mostly competitive shooters and need surround sound for positional awareness and all that. But even in games such as Mortal Kombat 11, which doesn't necessarily require surround sound, sounds muffled almost. Best way I can describe it is "under water"
 

jimmysmitty

Polypheme
Moderator
Do you happen to have a different pair of headphones you can test with? I want to eliminate the headphones as thew possible issue. As I said I have used this card for quite a while and never had muffled sound, mostly just had to turn off some things and tweak others (like the EQ) to my preference.

Another thing to check is see how Windows is setting the audio as I have read Windows likes to conflict with discrete audio sometimes.
 

Maxamis10

Commendable
May 11, 2016
10
0
1,510
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I'll have to wait until tomorrow to give it a try as I won't be on my computer today. I'll update you when I test it out and see how it works. I'm hoping it isn't the headphones considering they're one of the more enthusiast pairs I've purchased (not necessarily the price, but the brand) and have read that they're fantastic for gaming as well as music.
 

Maxamis10

Commendable
May 11, 2016
10
0
1,510
0
Do you happen to have a different pair of headphones you can test with? I want to eliminate the headphones as thew possible issue. As I said I have used this card for quite a while and never had muffled sound, mostly just had to turn off some things and tweak others (like the EQ) to my preference.

Another thing to check is see how Windows is setting the audio as I have read Windows likes to conflict with discrete audio sometimes.
So, like, I wasn't going to come back to my post because I feel like a massive moron. But.. you were right about your first response.. I promise I'm not technologically challenged or anything like that, I'd like to consider myself pretty intelligent in the computer hardware field as it's what I plan to base my career around... But I totally plugged my headphones into the wrong port. It most likely had to do with looking at the diagram wrong (The diagram showing the sound card with the red plate facing up, but the card itself is facing down when plugged into the PCIe.) A careless mistake on my part. But I corrected my error and now everything sounds like a dream. Thanks :sweatsmile:
 

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