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Creative Sound Blaster X7 & XM7 bass problem

The Keeper

Senior member
Mar 27, 2007
291
0
76
I recently bought X7 Limited Edition + E-MU XM7 bundle, got them set up and all appears to work as expected. But bass is lackluster, which is unlike various reviews I've read and watched. I've also seen a few YouTube videos, such as this one and this one which shows how the drivers visibly vibrate. While I can certainly feel the vibrations on mine when I touch the drivers, they barely visibly vibrate at all even during heaviest of bass.

As per Creative's XM7 setup guide, 8 ohms is selected in X7, also tried 4 ohms but no difference (speakers are 6 ohms). X7 is connected to my desktop computer or laptop via USB cable (Windows 10 and USB 3.0 in both cases). I've also tried to play music on my Android phone via Bluetooth, with same results. Having gone through the X7 manual, I didn't notice anything amiss.

I've fiddled with Windows sound settings, tried different default bitrates and frequencies, also checked and unchecked full range speakers. I've also tried with Creative's SBX effects on, without them and with "Direct Mode" enabled, which bypasses DSP entirely. Bass is in all cases missing.

I've updated X7 firmware to the latest version and also using the latest X7 drivers.

Found this thread in which someone apparently has same issues on USB, but RCA works well. I tried 3.5mm Line-In and there was no difference. When I get the chance, I will try S/PDIF as well, but can't do that until later next week. But chances are high that won't do anything either.

What could possibly be the problem here?
 
Last edited:

giantpandaman2

Senior member
Oct 17, 2005
580
11
81
Full range, make sure you have no subwoofer enabled.

Maybe you just expected too much? Bookshelves, even good ones, can't equal an actual subwoofer. An excellent bookshelf goes down to about 48 Hz, whereas a small sub will hit 25 and a larger one below 20 Hz.
 
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Mar 11, 2004
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Yeah what is your reference for sound?

I seem to recall reading that those were a bit light in the bass, but that some mode on the X7 made them sound fuller. Did you try any of the modes specifically set for them on the X7?

Specially Designed for Sound Blaster X7
We thought about how you could bring out the best in your Sound Blaster X7. Hook up your Sound Blaster X7 to the E-MU XM7 so it will reproduce every detail and texture of your audio with pristine clarity.

Blockbuster movies. Live music concerts. Intense gaming. We've got you covered. So, you will have an additional enhancement for your entertainment. For discerning ears, you can connect, and enjoy a warm and easy listening or you can also adjust the settings for a flat and neutral response for audio monitoring.

When paired with the Sound Blaster X7, these modes will be available for selection:

  • Energetic - Suitable for movies and games
  • Neutral - Suitable for reference and monitoring use
  • Warm - Recommended for easy audio music enjoyment
I'd wager that Warm is the setting you'd want.
 

The Keeper

Senior member
Mar 27, 2007
291
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76
I tried the Warm preset and it did improve music listening tremendously. I had kept it at neutral. Thank you!
 

bookofthoth

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2019
2
0
11
I recently bought X7 Limited Edition + E-MU XM7 bundle, got them set up and all appears to work as expected. But bass is lackluster, which is unlike various reviews I've read and watched. I've also seen a few YouTube videos, such as this one and this one which shows how the drivers visibly vibrate. While I can certainly feel the vibrations on mine when I touch the drivers, they barely visibly vibrate at all even during heaviest of bass.

As per Creative's XM7 setup guide, 8 ohms is selected in X7, also tried 4 ohms but no difference (speakers are 6 ohms). X7 is connected to my desktop computer or laptop via USB cable (Windows 10 and USB 3.0 in both cases). I've also tried to play music on my Android phone via Bluetooth, with same results. Having gone through the X7 manual, I didn't notice anything amiss.

I've fiddled with Windows sound settings, tried different default bitrates and frequencies, also checked and unchecked full range speakers. I've also tried with Creative's SBX effects on, without them and with "Direct Mode" enabled, which bypasses DSP entirely. Bass is in all cases missing.

I've updated X7 firmware to the latest version and also using the latest X7 drivers.

Found this thread in which someone apparently has same issues on USB, but RCA works well. I tried 3.5mm Line-In and there was no difference. When I get the chance, I will try S/PDIF as well, but can't do that until later next week. But chances are high that won't do anything either.

What could possibly be the problem here?
I found the same, and accidentally stumbled upon better solution than buying a sub. It started when I found the volume just WAY too loud for my taste, so I used this pre-amp software (Equilizer APO) to bring my entire OS down to -30dB. Once down to -30dB, I noticed the bass volume increased considerably when I cranked the Windows volume up! As in, I could actually play trance music and enjoy the bass like God intended.

Now I enjoy full rolling basslines, and incredible sound and love the setup!
 

sc0tt88

Junior Member
Jul 10, 2019
3
0
11
I found the same, and accidentally stumbled upon better solution than buying a sub. It started when I found the volume just WAY too loud for my taste, so I used this pre-amp software (Equilizer APO) to bring my entire OS down to -30dB. Once down to -30dB, I noticed the bass volume increased considerably when I cranked the Windows volume up! As in, I could actually play trance music and enjoy the bass like God intended.

Now I enjoy full rolling basslines, and incredible sound and love the setup!
Signed up just to say thanks for this.

Just bought the X7 and volume is way too loud. 30% in Windows is more like 300%. My bass was quite lacking but also weirdly sounding a bit distorted. I used your solution and wow... Why does that even improve the bass? Does it bring down everything except the bass?

I had some weird problems before I used your solution. I was trying to use the level slider in the equalizer in Creative's software and also lowering dbs of each speaker in the speakers section. This didn't work as well as Equalizer APO did. Before I tried your solution, when I switched from speakers to headphones, the volume would go extremely high for a split second before switching. This didn't seem like it was very healthy for my speakers.

My current problem now is that my speakers seem ok, volume wise, but my headphones just don't go as high as they should.

Surely Creative should be able to fix this without third party software?
 

bookofthoth

Junior Member
Feb 5, 2019
2
0
11
Signed up just to say thanks for this.

Just bought the X7 and volume is way too loud. 30% in Windows is more like 300%. My bass was quite lacking but also weirdly sounding a bit distorted. I used your solution and wow... Why does that even improve the bass? Does it bring down everything except the bass?

I had some weird problems before I used your solution. I was trying to use the level slider in the equalizer in Creative's software and also lowering dbs of each speaker in the speakers section. This didn't work as well as Equalizer APO did. Before I tried your solution, when I switched from speakers to headphones, the volume would go extremely high for a split second before switching. This didn't seem like it was very healthy for my speakers.

My current problem now is that my speakers seem ok, volume wise, but my headphones just don't go as high as they should.

Surely Creative should be able to fix this without third party software?
I'm glad someone found this solution helpful! It's definitely been a life saver for me! I've got no idea why it works, because the pre-amp should drop all levels, but perhaps it only brings everything down except the bass as you said. I'm not having any headphone issues, but maybe it's got to do with the impedence of the headphones (I'm really guessing here). At least you have a workaround by using the pre-amp software to adjust the volume as you like.

No idea why Creative doesn't make better software to fix all this considering this is supposed to be their flagship sound product (and it really is amazing!).
 

sc0tt88

Junior Member
Jul 10, 2019
3
0
11
Any idea why Creative's equaliser doesn't work the same way?

I have noticed that in Equalizer APO, the 2nd setting "example.txt" is a bass boost. I am using that instead of Creative's equaliser and it seems a lot better for some reason? Alongside that, I dropped my levels in Creative's software instead because that's purely for speakers. Now my headphones go loud enough, my speakers go loud enough, my bass is there and the only thing I have to do is drop my volume before I switch from headphones to speakers and vice versa just in case.
 
Last edited:

sc0tt88

Junior Member
Jul 10, 2019
3
0
11
^ I was wrong about the dropping speaker levels in Creative's software... I've just set those back to 0 and used Equalizer APO again and yep, it does a much better job and there is much more bass this way. Having trouble getting settings for music and for gaming on headphones separately though. Seem to spend a lot of time messing with things rather than enjoying it. I really don't know why Creative's software doesn't do this correctly.
 

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