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Question Stereo Direct cuts out, Creative Zx

Nov 26, 2005
For a while now I've been trying to find out why Stereo Direct will stop working when starting games. It randomly happens. It happens both in MSI mode (via reg edit) and when not in MSI mode.

Anyone know a solution so I can keep running games in Stereo Direct mode?

Mar 11, 2004
Have you checked your drivers anytime recently? There was a Windows update I think last year that had issues with Creative's cards.

My best advice, check for newest drivers, then even if there isn't a new one uninstall and re-install the driver.

Oh and by stereo direct, you mean basically everything disabled and just stereo analog output? Or is it optical? What setting are you talking about (also, is it in the Creative panel or the Windows one)?

You mention reg edit and MSI Mode, are you by any chance using those one modded Creative drivers? If I remember, that guy stopped updating them awhile back and people that had been using those had issues with the one Windows Update (since I don't believe he's around to update them to resolve whatever this issue is).


Junior Member
Jul 1, 2020
I think your device is not compatible with Stereo Direct. You should check back for their latest updates.
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Nov 26, 2005
I recently updated windows to 2004 and the Creative Control panel settings were reset to default. I turned off all the stuff I don't use, and checked the Hz for the mic and speakers. Those were reset to. I gave Stereo Direct another try and they have been working ever since. Games are working in Stereo Direct, which weren't before. The update also removed some old Creative X-Fi reg key that I couldn't remove either via Reg Null or manually removing it. The update has been good to me so far.


Nov 13, 2001
I have tried this card myself, from the z, to the $200 zxr, and Ive bought them several times, in hopes it was my system that was acting up. I got my last one a few months ago off ebay for $50 new. It refused to work on my msi x570 set up, just like the others on systems before it. I asked my son who has my old gigabyte x470 set up, and is working fine for him with no issues at all. But then Ive also tried the AE5 as well, but what I have found out is they are all 5.1 cards, with the best AE series doing 'virtual" 7.1 with headphones only. I play games, and own a ton of games for windows 10, 2000, xp, 98, and 95. My xp rig uses a X-Fi that works flawlessly with it under 5.1. But I ended going the usb route getting a Creative Sound Blaster X3 for it is legit 7.1 discrete output, and it cost as much as the OP card new. I was super ticked off after buying it for the box directions said I had to install the app on my phone to control it properly.

I called CS and the guy on the phone even told me, in order to use it properly, it would only work with my phone, and even then I had to set up Super FI on it which takes pics of my face, ears, and head, and yes sends it to creative, so they have a copy of what you look like, face, ears and all. I was then really ticked off and about to put it back in the box, for I was in no way going to do that, and I wanted the control panel I was using on my pc to set it up they way I wanted it set up. But since he told me this, and I didnt remember seeing any of that on the product page, went there to find it, and then return it, since I bought it direct from creative, for it was the cheapest place off the entire net to buy one, for some reason, but I say the tab driver. Clicked on it, and it has a real driver that my pc will control it with through the usb c cable, and WORKS PERFECT!

So if you want 5.1/7.1, head phone DAC, Simulated 7.1 with headphones, and everything under the sun, and will work on anything with a USB jack, get the X3, and forget anything else they are making atm if you want it to actually "work".
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