Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D review

Because hardcore gamers have ears too

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recon3d review

The Recon3D offers great gaming sound and voice comm tweaking on PC and consoles, with some nice THX effects to play with. It is expensive for what it offers, though.

We liked

It's a feature-filled, high quality product, and versatile too. However, the best thing about it is that Creative is bundling the Recon3D with its wireless Tactic3D Omega headset. That's a quality set of cans, with great sound reproduction and beefy but not overcooked bass levels. The headset's worth £180 on its own, but paired with the Recon3D, the price tag's £209.

That's still well in the realms of enthusiast ware, but a much more enticing prospect than buying the Recon3D alone. If you're going to buy a headset that costs more than the console you'll be using it with, an extra £20 for a powerful sound card with some nice gaming features ain't too shabby.

The excellent surround effect also makes the Recon3D (with the headset, of course) a good choice for movies.

We disliked

Our biggest concern is that as a standalone £90 purchase, we're not sure gamers will be that enamoured with it. It's one for enthusiasts certainly (though not audiophiles), and however carefully you tweak your settings in the software suite, there's still one important variable: your speakers. It's your headset or desktop speakers that have the final say over sound quality.

On these grounds, we find it hard to recommend the Recon3D alone, because it doesn't magically turn bad speakers good, and if you have a basic set of speakers or cheap headset, this isn't the gear for you.

Also, despite the Recon3D's versatility and functionality, don't think this is your one-stop audio solution. Sure, it's great across different platforms, but geared very much toward gaming.

Verdict

If you're looking for a solid all-rounder that works with PCs, Macs and consoles, this is for you.

Tech Specs

Product TypeExternal Sound Box
Product FamilySound Blaster Recon3D
Number of Audio Line In2
Number of Audio Line Out1
Brand NameCreative
Form FactorInternal
Sound Channels5.1
Host InterfaceUSB
Auxiliary Audio InYes
Maximum Playback Sampling Rate3 Byte 48 kHz
Height363.2 mm
Width436.9 mm
Product SeriesRecon3D
ManufacturerCreative Technology, Ltd
Product NameSound Blaster Recon3D External Sound Box
DAC Data Width24 bit
Product LineSound Blaster
System Requirements
  • Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD equivalent processor, 2.2GHz or faster
  • Available USB port
  • 1GB RAM
  • 600MB of free hard disk space
  • Available CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive

Operating System(s):

  • Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
  • Windows 7 32-bit
  • Windows Vista 64-bit(SP2)
  • Windows Vista 32-bit(SP2)
  • Mac OS X 10.5 and above (Intel-based machines only)
Manufacturer Part Number70SB130000002
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.europe.creative.com
Marketing Information

Powered by the revolutionary Sound Core3D quad-core sound and voice processor, this breakthrough USB audio enhancer delivers powerful gaming audio to your Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC or Mac. With hardware-accelerated THX TruStudio Pro and Dolby Digital decoding it transforms even basic stereo sound into exhilarating 3D surround audio on your headset or speakers. Hear your enemies before they hear you with the proprietary Scout Mode, which tunes your hearing to your advantage on the battlefield. Calibrate and save every aspect of your audio settings directly to the Recon3D unit for use on any platform with the exclusive Recon3DProfile system. The gaming audio revolution is here. Be part of it.

Thickness205.7 mm
Weight (Approximate)222.3 g