Putting together a new rig is fun… NOT, but you can add some fun things to them. I was never happy with the on board sound of any of my computers (including the mega priced radio DJ mics). The mics were barely passable and the sounds were. . . horrific. As I have come to find out the hard way, it was not the mic’s fault, it was the sound card.
So with this rig, I decided to go for the gold and installed a Sound Blaster Z card. I did not think upwards of $100 was bad for decent sound for my headphones and piano. I installed it, quickly read the instructions, and presto. . . nothing from the headset mic, nothing from the headset itself.
The SBZ did have a built in mic (On further investigation I found that the monitor had a built in mic and speakers and the default was set to realtec) which was so-so and I could hear things through my monitor speakers, which I did not know I had, until the other day, but it was like listening to a realtec card. I was not impressed. I decided to work on it so I could hear my best friend. Yes, well my best friend uses a low quality mic on a low quality sound card, and since he is from the south of Scotland, better known as northern England, he whispers. After testing with my caregiver it was right on. The headphones and headphone mic worked great. I was impressed. The mic for the SBZ is a long wide mic, that plugs into the SBZ.
I was even more impressed that it had built in sound effects… that was a plus. Now that my sound (headphones and mic) were working at 150%, I waited for my friend to get home. While waiting I was looking over the SBZ control panel. I had some unusual sound effect stuff for the headphones/ speakers.
Wait, what is this? Microphone FX? So for about an hour I played around with that. When my friend got home he was greeted by a 10 year old “Scrappy Kid’.
He didn’t realize who it was. He thought it was my caregiver. A girl? No way! I told him “If you aren’t nice to me I will come over and infuse your bones with vinegar and turn you into a pretzel” – Not sure if that is possible, but if you see what they do on American Horror Story, then COULD BE. He of course didn’t like it. He doesn’t like younger people playing around, probably because he is a grumpy teacher (In all honesty I have to say that being a teacher did not make him grumpy he was grumpy since I was 12 years old.) There are many different sound effects on the card. It is up to you how you want to play. Since I am a DJ, then they will come in handy on my recordings. I wanted the Sound Blaster Z so I could hear my friend, it gave me a loud clear voice, and does more than I ever expected it to.
I guess I should rate the Sound Blaster Z so I give it a 5 out of 5 Stars. Invest in one, and a good gaming headset, you can’t go wrong. Oh yeah for those of you with a laptop, sorry you are out of luck for good music and good voice, and forget about plugging in your piano, yes you can use a USB port, but it will be nothing like what comes out of the SBZ!