Creative: Our acoustics are focused on devices from different companies

At the presentation of the Sound Blaster Axx wireless intelligent speakers, Sound Blaster Z-Series sound cards and Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Rage gaming headsets we were able to talk to Creative representatives and find out what they think about market trends and get their opinion on the company’s new products.


Director of Marketing Mac Aw

V&A: Judging by the models presented here – the new Sound Blaster Axx series – you might get the impression that Creative’s products are primarily aimed at Apple. It is?

MA: If we talk about the Sound Blaster Axx speaker systems, which are able to connect to devices via Bluetooth, they are aimed at devices from different companies that have Bluetooth. Our new speakers are not only for iPhones, but also for Android and Windows devices.

V&A: When developing their software Creative engineers collaborate with the representatives of third party OS developers Android, Windows etc. . or do it yourself?

MA: We currently have no cooperation with the developers, but Sound Blaster Axx series speakers fit absolutely all existing applications.

V&A: Creative has always had a wide range of speakers. The flagship models, in particular Creative ZiiSound T6, have decent sound even by Hi-Fi standards, of course, in its price range. Are there plans to focus more on Hi-Fi products?

MA: You made a good point. Yes, we are thinking about Hi-Fi sound, but it’s not a secret that the audiophile segment is very narrow. Of course, we are more interested in listening to music from portable devices, but we try to make products with a quality that also satisfies a more demanding audience.

V&A: The devices shown here are capable of processing sound. Tell us about it.

MA: The chip that is used in the systems is universal, it can do many things. It’s noise reduction, voice processing and signal level correction… But the point here is not only in the chip itself, but also in hardware acceleration. Everything works together to form a single system.

For example, at the last exhibition IFA was presented acoustics, which by Bluetooth you can send a signal from any mobile device, and it will process it depending on the parameters of the room in which it is placed. This processing avoids the effect of unidirectional sound – the sound is corrected depending on the geometry of the room. It will be announced early this year in Europe, by the way.

As you can see, our chip is not only used for simple noise reduction, but also for sound processing depending on the acoustics of the listening room.

V&A: We’ve been talking a lot about sound quality today. Tell me, can Creative acoustics compete with the lower segment of Hi-Fi?

MA: Yes, of course – no doubt about it! But of course it’s not quite right to compare the two, because our devices don’t only play sound, but they also perform other functions, – work with mobile devices, process voice, adapt to games, movies… It’s a much wider range of functions than just playing music. By and large they’re not for audiophiles, they have a different purpose.

V&A: And who do you see as your competitors for your new Sound Blaster speakers??

MA: Sound Blaster Ahh has no competition! You could say that with certainty, t.k. it’s implemented on the chip we were talking about today – other companies just don’t have it in their devices.

V&A: This chip is your own design?

MA: Yes, our company makes it. It’s exclusive and only used in Creative products.

V&A: What kind of sound system do you have in your house??

MA: I have a new line of Creative ZiiSound T6 II. They have quite balanced sound, even tonal balance and uncolored sound. If you listened to music in the studio where it was written, you would hear the same.

Creative sound card

Nick Aguliar, Product Manager

V&A: Creative’s devices are traditionally computer-based. But the information media of music is displacing the physical, increasingly interfaced with the computer. Does it mean that Creative will support audiophiles as well??

NA: Of course they are. For instance the flagship model Sound Blaster ZxR in the new range would be very good for audiophiles. The chip on which it is implemented is ideal for listening to uncompressed audio.

Speaking of which, there’s a voice recording function and even a small remote microphone.

V&A: Given its audio quality and recording capability, it could also be used in the studio for intelligent recording?

NA: Yes, of course it does, it was developed together with audiophiles.

V&A: Still, your main audience is gamers? Audiophile use of sound cards, – that’s just a nice bonus?

NA: I wouldn’t say that. There are three models in the new lineup, as you can see. The top model – Sound Blaster ZxR is designed for the Hi-Fi segment and the other two – Sound Blaster Zx and Sound Blaster Z – for gamers.

V&A: However, which direction is more of a priority for Creative?

NA: Our customers are the public that loves digital entertainment. We don’t do accents.

V&A: There are only a few companies in the world that produce DACs. Which companies’ chips do you use in your devices??

NA: We use Burr Brown Corporation digital-to-analog converters. We like them.

V&A: Could you tell us what impact the increase in the streaming audio market has had on Creative’s product lineup – maybe there’s been some market research on demand?

NA: Of course, streaming audio is growing very fast right now. We increase the number of devices touching upon this segment and will move in this direction even more actively in the future. If we’re talking, so to speak, about “people’s moods,” for the majority of our potential customers, usability trumps quality. But, still, we try to maintain this trend without sacrificing sound quality. By the way, I often listen to music from the computer myself.

V&A: What kind of equipment do you use??

NA: I have a sound card from Creative’s new range, not the top one, though – Sound Blaster X. I also use a Creative headset for gaming.

V&A: Another traditional question – who do you see as your competitors?

NA: The products that Creative makes are often something new, covering a new market segment. Our idea is high productivity, high quality, innovation in technologies and convenience. A new segment, – there is no competitor.

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