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Performance in SpectraLAB

As always let’s check all the major parameters that affect the sound quality with the help of SpectraLAB tool, which is a FFT spectral analyzer supporting all types of currently available sound cards.

Below you can see the Sound Blaster MP3+ spectrograms:


44,100Hz / 16bit, 1kHz tone signal


44,100Hz / 16bit, IMD


48,000Hz / 16bit, 1kHz tone signal


48,000Hz / 16bit, IMD

SpectraLAB tests showed that this sound card is pretty “noisy”, that is why I wouldn’t even try to compare it with any integrated solutions. Although I would like to point out that Sound Blaster MP3+ can blame some of the peripheral devices for the EMI, which spoilt the picture most. When I was listening to the “Zero Bit (Total Silence)” test track, which is just a recording of silence, I could certainly hear a stable hissing sound. However, the working hard disk drive, active optical drive or moving mouse also affected  the distortion level of the played sound immediately. Of course, you will not feel these distortions that much if you listen to some music rather than silence, but the results of SpectraLAB were completely spoilt by them.

Conclusion

Creative Sound Blaster PM3+ sound card is available in stores for $59.99 right now. But frankly speaking, I cannot think of any convincing arguments in favor of this purchase. Just think: all mobile and desktop computers already have an integrated sound subsystem, which is usually implemented via a six-channel codec like Realtek ALC650 (you can read more about its features and performance in our article called Contemporary Integrated Sound Solutions: Storm is Coming). And Creative Sound Blaster MP3+ is just a dual-channel sound solution. Moreover, $60 dollars is not a very attractive price for a mass user. I suppose that only if you need to increase the system functionality by adding an optical Input and Output, you might want to consider buying Creative Sound Blaster MP3+ (if you need to connect a Dolby Digital decoder, for instance).

Highs:

  • Optical Input and Output;
  • Analog RCA-connectors;
  • Very functional software bundle.

Lows:

  • Poor performance in SpectraLAB;
  • Unattractive price.
 
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