Installing the right Sound Blaster Z drivers cannot be under-estimated for the smooth functioning of digital sound in Windows 10.
One can visit the manufacturer website page to download the driver. But after latest Update (Creators or 1703 version) , users are having problem with sound not working properly in June 2017.
Creative has released a more recent version of the driver on 03/03/2017 with file name – SBZ_CD_L13_1_01_10.exe. The size is around 157 MB (approx). But users complain that this driver update and Creators update are not compatible.
[schema type=”review” url=”https://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-z” name=”Creative” description=”It is related to sound peripherals for PCs and digital equipment. ” rev_name=”Sound Blaster Z – PCIe Gaming Sound Card” rev_body=”The Creative Sound Blaster Z and ZX series sound cards give good performance for 5.1 and 7.1 audio. But after any Windows 10 update, if you face sound issues, you need to rollback to the old drivers. One can also use Creative and Microsoft drivers to solve the issue. Third-party and Alternate drivers are also a good solution. ” author=”Palla Sridhar” pubdate=”2018-07-06″ user_review=”4.5″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”5″ ]
Windows 10 interacts with Sound Blaster Z sound card using drivers. One can record high quality audio using mic connected through one of the ports provided at the back side of the PC.
User Review about the Creative Sound Blaster Z driver after Windows 10 Creators Update
A user on tenforums.com in Dec, 2017 mentioned the difficulty he faced about with his audio experience.
So my problem consisted of Sound Blaster Z either producing no sound with no sound signal visible in volume mixer which was often accompanied by slow video streaming or none at all. I would then reinstall drivers and would get the green bars in volume mixer but still no sound and very slow video streaming, again with no sound.
Now when 1709 completed I had sound for the first time AFTER a shutdown and cold boot. This was without any Sound blaster software installed. The problem reoccurred when I installed the Sound Blaster Z drivers again and all the above problems reoccurred.Kuniyosh
It is always important that you install the right drivers for any of your PC hardware components. Generally, in Windows 10, 8.1, 8 and 7, Microsoft itself provides some generic drivers which makes the user experience full.
But sometimes, if these cause different problems as mentioned below, then you need to install the drivers from the manufacturer itself.
Product Name: Creative Sound Blaster Z
Product Description: Sound Blaster Z is one of the peak-performance Z-series sound cards for PC. It comes with beamforming microphone which gives crystal clear audio and communication. The voice clarity is superb for audio recording, 5.1 speaker output, low noise disturbance, ultra low latency, 24-bit/192kHz audio output, speaker optimization, SBX Pro Studio technologies and Skype chatting.
Offer price: 124.98
- Signal-To-Noise Ratio
- Voice Clarity
- Audio Processing
- Headphone Usage
- Power Usage
- Light in the Dark
User Review( vote)
- Features the Audio Control Module (ACM) which incorporates a built-in microphone array and mic/headphone I/O connections, plus a knob on the ACM to adjust the headphone levels
- Features Sound Core3D Audio Processor for accelerating advanced audio and voice technologies. Available CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
- SBX Pro Studio sound technologies create unprecedented levels of audio realism including stunning 3D surround effects for your speakers and headsets
- Scout Mode allows you to hear your enemies before they hear you, from further away, giving you a distinct advantage
- DTS Connect, connects your home theatre system through a single digital cable and enjoy cinematic DVD movies by transforming any stereo or Dolby Digital 5.1 audio stream into high fidelity surround sound
What’s in the Box?
Sound Blaster Zx sound card, Sound Blaster Audio Control Module, 1x Optical Cable, 1x Stereo (3.5mm)-to-RCA cable, Quick Start Leaflet, Installation CD containing: Drivers for Windows 7 and 8, Creative Software Suite, User’s Guide
[Source : Amazon.com]
- I’m using the Dolby Digital Live encoder and the optical output to a Logitech Z906, and all of my games play true positional 5.1 sound, which is exactly what I was after.
- Basically, if you have an old dedicated sound card and are wondering if your brand new motherboard’s onboard audio is going to be good enough or better. I’m here to tell you that the answer is more than likely going to be “no”.
- As far as the sound quality goes, it sounds as clean and clear as most Creative products. I cannot say it sounds any better or worse than the X-Fi. What it does have, is a higher bass ceiling.
- Windows volume doesn’t seem to do anything.
- My only real complaint is the BRIGHT RED LEDs on this card.
- The sound is great! but it does not have outputs for rear channels ( Front, side, sub, and center)
- I used to swear by Creative sound cards, but after getting a decent pair of bookshelf speakers with built-in processing for optical links, I’ve found that any combination of settings I can think of can’t get the sound processed by the card to be nearly as good as the speaker’s processing.
Failed Sound Blaster Z drivers installation can cause –
- Microphone Not Working
- Silent sound coming from the device.
- Audio settings getting mixed up.
- Headphone Jack not Working
- Sound Control Panel of Windows 10 is misbehaving
- Sound Blaster Z driver failed to recognize the microphone.
- Sound Indicator going green, but no sound.
- Control panel not working
- Optical out not working
- Headphones not working
- Connect 2 not working
- Mic may be working, but no sound through headset.
Fix for Audible or Quality Sound not Working
Installing Sound Blaster Z drivers will create two entries under Device Manager > Sound, video and game controllers.
1. Sound Blaster Audio Controller
2. Sound Blaster Z
Since you are having compatibility problems with the latest driver version, do a roll-back of both the driver entries.
The last Sound Blaster Z driver before the current version was released on 24/06/2016. The file name is – SBZ_CD_L13_1_01_08.exe. So when you roll-back to this version, your sound and settings should come back to normal. Don’t forget to do a Restart of the computer.
Also after making this fix, you may find that Windows may turn down all system sounds to 0. So you just need to raise the volume back to the default level.
You may also need to go into Sound Blaster Console speaker settings and switch to Stereo mode, if you using the 5.1 channel. The latest working Creative Sound Blaster Z version is 126.96.36.199 (from 7.Feb.2017).
[Source : https://www.tenforums.com/drivers-hardware/87413-lost-sound-after-latest-windows-10-update-sound-blaster-z-2.html]
Third Party Drivers for Sound Blaster Z Sound Not Working Properly
If the Creative drivers are not working for your Blaster Z, then you can try the alternate drivers. These are found on some websites related to driver software and technology.
There is a tech website which provides the Sound Blaster Z drivers which are neither from Creative nor generic from Microsoft. You can see if this driver software solves your problem. The link is given here. It can work for both sound blaster z and zx models.
Though I have not tested them personally, it is one of the solutions I recommend. This is from my experience, when nothing works, try everything (trial and error).
If you are using the 2015 version of Windows 10, then you can try the Audio Driver 1.01.03 version.
Lenovo also provided sound blaster z drivers for their laptops and desktops. Its version number is 6.0.102.0037. Both 64 bit and 32 bit software are provided for 10, 8.1 and 7. The size is around 78 MB.
Update Drivers from Microsoft – Download Creative Sound Blaster Z Driver Version 188.8.131.52
As mentioned earlier there are some default drivers provided by Microsoft for any type of sound card brand. Sometimes they work well and sometimes not. If you feel comfortable with the generic drivers (provided by Microsoft) keep them and continue listening through your mic and headphone set.
Problem with Cold Boot with AMD Ryzen Systems in April 2017?
On the Creative forum, I could find some users having problem with the Ryzen systems.
To make it work they have to shut down the computer and start again i.e cold boot only works.
So to fix this issue, you can insert the Sound Blaster Z card in the PCI-E slot, after completely turning off the computer. This is a hazzle if you would like to do a restart or hibernate your Windows 10 computer.
So installing the June, 2016 drivers should fix this, probably.
In Intel systems, users have other problem. If the boot time is too quick, the sound card cannot be initialized. For this the fix is to disable the Fast Boot on BIOS. You can also boot your computer in Legacy Boot, the option available in BIOS. One can also disable Fast Startup under ‘Power Options’ in Windows 10.
Why No Sound from SPDIF or S/PDIF Out of Sound Blaster Z Card in Windows 10 in 2016?
Using both analog and fiber optical cables to connect to SPDIF OUT may not be a logical thing. The Creative Sound Blaster Pro Studio test shows the “SPDIF-OUT” is getting audio signals, but the audio is not working.
Also, Dolby Digital Live supported by Creative Sound Blaster Z, may not detect the supported speaker device like Logitech Z906.
The solution for these kind of problems are like this –
1. Make sure the Creative Control Panel works somehow.
2. Uninstall Windows Update drivers and install the June 2016, Creative Sound Blaster Z drivers.
2. You may need to make the speakers the default playing device, instead of SPDIF-OUT.
3. The Analog cables may need to be disconnected. Only the Optical cable should run through.
4. Do not disable “Speakers” in Windows 10 Sound Control Panel.
5. Both SPDIF-OUT and speakers should be enabled in sound control panel.
6. Select “Cinematic” in Creative Control Panel and check “DTS”.
7. Sometimes, you need to enable or disable “What you Hear” in the recording area and select SPDIF as output.
The following fix may also work sometimes.
Unplug all outputs and inputs. Plug only the Optical in. Open Sound > Manage audio devices. Set SPDIF – Out as Default. Set Digital Output (optical) as Communications Device. Only Properties on SPDIF are testable (Communications Device does not respond but system should work.
[Source : http://www.tomsguide.com/answers/id-2355866/sound-spdif-creative-sound-blaster-logitech-z906.html]
Microsoft Generic Driver not working in 2015 after Windows Update
Just after the release of Windows 10, it soon released a new update called Threshold 2 in Nov, 2015. So if you have updated your computer with this version, it might be possible that Windows replaces the Creative drivers with it’s own generic drivers.
So from build 10240 onwards, you might have this problem. So for this error, you just need to uninstall the generic Microsoft drivers and update with the June, 2016 drivers. Even if you upate to 10586 build, the problem persists.
How about the November 2015 Update problem?
Creative Sound Blaster Z users using the Aug 2015 drivers may face a different problem.
The following type of problems may crop up.
1. Crossed up channels in the middle of a PC game.
2. Movie sounds suddenly all go to the Sub-Woofer.
3. DTS/DOLBY codec packs give irritating sounds.
4. Switching encoders is not possible.
For these kind of problems, it could be an hardware issue rather than software. You can try a few things, to settle this Aug, 2015 driver problem.
– Enable VT-D in the BIOS
– Enable legacy boot and legacy USB support in the BIOS
– Disable fast boot
– Re-seat the card, preferably into a different PCI-E slot
Mess Up of Sound after Windows 10 Upgrade?
After the July 2015 release of Windows 10, it was free for upgrade for 7 and 8.1 users. So if you are one of those and Sound Blaster Z was working before, try to upgrade the Creative drivers to the June 2016 version.
You may hear vocal voice of music as though it is coming from tunnel and other mix up.
For all these kind of problems, you could try the above solutions.
Upgrade of GPU and Change of PCI-E slot?
Sometimes you install a new CPU, RAM, graphics card etc.
Then for reasonable reasons, you plan to shift your Sound Blaster Z card to a new slot, like from PciEx1 to PciEx8. Then you may face some ugly problem like sound working but the Control Panel is not working.
You may get this kind of error.
“The current selected audio device is disabled, not present,not supported by the application, or has unplugged jacks.”
The simpel fix is to uninstall the Creative Software, drivers and reinstall the working ones.
USB Rode PodCaster Mic Problem with Sound Blaster Z
Sometimes the PodCaster USB Mic is connected to the sound card using the 3.5mm output. In the Audio Control panel, you may see both the Sound Blaster Z and USB mic, which may confuse you.
The simple fix is to connect the USB Rode PodeCaste to the USB port. In the Sound Manager, make the mic as the default recording device.
This will technically mean that you can use the mic to speak and listen through the speakers, for example in an event etc.
[Source : http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-3040946/soundblaster-usb-mic-issues.html]