Creative has a bad reputation, but unless there is some problem with your current device I doubt upgrading is going to make a difference.
Yea... Most soundcards are better than human hearing (for playback) so unless you've got a problem there will probably be no difference.
If you are recording from a microphone, an audio interface with a "proper" microphone input for a stage/studio mic would be an improvement.
The X7 would offer more power, and yo can roll the opamps to improve fidelity. However, I prefer dedicated audio gear to consumer sound card / USB gear. I usually find some sort of compromise on their analog output,
and yo can roll the opamps to improve fidelity.
See TOS #8
TOS 8 doesn't apply, since I am referring to the potential of upgrading hardware components for better performance, vs some digital soft application which TOS 8 refers to. Case in point: Asus Essence One vs Essence One MUSE edition. The opamps in question all have documented audio performance plots and graphs by the component manufacturers which is easily compared.
Mathematically superior, although some people may be satisfied with less mathematically superior products.
For instance, there's probably some good figures for the Asus Xonar DX, but my Xonar DX produces a lot of noise from its front panel connector when fed to my case's connector, and even has serious crosstalk with the microphone input. No such problem on the rear panel connectors, and no such problem with the front panel when it's serviced by the onboard Realtek codec.
TOS 8 does[ apply
to hardware as well as software....
Graphs, non-blind listening tests, waveform difference comparisons, and so on, are not acceptable means of providing support.
I'm not a moderator. I was just trying to give you a friendly warning. ;)
Personally, I'm not against measurements and they can be useful but this forum is all about things you can actually hear.
I've got an oscilloscope on my bench at work that goes up to 100MHz but an amp that goes to 100MHz doesn't necessarily sound better than an amp that only goes to 20kHz. It might even sound worse if it's more susceptible to RF interference. Similarly, if noise or distortion are below the threshold of hearing a better-measuring amplifier can't sound better.
And, you're apparently comparing raw op-amp (chip) specs. You are not listening to or measuring the final circuit/product and you're not doing any blind listening tests because you'd need a modified & unmodified unit side-by-side. And, it's suspicious that you didn't say how
the "performance" is improved.P.S.
Adding to what Saratoga said (below) -
The "whole idea" with op-amps is that with super-high (open loop) gain and negative feedback ("corrective feedback") is used to make the circuit largely independent of raw op-amp specs/performance. i.e. The open-loop gain can vary all over the place and the in-circuit (closed loop) gain depends entirely on the resistors. If you use precision resistors the left & right gain will be (nearly) identical and you don't have to "match" op-amps or manually tweak the gain during production. And all of the production units will will be identical. Negative feedback also improves frequency response, noise, and distortion. But, that's all irrelevant
if we can't hear
a difference. ;)
The opamps in question all have documented audio performance plots and graphs by the component manufacturers which is easily compared.
Comparing opamps is a waste of time, since the performance of actual devices has little relationship to the idealized numbers in spec sheets.