Creative Sound Blaster Axx SBX 10 and SBX 20 Review
A Closer Look at the Sound Blaster Axx SBX 20
Unfortunately, since it would require destroying the Sound Blaster Axx SBX 10 to open it (the rubber material on the bottom is glued on), we’ll only be taking a look at the electronics inside the Sound Blaster Axx SBX 20. Since the features on the Sound Blaster Axx SBX 10 and the Sound Blaster Axx SBX 20 are similar, the internals of both devices should be similar as well, but there might be some slight differences as the SBX 10 doesn’t require as much power to drive as the SBX 20.
Here’s a general look at all the electronics behind the Axx SBX 20.
Here’s a look at one of the PCBs. This PCB is located right near the base of the Axx SBX 20, and houses the USB port, the headphone/aux jack, and microphone jack. Let’s take a closer look…
First chip we see here is the Creative CA0136, which presumably is what Creative is now calling the SB-Axx1 sound processor. If this chip looks familiar, that’s because it’s 100% identical to the Sound Core 3D sound processor being used on the Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D USB. As far as I can tell, Creative’s new SB-Axx1 is just a straight rebrand of the Sound Core 3D.
Since the SB-Axx1 is simply a sound processor, we’ve also got the VIA VT1728A USB 2.0 8-Channel Audio Controller onboard. Personally, I’m not too familiar with this chip, but the specs look decent (24-bit 192kHz support).
Can’t say I’m too familiar with this one either, but here we’ve got a ST Microelectronics V992AI Operational Amplifier.
Next up we have another PCB that’s situated right above the PCB we just checked out. This PCB houses the Bluetooth button, so it likely also houses any electronics associated with Bluetooth.
This PCB is pretty sparse. The main thing we get here is the CSR 57E6/87CG chip, which is a low power consumption Bluetooth chip.
Next to the CSR Bluetooth chip we get a MXIC MX29LV160DBXBI-70G module which houses 16M of flash memory.
Finally, we have a third and larger PCB which slides out from the unit itself. This board houses the amplifiers and other electronics that will allow the Axx SBX 20 to create “room filling sound” over a single 500mV USB connection. Let’s take a closer look…
At the heart of this board is the Audium AS2002 stereo amplifier. This chip along with the Creative SB-Axx1 is pretty much all we really wanted to see as this Audium chip is “the magic” Creative is using in order to pump out “room filling sound” through USB on the SBX 20.
Model number is hard to see on this chip since it’s a bit faded and there’s some weird goop on it, but it looks like something from Spansion. Could be flash memory or could be some sort of coprocessor.
Next to that there’s also a NXP ARM processor here.