This was brought as a replacement for my AE-5 sound card which after extensive troubleshooting with Creative tech support lead me to believe the microphone port was faulty. It was later discovered (by myself) that the microphone simply needed a 4 pole to 3 pole adapter cable to function correctly and something Creative tech support had forgotten or weren't aware of.

 

Retailer will not let me return the sound card and I can't afford to hang onto this. $300 ono

 

https://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-ae-7