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Creative Sound Blaster Axx SBX 8 with USB Speaker and Microphone
We have combined the legendary audio quality of Sound Blaster and our speakers into one amazingly affordable product. The Sound BlasterAxx SBX 8, powered by the multi-core SB-Axx1™ chip and integrated with a powerful microphone, will transform the way you experience your calls, music, movies and games with a PC or Mac. Its compact size makes it ideal for notebook users. It also comes with Sound BlasterAxx Control Panel, a PC and Mac software that lets you control and customise all your audio!
Sound BlasterAxx SBX 8's built-in microphone, combined with our advanced CrystalVoice™ technology, lets you communicate in a whole new way. You're no longer bound to your computer seat nor have a phone stuck to your ear during voice calls. What's more, all communication is maintained in unbelievable clarity. Learn more about CrystalVoice technology here.
With the Smart Volume Management feature enabled, your voice can be picked up even when you're speaking from the other end of the room - with no drop in volume or voice quality perceived by the listener. You're free to move around while still engaged in a conversation!
Enjoy crystal clear conversations even in noisy environments. CrystalVoice's noise reduction and echo cancellation features mean you'll always be heard clearly as unwanted background noise such as that from a nearby vacuum cleaner or hairdryer is being eliminated.
We've included the robust Sound BlasterAxx Control Panel software for your PC or Mac, that will enable you to get the most out of your Sound BlasterAxx.
Experience superb audio realism and stunning 3D surround effects in your movie and gaming audio with SBX Pro Studio.
Never miss anything again when you're watching your movies, or fall off your seat at an unexpected explosion. Adjust settings that let you hear barely audible movie dialog, or conversely, subdue sudden high-volume events so that you won't wake the whole family in the middle of the night!
Take on another persona and surprise someone in a voice call! CrystalVoice FX enables your voice to be altered on-the-fly with a variety of effects, creating interesting accents, or be made to sound like a completely different person.
With the free Sound BlasterAxx Control Panel software for PC and Mac, you'll get extensive audio control, just the way you want it!
For PC users, we've included the "What U Hear" plugin for the Sound BlasterAxx Control Panel, which lets you record a mix of your Karaoke track and your voice as you sing along with the track!
Great technology needs to be supported by equally awesome hardware. Not only is Sound BlasterAxx SBX 8 equipped with the most advanced hardware, it is specially designed for maximum usability and audio delivery.
Sound BlasterAxx's high-quality microphone functions as its ears. It accurately picks up your voice, and together with the applied technology, intelligently adjusts the audio.
At the heart of Sound BlasterAxx lies the SB-Axx1™ chip - Creative's most advanced multi-core voice and audio effects processor. This boost in audio processing power translates to a dramatically superior listening experience for your music, movies and calls that is simply second to none.
Sound BlasterAxx's "Stacked Stereo Acoustic Design" combines two speaker drivers vertically into one chassis, making it not only space-saving and aesthetically pleasing, but delivers a great stereo experience as well.
Easily access the main functions using the intuitive, touch-sensitive control panel, which is conveniently located at the top.
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 27 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 27 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Good USB speaker, mic and sound card combo for laptop usersAug 12, 2012
By Molotov Mocktail
FIRST THINGS FIRST / TIPS:
It plug-and-plays smoothly as expected but if you want the extra audio effects, you need to download the driver and software (61MB) from their support webpage.
1. Great with audio processing and effects. You practically get hardware-accelerated audio, speakers and a mic in one single product.
2. Good voice call quality for VOIP applications
3. Noise cancellation works way better than expected! Managed to really block off vacuum cleaner noise!
4. Huge improvement over my laptop's built-in speaker and mic, ideal for my need to do voice chat via Google Chat and Skype.
5. I don't have to yell into the mic to ensure the other party hears me, especially when I'm away from it
6. Small enough (6.5" tall and 2.5" wide) to squeeze into my 15-inch laptop bag
1. The sound gets distorted at max volume so don't go all out. Best it goes for me is 85% which is loud enough though.
2. Dependent on its software for a majority of the additional effects and/or fine-tuning them so make sure your company's IT guys do grant you admin rights (mine's ok but you may need admin rights to install the software).
The SBX8 is a good product if you have specific needs such as boosting your laptop's mediocre speakers and having voice chats while on the move, but the bigger ones in the series (SBX10 / 20) make more sense if you're planning to use at home/work or for more versatile scenarios.
1. It's now selling at $95.98 when I paid full price $99.99 - Arghhh!
2. Two of these images are wrong (2nd and 5th thumbnails): the SBX8 does NOT have six hexagonal buttons on top nor does it have a Bluetooth button at the back. The stuff under Product Description is accurate and you can compare the other products in the range although the bigger ones aren't available yet. Why the staggered release dates??
3. The micro USB cable is of a surprisingly good quality (the exterior doesn't feel cheap) but at more than 4' it's way too long for use with a laptop (ok, if it was shorter, people would complain too..)
4. It appears as though they just released the Windows version on Aug 3rd, more than a month after the Mac version or is it an update?
5. No Win XP support for the software... is it a trend now or just Creative? It does have Win 8 support, so at least that's comforting to know.
8 of 10 found the following review helpful:
Terrible ProductJul 21, 2012
By David Vogel
I was so impressed with the YouTube videos demonstrating this product, that I ordered it as soon as I could. If you haven't seen them, they show off the extra-ordinary features of the microphone. One video shows him talking crystal clear while next to a hair dryer (Noise cancellation). Another shows him walking to the side and talking while not being heard (Voice focus). And the last shows him walking across the room while being heard loud and clear all the time (Smart Volume).
First off, Voice Focus isn't even in this model. It is advertised on the Sound Blaster website, but they did NOT put it into the lowest model. Secondly... everything in that video is a lie. Noise cancellation did not work. It only lowered the volume of my air conditioner. It did not remove it. This was a surprise to me, because the noise cancellation on my Recon3D Omega headset is great. Lastly, smart volume was not as extreme as showed in the video. I was able to talk at a good volume if I kept the product in front of my keyboard. Any farther and the sound dropped off.
On top of all that, that microphone sound quality was awful. My voice had a bad echo like I was talking in a large room and the quality itself was very low. As an actual speaker, this product did not hold up as well. It sounds exactly how it looks. Like cheap 20 dollar USB speakers.... only there is one of them. These issues could be fixed in the more expensive models. At the time of this review, they are not out yet. Stay away from this model at all costs.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
Small & Handy - the key benefits for this productAug 21, 2012
1. it's compact and light-weight
The last thing i want to carry is some heavy accessory as part of my carry-on luggage.
There's some image off their facebook which shows the scale of the speaker, only slightly larger than a coke can. Its light as well as small enough to fit into my laptop bag so big points here. Connectivity-wise, with a USB cable I can power the speaker and play audio through it, the simpler the better.
2. audio quality is pretty loud and clear for it's size
Well, we cant compare it to Bose or something, but for something that small it's pretty nice, plus great to surprise all my friends who can't believe this little thing can produce nice audio.
3. conversations are pretty clear
As a frequent traveller I often skype back home to my family, and with SBX 8, they can hear me much better when I speak, and I do not have to sit myself RIGHT at the front of my notebook for them to hear me properly.
To be fair, the youtube video seems to be mostly demoed with the largest model. But from what I've experienced from this tiny speaker, I would expect the other 2 speakers to live up the hype.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
I can't recommend thisNov 24, 2012
I cannot recommend the SBX 8 because there are too many cons, as I see (and hear) it:
1. It is IMO overpriced for what it is.
2. The mic sound quality is relatively poor compared to all the other mics I've used to make Skype calls (mics on the cables of several different pairs of earphones and headphones and the Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone). To determine this I tested the SBX 8 using Skype on both a desktop PC and a laptop. I made calls and got feedback on voice quality from the people I called and I had someone call me so I could hear the voice quality.
3. The limitations of the SBX 8 by virtue of it being a wired speaker that must be powered via USB outweigh the convenience offered by its small size (smaller than a soda can). For example, let's say that you would like to use the SBX 8 to lisen to music and/or make a Skype call via a handheld device or a tablet. In order to do this you will need a cable to connect the headphone/audio-out jack of your device to the audio-in jack on the back of the SBX 8 (such a cable is not supplied), PLUS you will need to power the SBX 8 through the USB cable it comes with. You can power it by connecting the USB cable to a desktop or laptop, in which case you need to have your handheld device or tablet close to the desktop or laptop, unless you purchase and use a USB extension cable. Or you can power it by connecting the USB cable to a USB wall jack, but if you want your handheld device or tablet to be further from the outlet than the USB wall jack cable and SBX 8 USB cable allow, you will need to use an electrical extension cord - as you can tell, we are getting into way too many wires and cables here to make this convenient. Or you can use a USB battery pack... (Creative has larger versions of this speaker/mic that are wireless, the Creative Sound BlasterAxx SBX10 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with Microphone and the Creative Sound BlasterAxx SBX20 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with Microphone.)
4. The sound of the speaker is okay for a small speaker, but it's not great. With everything I listened to the sound distorted at higher volumes. The speaker is ported, as if for bass, and when the SBX feature is on the sound is fuller than when it's off, but the bottom line is that this is a small speaker that delivers small speaker sound. (And I can't imagine listening with the SBX off and wonder why it's even an option to have it off.)
5. The SBX 8's portability is compromised by the fact that it is cloth-covered and does not come with any type of carrying case. The size of the SBX 8 is ideal for travel and carrying from one location to another, e.g., from home to work, but the fact that it is cloth covered makes it a bit delicate, compared to speakers that have hard mesh covering the actual speakers. So you have to carry it in something that protects the cloth covering it and specifically that protects the speakers from getting punctured.
6. Downloading the SBX 8 driver and application software available at Creative's support page for this product puts software (IMO junk) on your computer beyond what you may bargain for and because it does not come with uninstallers (and with the exception of one part did not show up in Windows uninstaller) it can be very difficult to get rid of. I spent nearly two hours dealing with this and had to restart my desktop PC several times in the process.
To be fair there are a couple of pros:
1. While the sound is small the quality is good as long as the volume isn't pushed too high.
2. For someone working on a computer (desktop or laptop) at a workstation, in a cubicle or on a table where it is convenient for them to listen to speakers at low volumes and where physical desktop space is extremely tight, the SBX 8 could be ideal.
To sum up, I obviously cannot recommend the SBX 8. Its bigger wireless siblings might be worth checking out.
2 of 3 found the following review helpful:
small but mightyAug 28, 2012
I have played Tool, Mastodon, Adele, and Iron&Wine through this speaker, and for a small stand-alone speaker, the sound is surprisingly full. I have a 20x25ft room, and the SBX8 was tucked away in a corner, the sound filled the entire room.
It will function without the additional software installed, but there are more options with the included software. The software provides greater flexibility in tweaking how the sound, well, sounds, but there are some presets that are helpful for those of us less 'tinkering inclined.' Setting the 'vocal purity' option really brought Adele's vocals out. The 'Warm' preset seemed to work well with Iron&Wine and I used the SBX default for Tool and Mastodon.
On the speaker itself there are four buttons: mute microphone, noise canceling, SBX, mute speakers.
SBX is a boost function, that boosts the sound, basically it makes the sound 'meatier', bigger, bolder. However if you turn the volume up all the way, having SBX on will make it sound more distorted than leaving it off. Like most speakers, if you turn it up all the way, there is some distortion. But this little speaker shouldn't be doing any more than filling your your empty room with sound to begin with, you're not going to vibrate any pictures off the walls with the SBX8. But you're going to get superior audio quality compared to your laptop speakers, or most stand-alone iPod speaker docks.
If you don't turn have the acoustic echo cancellation feature turned on, there can be a bit of an echo/delay. I noticed this on Skype. however, once I enabled echo cancellation, the audio was crystal clear and there was no echo or delay at all.
Noise canceling also worked quite well. I certainly won't expect the SBX to drown out an airplane engine, but I did place a medium sized fan next to it and hit the noise canceling button. My friend on the other end of the skype call could totally tell the difference after noise cancellation was enabled. She said it was amazingly clear and couldn't' hear the fan at all. Overall the mic was very clear, I walked away to the other side of the room (10) feet and did the whole 'Can you hear me now' routine, and my Skype friend said she could hear me clearly.
Works well with Skype as well as Google Hangouts.
Final Verdict: This is a really good, basically 'pocket' speaker/mic comb. I'm sure there's better ones out there, but they're probably much bigger. For its size and function, the SBX8 is a fantastic little device and I look forward to using it often in the future. Seriously the clearest mic audio I've experienced, light years better than the computer defaults.
Used with an Apple 2007 macbook running OS 10.6.8
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