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Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! Pro USB Sound Card
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 303 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 303 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 found the following review helpful:
A Constant Source of FrustrationSep 28, 2012
When the conditions are perfect for this product to operate as designed, the sound is truly incredible... but many people will never experience that. Apparently, some internal component which should have been shielded, was not shielded... and so when the X-Fi Go! Pro is used with low impedance headphones, a very intrusive static noise is heard at lower to medium volumes. It sounds as though you are listening to a radio station which is slightly off the correct frequency, and listening enjoyment suffers tremendously.
The maker is apparently aware of this problem, as they have created a support topic on their site:
They recommend a lengthy list of modifications that should be made to users systems, including disabling hyperthreading and network interface cards to remove the static sound. I followed their recommendations to the letter without experiencing a reduction in noise. Even if these modifications had been successful, I doubt I would trade hyperthreading and network for a correctly functioning sound card.
I actually purchased the `X-Fi Go! Pro' to replace my `X-Fi Go!', which had the same problem with static (though not as pronounced) and which suddenly quit working after about a year of use. The installation software that came with both units took approximately 40 minutes and 4 restarts to bring online, followed by an additional 30 minutes for updates to download and install and one additional restart. After all of this, I still had to disable my on-board sound device to allow each unit to function. Certainly not plug-and-play, and certainly somewhat frustrating.
If you use this sound card with high impedance headphones, or with any kind of amplifier, the static is resolved and the sound is amazing; but is it amazing enough to counter the negative aspects of the X-Fi Go! Pro?... almost.
23 of 26 found the following review helpful:
Good sound on your notebookSep 09, 2011
By Inna Tysoe
My notebook does not have the sound quality I can get on my desktop. So I decided to try this sound audio hardware solution on a USB stick to solve the problem. I was a little skeptical that it would be that good since it was so small. It's about the size of my thumb with a plug at standard USB plug at one end and simple 3.5mm phono sockets on the opposite end.
When you plug it in, a tiny blue LED lights up to let you know it is on. Pop in the CD and install the drivers and away you go. It's very much plug and play and works like a charm. The sound difference from my integrated audio is phenomenal and plays very well on headphones. The software that comes with it simulates surround sound and has various settings that can be used to enhance compressed audio such as MP3's and give you a more dynamic full sound with crisper high frequencies and richer bass.
Just out of curiosity I also plugged it into my desktop USB to see what would happen. Windows 7 recognized it straight away and I could listen on headphones with the same excellent sound. Since my PC's internal card goes straight through to an AMP and I don't have a large headphone adapter this unit was pretty handy if I wanted to quickly get good sound through walkman headphones so as to not annoy anyone around me.
I'm very pleased with this little thumbstick audio device. It works and is very portable. It's easy to set up and sounds much better than any integrated audio solution you're going to find on a notebook.
12 of 13 found the following review helpful:
A great simple solution for improved audio output...Aug 17, 2011
By Sam M. Tannenbaum
The X-Fi Go! Pro is a really effective little device for improving the audio output of a notebook computer, so as long as one understands its application and limitations, they should be pleased with its performance.
The X-Fi Go! Pro improves a computer's audio out-signal by amplifying and processing the computer's outgoing audio data. So, it can EQ sound (and it comes with well-made software for that task, offering the user a good amount of control over how the sound is EQed, both in presets and in the ability to adjust individual parameters), amplify quiet audio, add clarity to indistinct sounds, or add extra bass/mid/treble to music that needs it (there even seems to be some mild compressing going on, which is a good thing)...basically, just what one would expect it to do. It really does make a noticeable difference compared to onboard laptop audio. The software is easy to install and operate, and it does a really nice job of staying in the background, i.e. not 'getting in the way' like some running programs do. Once you install it, you'll forget it's there (the software, not the X-Fi), which is how it should be.
Input-audio seems to be slightly improved, too... nothing drastic, but some vocal recordings I did with the X-Fi sounded a bit clearer than my notebook's internal input produced.
The limitations potential buyers need to recognize are only that it isn't a full-fledged audio interface, so don't expect anything on that level. Also, it would have been nice to have two outputs (for multiple sets of earphones or a speaker/earphone combo), but again, that's a feature more normally reserved for more robust interfaces. As it is, it does what it claims to do, it does it very well, and its form factor can't be beat. Well worth the investment.
24 of 29 found the following review helpful:
Country DJ - died and went to heaven!Feb 07, 2011
I got this because one place I play is huge and the sound system is somewhat "challenging." If you take the time to really understand how the various features of the Soundblaster X-FI products really work together, you'll get a better result than you ever imagined. I now use it everywhere I play - wish I had picked up on this when it first came out!
Use the "Crystalizer" to counteract the effects of MP3 compression - The "Dialogue Plus" to bring vocals forward and improve clarity - The "Equalizer" to set up the balance for all your venues and save them for future use. Add to this a heap of other effects and you have a winner.
Best decision I made for very little money. No negatives at all.
10 of 12 found the following review helpful:
There is a reason Creative sound products have fallen so farAug 13, 2011
Having had many creative sound products in the past I was curious as to how this was going to go. Would they be better than when I last used them or would they throw enough crap at me to make me want to continue to use the on-board sound that has gotten good enough?
When I got the package I opened it up and found the unit, a USB extension cable, driver / application disc, and minimal instruction / warranty pamphlets. The unit itself is a little larger than an average USB thumb drive. It has a USB plug, headphone / speaker jack, microphone jack, LED power indicator, a switch to change between speaker and headphone mode, and a tethered cap for the USB plug. It has a solid feel to it but they felt the need adorn the top of the unit with that black shiny plastic finish that is an excellent finger print magnet. The rest of the unit has a nice textured flat back finish, too bad they didn't make the whole thing like that.
So my first hurdle was how do I get this working on my netbook that doesn't have an optical drive? Well naturally I went to soundblaster.com to get the latest driver. I got to the support section of the site and found the product. Under all downloads I don't see any drivers, just a media toolbox trial and creative wavestudio. I hit the manual search section and select my OS (WIN7 64-Bit) and hit submit, same results. I tried other OS selections and got the same. So I guess I can't just go and download drivers. I decided to just plug it in and see what Win7 did with it. It installed some generic drivers and was off and working. Not having the creative drivers installed I was missing all the controls to tweak the sound but I figured this would be a good base test to see how it sounded against the built in sound of my netbook. I played some different kinds of music and would switch back and forth during playback and compare what I heard. In my tests I could tell that the soundblaster had a greater dynamic range than the built in sound chip but it wasn't vastly superior. I also noticed that my CPU usage would jump 10 to 15% over the on-board sound when using the soundblaster in this basic setup.
So I wanted to get the creative drivers installed to I could adjust the sound more and play with some of the advanced features. Since I couldn't find out where to download any drivers I ended up getting a USB DVD drive that I had to hook it up and install the drivers from the disc. The install from the disc was one of the usual drawn out creative affairs that I remember from times past. Later on I would discover a link to the driver hidden under the Windows 7 Driver Compatibility link on the support page and then finding the product in the list and then clicking that link. The driver presented is dated 13 Jul 09 so it would appear that there isn't much development on this product. Once the software was finally installed I got access to all the creative control panels and software. Using these tools you are able to adjust the sound and make it sound a lot better using the EQ and other settings. I can also do this with the netbooks built in Realtek sound as well though.
In the end I would only recommend this product to someone who needs it as a last ditch solution. It is not convenient to have a thumb drive sized object protruding from your PC for sound but if you damaged your on-board sound somehow something like this may be your only option short of sending the PC in for repair. The product uses quite a bit of CPU power and finding the software and installing it is aggravating. The lack of driver development also concerns me. Maybe they nailed it with the last driver but that isn't usually the case. It did sound better than my on-board sound but not amazingly so.
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