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Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2
Immerse yourself in the full cinematic audio experience with Sound Blaster<sup>®</sup> X-Fi™ MB2 software suite. This powerful audio platform offers premium audio quality, effects and features for ordinary PC systems equipped with only basic onboard audio.
Creative Sound Blaster<sup>®</sup> X-Fi™ MB2 software suite is a powerful audio platform equipped with cutting-edge audio technology and THX<sup>®</sup> TruStudio Pro™. It offers premium audio quality, effects and features for ordinary PC systems equipped with only basic onboard audio. Both gamers and PC entertainment enthusiasts can experience the amazing level of realism that Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 adds to your games, music and movies. Plus you can enjoy all of it in surround sound on virtually any speaker system or headphones.
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|| based on 19 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 19 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 found the following review helpful:
Good Stuff, but odd order processApr 20, 2012
By Daniel Meek
First the bad:
The ordering process for this software is annoying. I tried a while back to order this software from Creative's website, but the order process was broken. I tried again recently and was moved to Amazon for the order process which had the sofware (no CD) listed for $25 with $17 for shipping... but there is no shipping because it is a download. After ordering it there was ~9 hour delay before getting a confirmation e-mail from Creative with my product key and a link for the software, and the program (although being quite small) took nearly 45 minutes to download because Creative has perhaps the slowest server on earth. On installation it does not load everything on startup. It will load the new driver (which is where the bulk of the improvements are), but it does not load the crystalizer software by default (which is another huge chunk of quality, and kinda the point in purchasing the software) so you need to open the console, and manually tell it to open on startup. However, once you get past this it is easy to use, and makes a nice improvement in the audio quality of your system.
The Good: An excellent product
So far I have tried this software on 2 products: First on my computer (had the basic version of this software suite bundled with my ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 motherboard) which improved upon the basic version, and then on my wife's older PC.
On my PC I am connected to a receiver via an optical cable, and then to a pair of old home-built cabinets with a 1" super tweeter, 4" damp midrange, and a 12" sub in a stereo configuration (for any given price bracket you will always get better quality audio with stereo over surround sound, I have not found a surround sound set worth owning yet). Moving from analog to digital audio was a huge improvement for my system when I upgraded last year, and moving from the stock driver to this software was an equally significant step up in clarity.
1) For music there is much more definition between instruments which allows for a much more enjoyable experience for complex pieces, and freshens up music that was recorded poorly. However the chrystalizer does make some music a little harsh (especially emo which is already strained), so you may want to turn it down a touch for some genera.
2) For movie watching it removes a great many frustrations I have had. DVDs in particular have terrible clarity for voices which keeps me turning the volume up during dialogue, and then turning it down a touch during exciting action scenes. With this software this is no longer an issue. I can easily understand everything said even when turned down to -70dB (previously dialogue was not clear until -55dB so that is a monumental improvement) so I can watch shows/movies without worry of disturbing people who are sleeping, and without the distractions of constant volume changes (not that this is before turning on the Dialogue+ feature). Of course movies are always better loud, but it is a wonderful feature for my own use, and speaks a lot towards the added audio quality/clarity that this system brings.
3) The EQ system is quick to adjust, and gives you a great amount of control. I use it to flatten the audio during reccording/editing sessions (my speakers have a natural bump at ~600Hz which needs to be removed when doing work), and then to give a nice sub bump when listening to music and movies.
4) The fake surround sound features are good for headphones, but not particularly convincing with my speaker layout. While a nice feature I typically forget or do not care to enable it for movie watching as the default downmix is quite good (and I don't like wearing headphones unless I have to).
5) There is a music player gadget, as well as a VU meter gadget... both are useless gimmicks.
6) There are some other features to the software suite (mic voice filtering called VoiceFX, a music server, and EAX with legacy EAX game support), but honestly I have not messed with them yet, but I will update this review if I do end up using them down the line.
-One note is that this software seems to cap out at 48kHz output (previously I was using 96kHz quality with the onboard driver) in Win7. Honestly it is worlds better than my previous settings, but it is disappointing as my receiver is capable of doing better. still, no complaints, just an annoying 'what if it could do 96kHz'...
On my wife's system (~4 year old Core 2 Duo) the effect was not quite as dramatic, but still a large improvement over the stock audio driver on her motherboard (realtek I think?). She is running an analog 2.1 stereo system (zSeries from Logitech). I installed it without her knowledge and she did notice a difference in audio quality enough to ask me if I had done something to her computer, and she was quite happy with the change. I do not use her machine very often, so I cannot give much more information other than that it helps a bit.
Who is this for:
If you are running digital audio, or a system with limited upgrade space for a dedicated sound card then this software is for you. Moving all of the processing to the CPU helps clean up the audio significantly, moving quality issues to your source material or your speakers. If you have home theater speakers or headphones then you will hear the difference better than if you are running simple 2.0 or 2.1 computer speakers. Digital onboard audio paired with this software makes dedicated sound cards a thing for the past for all but the pickiest audiophiles.
Who is this not for:
If you are running high end analog audio then this is not for you. Analog is only as good as the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of your pre-amp on your audio device, and onboard audio simply does not have it. So purchasing a good Creative or Xonar sound card (~$50+) would be the better option as you will not hear much difference due to the quality of the output on your motherboard. Keep in mind that modern systems have an equivalent SNR to a $25 sound card, so if buying a card be sure to get a good one to really hear a difference.
If you are running an older system such as a single core Pentium 4 then this may not work so well. It would be fine for just listening to music, but would impact performance while multi tasking.
If you do not have quality speakers or headphones then this is not for you. Focus your efforts on getting quality speakers first and then work your way back to the source to get the most bang for your $. Moving to digital/optical equipment should be a priority.
If you are a true audiophile, then you would be better off with a dedicated card for higher kHz rates and for the features and inputs bundled with high end cards. But as someone who has a background in some audio engineering I have to say that this software is pretty convincing.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
Amazing software - a must buy for anyone with onboard audioMay 17, 2012
By Vinay Raval
This is an absolutely fantastic piece of software. Easily worth every penny (and enduring the ridiculous ordering process). Upon installation, my sound quality was noticeably improved. Music was sharper, bass was stronger, and my 5.1 speaker system finally displayed it's true surround sound. It's worth mentioning that my setup only has on-board sound and one audio out jack. Thus, even though I can not naturally take advantage of the built in front/rear/center ports on the speakers, the creative software replicates this perfectly. Honestly, I couldn't be any happier with this software.
As mentioned, the ordering process is a pain. Amazon's checkout is easy enough, but it takes some time for Creative to send over the download link and activation code (same e-mail). The software installs upon execution of the EXE file, which is fairly large and takes an hour to download. As the review below mentioned, this is due to slow servers on their end.
In short - buy this product! You will not regret it!
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 software based is a Great HD Sound addition!Apr 23, 2012
By Svyatoslav Korniyenko
I have macbook pro (early 2008) with windows 7 64bit ultimate and Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro <-- USB sound card, which does not have a support to all these new features Creative Labs offered in current sounds cards such as: Creative EAX Advanced HD, THX truestudio pro and etc (see here: [...]
The sound completely became crystal clear after installation of Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2 and reboot, and also if you go to creative support and look how to eliminate system sound (see here: [...] ); you will find after all the exceptional value sound.
I am not big gamer, so you will check for yourself :)
About ordering: I bought this product 1 day ago on Sunday, I waited for email from creative labs with download link only about 40 minutes apart after I ordered on Amazon. Installation was quick and it works good with already installed hardware and drivers with software of Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro.
I hope this helps.
More like a collection of software where the only one you'll run doesn't even say Creative or Sound BlasterJun 16, 2014
By Ronald Yaskovic
Didn't look as professional or unified as MB1 did, or MB3. Definitely far less effective than MB3. Only reason I ever bought and used it was windows compatibility reasons of the time, and sound card limitations of a laptop that advertised Sound Blaster X-Fi audio but came with MB1 - a big disappointment as it was the entire determining factor when I chose to buy it (a Dell XPS L502X).
My old games have EAX support again! Splendid!Apr 26, 2014
I did not try my all old only EAX supported favourite games yet, but so far it is working perfectly.
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