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Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1
Due to high demand, this is item is temporarily unavailable. Please consider the "like new" refurbished version for only $39.99 compared to $59.99 for new condition.
Better Music and Movie Sound, Made Easy
Why settle for basic, built-in sound? Your music and movies deserve Xtreme Fidelity. Simply connect the Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 sound card to your PC or notebook and turn your downloaded music into your own personal concert. Watch DVDs or downloaded videos with full cinematic surround sound. Plus experience 3D audio and EAX effects in your games.
Revitalize your downloaded music and movies
Restore the details and vibrancy your music and movies lost during compression. X-Fi technology intelligently enhances the highs and lows so you'll hear it all - crisp cymbal crashes, wailing guitar solos, screeching tires and booming explosions.
Surround sound from your stereo music and movies
Expand your stereo music and movies into surround sound. Voices are centered in front of you. Ambient sound appears all around you... just like a live performance. Listen on a pair of desktop speakers or a full 5.1 speaker system.
Headphone surround that sounds like multichannel speakers
Slip on your headphones and X-Fi CMSS-3D technology moves the sound away from your ears and into the space around you. You'll feel like you're sitting with your favorite band or in the best seat in the movie theater. Games sound better too with positional audio that's so accurate you can locate enemies by sound.
Get realistic sound effects in your games
Bullets whiz past your head. Explosions shake the room. Take your games to the next level with EAX® ADVANCED HD™ sound effects.
And if you're using Windows Vista™, Creative ALchemy restores surround sound for the same great gaming experience.
Cinematic surround sound from DVD movies
Watch your DVDs in cinematic surround sound with PowerDVD software featuring DTS™ and Dolby Digital® EX decoding (free download with purchase). Plus send Dolby pass-thru audio directly to your home theater receiver using the optical output.
X-Fi Technology for your Laptop
Tired of poor sound on your laptop? The Sound Blaster X-Fi Notebook Express Card includes realistic EAX sound effects, 3D positional audio and headphone and microphone connectivity. Play music from your notebook through any speakers wirelessly using the Sound Blaster X-Fi Noteboook + Wireless Receiver bundle
Need a USB sound card for your laptop? The Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! includes 3D audio, EAX sound effects and crystal clear voice comms over the game's sound for your wireless headset. Step it up a notch and talk to your teammates wirelessly with the Creative HS-1200 gaming headset.
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 115 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 115 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 89 found the following review helpful:
Change USB Speed Option to Solve Lags!May 03, 2009
Under 'Creative audio control panel,' be certain that 'high speed' (2.0) is checked, and not 'full speed' (1.1). This may or may not solve lag and other commonly cited audio issues. That said,
I do not like this sound card. In fact, it's not really a sound card at all. More truthfully, it is a (large) software suite connected to a big volume knob. As far as I can tell, and from what I have read and seen in task manager), all of the real work is done with your computer. Well, this shouldn't be too much of a problem on modern machines, right? I mean, aren't the days of needing external chips to alleviate workload on the CPU long gone and irrelevant?
Maybe. But the fact is that I feel that I could have attained the same, cheap audio tricks via any number of winamp plug-ins, equalizers, et al. What I wanted was a superior external DAC than the noise coming from my onboard RealTek 'high definition' audio. The truth is that I can tell no difference between the two outputs until I turn on the effects of the x-fi, which are really annoying to a music purist. They produce listener fatigue and unwelcome distortion (music was not meant to be heard in simulated surround, and 'crystalizer' can get downright 'screechy').
The simulated surround or EAX is fine for watching movies and playing games, though. But if you are primarily a music buff and have decent speakers, I advise looking elsewhere.
There is good news, though. While Creative has a history of not supporting older cards on a newer OS, there is a functioning beta driver for Windows 7 already at their site. You won't be experiencing what thousands of people did when trying to use their XP cards on Vista, etc. However, the overall performance of the card is sluggish both on my XP install and my Win 7 beta. Adjustments are cumbersome and opening the severe bloatware of sound options is unacceptably slow even on fairly well-equipped hardware. I'd consider this a fluke of my install, but on two separate disks, and with two different OSes (XP and 7)? No. It's just bloated.
I got this new for virtually nothing, but I'd still not buy it again because I can honestly achieve the same effects by using the EQ of the iTunes, Mediamonkey, etc. Again, this is nothing but a ton of sound software that happens to have a physical body. You can do better for not much more money. However, as a solution for a broken onboard chip / output jack, this is an economical solution. But even then I'd almost recommend one of those USB thumb drive-type cards as they won't take up unnecessary desktop space or clutter your install with a ton of software that, btw, takes 20 minutes to install).
If the x-fi surround were anything but a fancy software suite, I'd rate it higher. Sorry. Just trying to save someone the grief if they are looking for a music solution. That's what these reviews are for.
25 of 26 found the following review helpful:
Awesome If Used ProperlyAug 23, 2009
By R. T. Meisenholder
It is important to note that this sound device is not for everyone and it is less ideal for surround sound users than those of us just looking for high quality stereo. The sound quality is tremendous for 2 channel sound and generally reliable to a point. You have to understand the limitations of using a USB sound device. YOU MUST have a powerful enough CPU to process the sound information and because of the fact that it uses the USB connection whatever else shares that bandwidth like a wireless USB network adapter will impact the audio with possible hiccups and crackle when transferring large amounts of data.
In 2 channel mode at 24 bit 96khz when coupled with a quad core processor your chances of the best quality audio experience are greatest. Even with my Phenom II 920 @ 2.8ghz during downloads from STEAM transferring my games with my wireless USB network adapter at a 135 mbps connection leads to crackle when listening to music at the same time. USB only has so much bandwidth and using 5.1 surround only lets its limitations become more prominent.
49 of 59 found the following review helpful:
Waste of money if youre running Vista 32 or 64 bit!!Sep 18, 2008
I purchased this Creative Labs X-Fi 5.1 external sound card to watch movies on my new laptop based on Creatives reputation, past creative products and the reviews that I read here.
Playing music is awesome. Mp3 files trully do sound great.
The previous reviewers must not have been running Windows Vista. (I'm running the 64 bit version). After plugging the card into my USB port, installing the the software, and plugging in my Logitech Z-5500 5.1 speaker system, I sat down to watch a movie. There is a terrible sound lag that makes watching a movie seem like you're watching a baddly dubbed foriegn film. The actors speak and the action happens before you hear the sound. I have tried to reinstall the software and drivers numerous times and the only way to correct the sound lag is uninstall the Creative software and drivers and go back to the Vista drivers. Unfortunately without Creatives drivers you loose the mp3 fuctions that make the music sound so good. Also, when using creatives software / sound card my cpu is really being worked hard sometimes up to 100% cpu usage when watching a dvd (it averages about 30 - 40% with music and nothing else running). I'm running a 2.0 ghz dual core processor with 4 gigs of ram???
I contacted Creative support over a week ago and have yet to get a reply. I am very unhappy with this sound card and with Creatives customer service. If you want to read more about the sound lag just check out creatives public forum, theres over 9 pages about this issue.
I've heard that if youre running Windows XP there is no lag. So if you are running XP or just want to listen to music this might be right for you. If your running Vista don't waste your money. Creative should not advertise that this is Vista compatable until they figure out this lag issue!!!
7 of 7 found the following review helpful:
Way better than I expected...!Nov 03, 2009
By The Bruce
Too bad so many people have to read the Vista review at the top of this page to get their first opinion of this little fellow. I have Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and this product works just fine (and is certified for both Win 7 32/64-bit by Microsoft). I plugged it an and Win 7 installed it without needing the driver disk...a really good sign out of the box.
I was planning on just using it as a cheap sound solution because I didn't want to buy a $150+ card that supported 64-bit. I'm not a gamer and only have two speakers and headphones and wasn't too interested in the X-fi 3D program on disc. But I installed it and...!! Scary cool, I'm re-listening to all my songs as you read this.
Totally quiet and transparent sound with an open 3D clarity over headphones...no shimmery "spatial sound"...but a palpable razor sharp image with a see-through feel. Best $50 I've spent in a long while. That I can drop my hand to unit and instantly crank the volume up and down (no more mouse!)is a big plus. Do yourself a favor and get one just to have fun.
8 of 9 found the following review helpful:
Great sound card for laptopsAug 31, 2008
By Ryan Mundt
I bought this to pair up my laptop to my Logitech z 5500 5.1 system. The audio quality is much better than the stock sound card, not to mention 5.1 surround sound support (not included on almost ALL laptops). The software included is not the greatest when using Windows Vista, as many of the features that would normally be on Windows XP are cut out (for compatibility issues), but It still has many custom settings and equalizers to get the exact sound you're looking for. It comes with much more software than advertised, including a DVD player that supports Dolby, multiple CD/DVD burners, an audio editor, a music player, and an entertainment center similar to windows media center. Another cool feature that I found is the X-Fi CMSS-3D setting, which (depending on how you set it) basically takes 2 channel sound (like mp3 songs) and either simulates surround sound (by putting the vocals on the center speaker and other instruments on the surrounds), or just plays all of the speakers in stereo.
For those people looking for a lot of bass for hip hop and dance songs, this sound card can tune the bass frequencies up to 12 dB, so when using my Logitech z 5500's, the whole house, and the neighbors house(s), shake ridiculously.
-Great build and sound quality
-Perfect for laptops
-5.1 support for your
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