|Home » |
X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 20 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 20 customer reviews )
Write an online review and share your thoughts with other customers.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 found the following review helpful:
Unbeatable Practicality in Notebook SoundJan 07, 2008
By Glen Tan
I raise an eyebrow at reviews that contain statements like, "I'm pretty sure they are all defective." My experience with this card has been nothing short of stellar, and others share the same experience.
This card is not marketed as a gaming soundcard, although it will handle games. The main purpose of this card is to give you unparalleled sound for music and movies, and it definitely delivers on both fronts. I am very particular about sound, and couldn't tolerate the electronic noise contamination from my HP Pavilion's on-board soundcard, thus I bought this card.
Using very sensitive in-ear monitors, I could not detect any electronic buzz at any volume level. The card really isolates your sound from all the other electronic fluctuations going on in your computer, and delivers great sound. The software interface is very intuitive, and even has a button that toggles playback through your notebook speakers--a tiny feature, but it shows that real thought went into the product design.
People are already familiar with Creative's EAX and Crystallizer technologies, so I won't review them here, suffice to say they work just fine.
What won me over was the fact that this tiny wonder has -both- optical inputs and outputs, enabling one to connect it to a Dolby Digital decoder (for multi-speaker setups), an external DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter), or any permutation of such devices! Furthermore, sound quality output is versatile with both 48Khz and 96Khz master outputs, in 16 or 24-bits.
Besides the optical ports, the dock provides a multitude of connection options.
When considered from a price-to-performance/features point of view, the Xi-Fi ExpressCard is a real winner. Products in this category are already rare, but Creative has put some real thought into this, and it shows.
Please note that this product is incompatible with the following notebooks:
* 1. Fujitsu Lifebook E8210*
* 2. Fujitsu Siemens Amilo A1667G*
*As listed on Creative's Website
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
Great card, but no dock includedJan 18, 2009
By Mikael Arvola
I have owned a great number of internal and external sound cards, and I do not lie when I say this card is one of the best in its price range.
I have it hooked up to professional studio monitors that really point out any problems in sound output, and this card passes with flying colors. I was worried that the small size and the location would create interference or static noise, but I was positively surprised to find that none of those were present.
It performs very well in everything I do: music, movies, games, the lot. But do take note! This is an ExpressCard card, so it does require a correct version ExpressCard bay. If you do not have one, or would prefer USB, Creative makes other products for those. Personally I greatly prefer the ExpressCard, 'cause having a USB box dangling on the laptop would make it harder to carry it around and use it on your lap.
That being said, there are a few downsides.
First of all, it is relatively pricey compared to the desktop versions of similar cards. However, take note that the size and location do pose problems when trying to uphold sound quality, and I feel the increase in cost is justified through the success of their efforts in preserving the quality.
The real big downside is that they DO NOT include ANY expansion dongles/docks with the original product. I greatly disagree with this policy, and think that they should've included one in the original package. As the card is already pricey, and the dock costs at least $30 more, it does add up to a rather nasty sum. Thus, 4 stars.
7 of 8 found the following review helpful:
A MUST if you watch movies and listen to music on your notebook!Jul 18, 2007
Believe me when I say you have to experience Xtreme Fidelity to really appreciate what it does for music and movies. I don't really understand the how "X-Fi" works. A friend tells me it has something to do with the way the Crystalizer repairs the damage that was done to audio and video files during compression. Too much geek speak for me! All I know is that my movies and music have never sounded clearer or more vibrant. Plug in your favorite headphones for an even better listening experience!
If your notebook is basically a desktop replacement, why cheat yourself out of superior audio quality? Get this ExpressCard and start enjoying your music and movies the way they were meant to be heard!
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
Laptops are Crippled - Works for W7 AlsoNov 27, 2010
By Bali Hai Batman
Card is still great and also works in W7 (with a bit of tinkering).
Keep in mind Win7 crippled more sound stuff so you won't have everything you have with XP,
for example 'Record What You Hear' (Stereo Mix). However, you can perform that feat using Audacity,
So far, it's the only free audio solution that features the WASAPI host.
Original Review Below:
IMHO pc laptops are CRIPPLED because of the ridiculous fact that you are unable to record line in stereo with native "on board" sound. The only input is a mic and that isn't stereo. BLEH. Those vendors/manufacturers that have the audacity to claim their laptops are "Desktop Replacements" are LYING. They have no ability to record stereo line in and also no [native] ability to record "what you hear" like most other desktop have with even native on board soundcards. These vendors/manufacturers need to be put on notice for delibrately crippling the sound/recording capabilities of these laptops. It's probably because of the greedy riia bunch but at any rate, there is no excuse for this. If you don't add some kind of sound device either via pc card or usb, you will lack some very basic sound/recording capabilities.
Enter this add-in card. BINGO, now you have these capabilities. Keep in mind creative doesn't offer ASIO support with the drivers for this card. However, ASIO4ALL will correct that and it's a free solution. It works flawlessly with this card (so far). Sound quality is decent - not spectacular but very decent. It should also increase the volume on your laptop from the onboard.
Another really cool thing is that you don't need any of the automatic startup stuff for it to work perfectly. Also, it is smart enough to 'know' when it's installed and when it isn't. No need to disable anything in Device Manager. It will just automatically switch back and forth to your onboard sound or this card depending upon whether or not it's physically installed in the laptop. Using with XP Pro and a Thinkpad and it works excellent. Card/drivers seem resource-friendly. I've played music through it for hours on battery and it seems pretty 'battery friendly' as well.
If you don't need the extra [5.1] speaker hook ups you don't need to worry about the add on module 'cause that is ALL it provides. Besides they are about as scarce as hen's teeth and very difficult to find. Shame on creative for not including this with the card.
The card is rugged as I've already found that out ;) It comes with a nice case. It seems suspicious that this is no longer being made and I can't help but wonder if it has anything to do with pressure from the riia. I guess they do offer a SB card though so who knows. This X-Fi Xtreme card works fantastic overall and I can't imagine not having this or something else to give me the basic ability *all* sound cards and their drivers *should* give you. I know I'm a whole lot closer to having a true "Desktop Replacement" with this card installed in this laptop.
11 of 15 found the following review helpful:
Great Sound Card For MusicNov 11, 2007
By Jeffrey Liss
I liked the sound on this Expresscard so much that I bought 2 of these for my Dell 1520 and Dell 1705 laptops, running Vista Ultimate. Set up was simple. I just inserted the ExpressCard into the slot and then loaded the CD. Downloading time took over an hour as there were many auto updates to install. There is very little documentation and no user manual for this product so one must be free spirited and discover which settings are right for you based on the kind of music you listen to and the way you intend to use this card. Unfortunately, there is very little discussion as to which stereo earbuds (or headphones) work well with this ExpressCard. The best music player I've ever listened to, the Creative MediaSource Player 5, is bundled with this product. A pair of comfortable white earbuds also comes enclosed.
This is a high end product which requires that you invest more money in either a high quality stereo earbud, headphone or stereo speakers (along with Creative's speaker docking module, which is now available on their web site)) in order to fully take advantage of the features this card offers.
I found the sound of music to be far superior using the enclosed Creative earbuds in this ExpressCard to my USB Jabra 5035 stereo headset. But when I tested the Sony MDR-EX90LP stereo earbuds in this ExpressCard, the sound clarity and bass improved tremendously so I bought 2 pair and now use them exclusively in this ExpressCard.
I chose this ExpressCard because when I custom built my Dell 1520, this was offered as the best option (of 3) for the sound system of the notebook. However, Dell sent the card 2-3 days after I received my notebook so I had to install it on my own. Once I was able to fine tune this ExpressCard to suit my penchant for 60's Rock Music, I then bought another one for my Dell 1705. When I listen to "Paint it Black" and "She is a Rainbow" from the Stones, I feel like I'm in the front row of the old Phillmore East Auditorium in New York City.
I have no intention of buying the speaker docking module at the present time since it sort of defeats the purpose of having a laptop to begin with. But if I ever decide to move out to the country (or suburbs) and do not live near anyone, perhaps I'll buy the speaker docking module and the Logitech Z-5500 Digital speaker system.
The sound of music is taken to another level with this ExpressCard. I now enjoy listening to my music more than ever.
I now give this Expresscard 5 stars.
See all 20 customer reviews on Amazon.com