|Creative Labs SB1090 USB Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1
|List Price: $113.99
Our Price: $54.99
You Save: $59.00 (52%)
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. It's a better blast! USB 2.0 or 1.1 connectivity to PC Ports - Microphone in (1/8 mini jack); Stereo Line in (1/8 mini jack); Headphone out (1/8 mini jack); Left/Right Speaker out (2x RCA jacks); Rear-Left/Rear-Right out (1/8 mini jack); Center/Subwoofer out (1/8 mini jack); Optical out (TOSLINK) 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 Includes USB Sound Blaster X-FI Surround 5.1 sound card; USB Cable; Installation CD; Quick Start leaflet; Stereo RCA to 1/8 jack adapter
- X-Fi Crystalizer technology restores the detail and vibrance to your compressed music and movies.
- Slip on your headphones and X-Fi CMSS-3D technology moves the sound away from your ears and into the space around you.
- Expand your stereo music and movies into surround sound with X-Fi CMSS-3D technology. Voices are centered in front of you.
- Realistic sound effects in games Bullets whiz past your head. Explosions shake the room.
- Cinematic surround sound from DVD movies Watch your DVDs in cinematic surround sound with PowerDVD software featuring DTS and Dolby Digital
- Great sound card for laptops
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...more info
- Very nice USB audio.
This is a great looking great functioning unit. Why another volume knob though? Not needed in my opinion. Actually, I bought a handful of USB dongle (thumb-drive size) sound cards for $1 dollar apiece a couple weeks after this purchase. One of these $1 solutions would have worked just as well. Anyway, at least you can SEE what you're paying extra for... it is very pretty unit with excellent solid construction and if you want another volume control, the knob feels great. Overkill for basic application. ...more info
- Seems great so far
I haven't played with the bells and whistles but it's super convenient for a laptop as a quality sound card replacement. Just a simple USB plug-in. Perfect for me....more info
- Fantastic/Awesome for Music
I read reviews here at Amazon before buying. Finally purchased the product. I own Denon D2000 headphones (also bought from Amazon) and plug them into the Sound Blaster X-Fi which is connected to my PC usb port. I like to listen to Pandora for all kinds of music. Music quality is just stunning. Awesome and way above expectations. I do not use this product for movies so I can't comment on that. Hope this review helps....more info
- When Monitoring the Microphone, There is a Delay
If you want to use this device strictly to listen to music through your digital entertainment center's speakers using the optical digital connection, you will be quite pleased.
If, however, you want to listen through the earphone output on the device, you will hear all sorts of pops and cracks.
Also if you want to use the device to record music on your computer hard drive and need to listen to the monitor, the monitor switch is hidden in the device volume panel (it is a recent software upgrade), in the Mixer function window. There is a small box to the right of the field that says Mic-in/Line-in. Click that box. However, you will notice a horrible delay between what you say and what you hear back through the monitor. This is an absolutely unacceptable engineering flaw.
I've communicated with Creative about the problem, and their attitude is "so sad, too bad, get a refund."
To summarize, this is great for simply listening to music through your stereo. It is horrible for listening through headphones or when using the microphone/line-in monitor....more info
- Decent external sound blaster
I have no experience with other external sound cards but other Creative products. Both sound cards did not disappointed my expectations.
Remember that you have to plug this card to your computer before installation of drivers....more info
- Excellent purchase that saved the day
I had the unfortunate experience of frying the sound on not one but two Dell Inspiron 5100 laptops, and was faced with the dilemma of either replacing both motherboards or both laptops, as the sound chipset is obviously built right onto the motherboard. How fortunate I was to buy Creative Labs USB Sound Blaster X-Fi for a little over $36! The sound is excellent, the product superior, and truly saved the day for me! Hats off to Creative Labs for a job well done!...more info
- Blue Screen of Death 8-X
HP Pavillion Entertainment laptop DV9000 series.
256 NVIDIA Graphics.
XP Media Center Edition.
Logitech Z5500 Speakers.
Just received this sound card today about an hour ago actually. So this is gonna be quite a short review. Upon installation I thought it was great compared to the old one i had. I had a Creative Audigy 2 NX external sound card for more or less a year and a half that gave up on me last week. Hopefully this one would last longer than the old one.
>X-fi Crystalizer does an excelent job. I can hear cymbals more now with my Logitech Z5500 speakers which i could barely hear with my old sound card (Creative Audigy 2 NX).
>After installing the driver and software and rebooting my laptop. I tried playing a music with Windows Media Player. Checked out what new with the software this came with. Adjusted a few things on the software settings then, all of a sudden the music Stoped! Next thing i saw was the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH staring right at me with my 24" monitor. Man that was scary. My heart was pumping like crazy. Felt like Bloody Mary was looking at me LOL. A good early Trick or Treat by my system I guess. But after that, it rebooted itself and now its running swell. I have no idea what caused that Blue Screen of Death to appear.
Updates will be done for this review if problems come or if I dont get too lazy to type.
What i liked about the Sound Blaster Audigy 2NX was that it had a Fiber Optic Input where in i can plug in my PS3 and have the EAX effects of the soundcard on my Speakers. This only has Line In, Mic Inputs doesnt even have Coax Out. But I guess that just how life is, you just cant have everything in one. I'd still recommend this!
- Change USB Speed Option to Solve Lags!
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. ...more info
- Waste of money if youre running Vista 32 or 64 bit!!
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!!!
- A few problems at first
I had a few problems when i first downloaded X-Fi and I think this had something to do with the fact that I updated my OS to Windows XP service pack 3. Other programs on my computer also glitched after updating to Windows XP spk3. Anyway, I was missing features under the "Task" options in Creative WaveStudio 7 and the Volume controls were not responding. After contacting CreativeLabs customer service they had me download updated firmware which fixed the problem. The sound, recording, and mixing features are excellent. This soundcard is replacing Creative Audigy 2 which was pretty good in its on right and is why I stay with Creative Lab products. ...more info
- Decent -- but slows your PC down
I purchased this creative x-fi more than a month back. The installations went smooth and it started working well on my Laptop, which is nearly 4 years old. My laptop runs on Windows XP and has 1 GB ram on it.
First, the pros. The sound is much better than the in built sound card. The x-fi now drives my 5.1 speakers, and the effects are amazing. Even for mp3 songs, the sound quality has a marked improvement. The sound feels much more rich and full. The volume dial and quick mute are quite handy as well.
The main problem that I am facing with this is that whenever I am seeing a DVD, or streaming from a website which has high quality sound, my PC gives up after around an hour. The whole PC goes unbelievably slow, and I have to stop watching the DVD. I cannot understand why a separate sound processor should slow my PC sound. Isn't the whole point to take the sound processing load away from my PC? The PC needs a restart, preferably after unhooking the x-fi from the USB port.
This might also be because my laptop is kind of old, so people with old machines -- think twice before purchasing the x-fi. Basically, when the sound is too rich, especially from a DVD, there is too much load on the PC and it goes slow. The sound is awesome while it lasts. So people, weigh your priorities and make your choice.
- Simple and very usefull.
This product worked from the start. Just install the CD, restart and plug it in. I have not had any CPU issues with it playing music or gaming (I have not seen how well it decodes movies though). Occasionally the sound will skip if CPU is at 100% on my 2.16 GHZ core 2 duo. Crystalizer is very nice effect for music. Depending on which driver you end up with, its very nice that it links its volume to system's volume, or at least for vista.
The only suggestion/con I have is to install the drivers off the website rather than the CD. Some reason when I used the drivers off the CD and then auto update updated them, it removed auto update. ...more info
- An excellent external sound card
I used this card for a week or so, and the results are really, really good.
By now, it is connected to a 2.1 Cambridge Soundworks System, that has 5 years (I'm nostalgic, but this Cambridge Soundworks it's really good, in spite of the passed time). The CMSS 3D and Crystalizer Effects are awesome, and MP3 sound as they have to, bass is superb.
Only thing I couldn't still prove is its performance with games, since my computer crashed (Dell XPS M1710) and I had to reinstall everything, so, the only game I have installed is Jedi Knight 2, and isn't included in Creative Alchemy, so I will update this review when I will play some current game (UT3 for example)...more info
- USB Sound Blaster...fits the bill
I recently purchased the Creative Labs USB Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 device. I was a former user of the older Live USB Sound Card. This is everything that the Live device wasn't, especially support for USB 2.0. More to the point, I needed a high quality device to drive both 5.1 Digital and 2.0 Analog audio to my A/V receiver at the same time. The 5.1 channel drives my main zone, while the 2.0 channels drive my two remote zones (using the SB headphone jack).
The Sound Blaster integrates between my Media Center PC that is used primarily as a Digital Audio and Video library. My PC has a very small profile and unfortunately the on board Audio, does not support both 5.1 and 2.0 channels at the same time. The only drawback is my HD Audio onboard components support a higher sampling rate of 192K as opposed to the Sound Blaster rate of 96K. I suspect this is due to the USB bandwidth. Personally, I cannot hear the difference.
All in all this is a very nice package that fits into my home entertainment environment. I like the black finish and that all the cables connect in the back. When will the drivers be updated to support 7.1? And the hardware to support HDMI?
- Amazing product.
So I ordered a logitech z-5500 5.1 channel surround sound speaker system, an amazing system. But my computer only outputs stereo, and not near the quality i would like. My options were to buy a new sound card, but since i am on a laptop that makes things hard. So i bought this USB sound card, and it was right decision without-a-doubt. Not only is this unit cheaper than 100 to 200 dollar sound cards, but it is more convenient and produces incredible surround sound. It has a nice volume dial right on the unit which actually controls the output volume of your computer. Let me tell you why i love this product:
-Great sound, the sound is crisp and clear (as long as you have good speakers as well)
-Creates surround sound effects from any audio, including stereo music
-Allows for equalizer controls
-Easy to setup and install
-I can plug it in and out without a problem, so if i have to take my laptop i never have any issues, the old sound card picks up right when i unplug this unit.
-allows for dual sound card usage for certain software
So in a nut shell, if you want High Definition audio from your computer, this USB sound card is the way to go, desktop or notebook....more info
- Nice Concept but would not do what I needed on my Notebook
Creative has a great reputation with its products. I needed a USB input device to take the line out from my receiver and use that as input on my Dell Latitude D810 notebook. I am converting vinyl to mp3. I could never get enough gain to get a usable signal so I had to return this item. In other contexts this item may work fine but for me it was not suitable....more info
- everything's good except for lag
Using it in college so my laptop is compatible with my 5.1 speakers from home. The setup sounds great except there is a split second lag in videos, and a very noticeable lag in games. Perfect for music though...more info
- Creative Labs USB Sound Blaster X-Fi 70SB109000000 Surround 5.1
I moved to take a new job. When I left, the sound worked fine on my desktop PC. However when I set it up at the new location, there was no sound. I tried everything, updating drivers, reinstalling sound devices, but nothing.
I finally decided that my sound card was bad. I ordered Creatives USB sound blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 and WOW! The sound came back and is now way better than before. I would highly recommend this for a great external sound card. ...more info
- Works Great!
I recently purchased a Gateway Desktop computer and it does not have all the necessary output puts for quality sound. I simply plugged this handy little machine into a free USB port and connected it to my Stereo with an Optical cable and now I have great sound. ...more info
- Bang for the buck
Creative Labs USB Sound Blaster X-Fi 70SB Surround 5.1This product is a much needed device for enhancing the quality of sound that comes from sources that are compressed on the computer such as internet radio. The device makes a noticeable difference in both clarity and depth of sound, particularly for music. The inputs are useful, including earphones, line-in (for an MP3 player)and microphone. The output for speakers allows a hook-up to powered multi-media speakers. For those who do not want to install a computer card, this external device is easy to use and is cost-effective.
- Good product
Creative Labs USB sound blaster x-Fi.
Good sound quality with easy to setup....more info