Customer Reviews


426 Reviews
5 star:
 (250)
4 star:
 (80)
3 star:
 (38)
2 star:
 (24)
1 star:
 (34)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appropriate Design
In this quick write-up I will outline different aspects of the product.

After unpacking, this worked immediately upon connecting to my laptop (Windows 7 x64) - no compatibility issues. After loading up the software (took a couple of minutes), the volume control becomes operational, the blue LED on the unit will flash when you have muted the volume, the remote...
Published on August 28, 2011 by Arande

versus
49 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comparing Creatives
I bought the Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Pro, because I love and still use my six year old Creative X-fi Usb card with great results, as both a sound card and digitizer, but it is only 16 bit 44k. The fact that it is THX certified (I have always have very impressive results with their certification) was another factor. What I wanted was a 24bit, 96k card, to use as a USB...
Published on October 16, 2011 by David G. Beneke


‹ Previous | 1 243 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appropriate Design, August 28, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with SBX SB1095 (Personal Computers)
In this quick write-up I will outline different aspects of the product.

After unpacking, this worked immediately upon connecting to my laptop (Windows 7 x64) - no compatibility issues. After loading up the software (took a couple of minutes), the volume control becomes operational, the blue LED on the unit will flash when you have muted the volume, the remote will work (line-of-sight to the sensor), and all software control can be accessed through the control panel or entertainment console.

From the entertainment console you can:

- Control the levels of the 5.1 analog outputs (although I don't use these in practice) to setup your speaker balance, and also set subwoofer crossover to any frequency from 10hz to 1000hz in the TruStudio menu
- Set options between 2 channels or 5 channels of audio (plus sub) and test that they are operational
- Control EAX effects, which are basically reverb patterns, nothing I plan to use
- Control TruStudio Pro, which can be useful in some situations (I turn the surround option on very subtly when using headphones on a multi-channel source), including noisy environments (smart volume, dialog plus)
- Use the graphic equalizer to obtain an accurate response through the passband of your speakers/headphones; I personally use this to compensate for slight roll-off of my headphones in the bass, and their resonance at 1khz and 8khz
- Control the mixer, including microphone/line-in, "What U Hear," and pass-through of the line/mic inputs to your speakers for input monitoring
- Activate Dolby Digital Live, which will mix all audio into a 5.1 stream for playback over the optical output; note that if you have a source using Dolby Digital or DTS, you will want to set the sound option in your software to bitstream, meaning this is bypassed to avoid additional processing by the sound card. Dolby Digital Live is intended for everyday sound and use, rather than actual Dolby or DTS sources

What U Hear allows you to record whatever you're playing without actually patching the output to the input with a cable. I find this useful if I think I hear clipping - simply record the sound and verify that it's clipping. There is a myriad of other uses for this, as well.

For DTS-HD or Dolby-HD sources, you will need HDMI, which this sound card will not allow due to bandwidth limits. My laptop has an HDMI output which I use when I want to bitstream these codecs for movies.

Pros: This card is much quieter than the internal Realtek solution used on my laptop, one reason I bought it. The noise floor on this card is at least 50dB lower.
The output gain on this card is higher than the internal, meaning I don't have to have at 100% for DVD and Blu-ray and STILL not be loud enough. Instead, I can run it around 45% volume and any louder would be uncomfortable with DVD and Blu-Ray.
Accurate soundfield placement in headphones - I tested a 5.1 source with discrete channels and can confirm that this card's processing will do a good job with this if you have it turned on (you can deactivate all processing if you wish).
The output uses a limiter so that you won't experience clipping, meaning much less distortion if you push things too hard on the EQ.

Other: This card claims 24/96 capability. I did tests and found that for both playback/recording, the card rolls off to -3dB at 48khz, on-par with specs. It is a similar case, rolling off slightly in the infrasonics, -3dB at 3hz. As for the 24-bit claim, the resolution is 24-bit, BUT signal/noise ratio is slightly over 100dB, effectively limiting the dynamic range to the equivalent of 17-bit. Due to dither, the psychoacoustic dynamic range will approach 19 bits. This is NOT an issue for most people. You still obtain the benefits of 24-bit, including a reduction in quantization noise, just not through the full dynamic range. In other words, the card will not be the limiting factor in most systems.

I intend to use this card to record. I was a bit wary of buying a card directed towards normal consumers, but after testing it looks like it will be a non-issue. I'll have to do further testing to confirm this.

Cons: At the price, nothing more can really be expected of this card. It would be great if this functionality were paired with HDMI, though. There might be video cards out with such a connection. My laptop has HDMI, but it is noisy when using it for internally mixed PCM audio. There is one issue that I've had with it, and that is an odd polary distortion when using DirectSound to record. It also has no balanced connections, which I would not expect for the price, anyway...

I would recommend this to any consumer that wants an upgrade in functionality and less noise than integrated sound. Programs are available for sound processing, but you will still be limited by the hardware.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C reative Soundblster X-fi Pro, December 4, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with SBX SB1095 (Personal Computers)
I purchased the Soundblaster X-Fi to replace the soundcard on my laptop which had recently begun to degrade. My laptop is connected to my stereo system and I have very high standards for sound quality.

The initial setup was easy on Windows 7 - 64bit(simply plug-in via USB). The included installation CD installed all the drivers and applications (it took about 45 minutes including updates).

Once installed the sound card exceeded my expectations. The sound is pristine. My music files have never sounded so good. The included equalizer works perfectly and works for all types of applications, e.g., itunes, steaming music, etc. There's all kinds of additional software for adjusting video sound, e.g., dolby, THX which I haven't experimented with yet.

I highly recommend this product - simple to install, reasonably priced, and produces beautiful sound.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


49 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comparing Creatives, October 16, 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with SBX SB1095 (Personal Computers)
I bought the Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Pro, because I love and still use my six year old Creative X-fi Usb card with great results, as both a sound card and digitizer, but it is only 16 bit 44k. The fact that it is THX certified (I have always have very impressive results with their certification) was another factor. What I wanted was a 24bit, 96k card, to use as a USB digitizer, at the higher rate. As a digitizer, it does a superb job at the 24 bit rate, clean, very quiet, much better than my on board sound card, a VIA, which is also 24 bit, 96k, but the recording quality and playback is pure crap, noisy, distorted, colored and so on. The Sounblaster Pro was an easy set up, simply plug and play, the software which came with the card is also abundant, and updated right after installation. There are several things however that bother me about the card. First, when playing the card for the first time, the bass was tubby, and I had to play with the Creative software for a couple of hours to get what I would consider clean sound, through my M-Audio BX5a 5-inch BiAmplified Studio Monitor Speakers. Once tweaked, the sound was good, but less than I expected, in comparison to my old Creative unit, which has cleaner, tighter bass and mid bass and overall flatter response when monitored with an SPL meter . The old unit has an on board X-Fi Crystalizer, and X-Fi CMSS-3D sound, with switches on the side to turn the effects on and off, and select "button" for adjusting the amounts of processing with the volume knob. The new Soundblaster, has none of this and utilizes, what I believe to be software emulated effects for a couple of reasons. When monitoring the processor usage, it goes way up, where the old X-fi barely used any resources. Also adjustments can only be made with the new Creative software. I could only monitor 24 bit recordings on the new Sounblaster, in true 24 bit, with what I consider "true quality", after a lot of A-B comparison with several 24 bit, 96 k recordings on regular amps, one a Sony, the other an Onkyo TX-NR708 7.2-Channel Network Home Theater Receiver (Black), and the OLD Creative X-Fi, which actually emulates 24 bit, 96k with the Crystalizer. When all was tweaked, I was happy, but boy, it was more work than I expected. For ease of use, and honestly sound quality, I'm sticking with my OLD Creative X-Fi for day to day use. The NEW Soundblaster, is going to be used as a high bit rate digitizer, which is why I bought it any way, and any high rate playback is going to go from the optical output, through my Sony amp and Aux studio monitors. I believe this new Creative card is good for gamers, maybe less sensitive speakers and those who need an inexpensive 5.1 unit for movies, not for recording monitoring.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does its job., June 9, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with SBX SB1095 (Personal Computers)
I have a laptop, and I needed a way to get full surround sounnd from the Logitech Surround Sound Speakers Z506 (980-000430) system. Laptops only have a headphone and a microphone jack, but the speaker system had 3 jacks: green, orange, and black.

This external sound cards allows you to connect all 3 of these inputs so that you can get full surround sound. It also has a complete control panel that allows you to adjust speaker setup (2.1 or 5.1), balance, equalizer, and a few other stuff. In terms of improved sound quality, I've only noticed a slightly cleaner bass over my laptop's Realtek HD Audio sound card.

What I didn't like about this sound card, however, was that the default settings does not have all speakers putting out equal sound. The rear speakers did not put out much sound, and I had to adjust the settings in the control panel in order to get all speakers putting out equal sound. Also, the default volume is too high.

Other than that, this sound card does its job. If you need 5.1 surround sound on a laptop, this is a good choice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No problems here, November 3, 2010
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with SBX SB1095 (Personal Computers)
I got this to use in place of my ThinkPad's built-in sound. I'd assumed for years that sound cards these days were not noticeably different at performing basic tasks like listening to iTunes, but this one is definitely better than the ThinkPad's. Perhaps it takes a better than average pair of speakers to tell a difference. It is working great and the M-Audio Studiophile AV30 Professional Reference Speakers sound much, much better.

My only minor criticisms are the size (there is a smaller USB stick available) and the top-mounted volume control - do we really need another one?? - which makes it difficult to stack anything on top.

I allowed Windows 7 to install default drivers - which it did quickly and painlessly - rather than installing the Creative Labs software, so I have barely scratched the surface of what the card is capable of. I haven't tried any audio special effects/processing or 5.1 sound. But, I can recommend it if you just want good quality stereo sound rather than the surprisingly inferior sound that comes on a laptop or desktop motherboard.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great USB Sound Card!!, May 28, 2011
By 
Stephen (North Carolina) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with SBX SB1095 (Personal Computers)
I bought this USB sound card since i listen to a lot of high quality lossless music and my laptop sound card was just not cutting it. So i purchased this sound card and couldn't be happier. The installation was simple, the USB cord is about 5 feet long, so plenty of space to put it in good reach of the computer and stereo. The remote control is a nice extra feature for sure when you want to be lazy and don't want to get up.

The sound quality is great, especially with the THX, you can pretty much set it to however you want your music to sound. I listen to a wide range of music genre's and this sound card works perfectly!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect laptop solution, December 7, 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with SBX SB1095 (Personal Computers)
I have an ASUS ROG laptop...I love it, but it was lacking good audio support. The audio port on the front was capable of using a TOS link for optical output, or you could use audio over HDMI. While I was able to get surround sound using either of these connections when watching movies or using any source that had pre compressed bit streams, gaming would not work. All I could get was basic PCM stereo, and it sounded flat at that.

I plugged this unit in via USB and optical cable to my receiver, installed the software choosing custom: only basic driver and control panels. Next, I turned off several unescessary features I did not need, then I went into the control panel for the device and turned on Dolby Digital Live (thanks to other reviewers). When I tested the speakers in Windows (using the testing interface to play each speaker individually) it still only played over the front left and right channels using the optical output. Once I started up a game however, it worked exactly as advertised. My receiver immediately switched from 2 channel PCM to Dolby Digital 5.1 and the surround sound worked perfectly.

The sound quality was bright and vibrant, and a bit shocking at first. The default setup has the "Crystalizer" turned on, and I loved the way it sounded so much, I chose not to mess with the settings. This was the perfect solution for my gaming laptop, and has finally completed the setup as it should be.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars $40 Well Spent, March 6, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with SBX SB1095 (Personal Computers)
I bought this unit to hook up my HTPC running XBMC, to my Samsung 5.1 Home Theater system (via SPDIF/Optical).

I previously purchased this gem of a product...(not) http://www.amazon.com/Vantec-External-Channel-Audio-Adapter/dp/B004HXGJ3S/ref=cm_rdp_product ..and had issues with the optical sound cutting in and out and making snapping/popping noises. I quickly returned it.

Do yourself a favor, spend the extra $10-15 on this Creative unit and save the headache. This works right out of the box and blows the integrated Realtek 97 audio on my MOBO away. It also comes with a bundle of software (most of which is fluff I opted not to install.) But it's there if you need it.

For the people mentioning that this is only 2.1 for SPDIF- you are correct ONLY if you do not have a Dolby/DTS enabled Home theater system. Most (if not all) newer components offer this, and with the 'Dolby Digital Live!' function enabled on the Creative software- it will use an encoder to render 5.1 surround.

"Oh, but it's not true 5.1!" Hardly..... the Dolby Digital Live! function overrides the analog functions (balance, fading, etc.) within the Creative control panel and acts as a part of your home theater system. Use your home theater to adjust the aforementioned settings, and viola- crystal clear dedicated channels while movie watching, and full optimization of your audio equipment for music listening. This little guy REALLY made a difference and I have yet to find a problem with it. It maintains audio clarity even while blasting music.

For $40, the system feels rich and amplified while utilizing the computers sound. Something the onboard audio was lacking (especially at louder levels).

I know everyone won't have the same opinion I do, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it, March 26, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with SBX SB1095 (Personal Computers)
I found this product to be just what I was looking for, an excellent USB Audio system for my Windows 7 machine. Works great and I like having control of my headphone volume with the knob on top. The only nits I have are with Windows 7 itself and multiple audio devices. Windows 7 has its own ideas about where to send your audio. Often I end up having to use the Windows 7 Sound panel to turn on/off the speaker and SPDIF devices to get the sound to go where I want it. It would be nice if Windows 7 had an audio patch panel to control this.

I also read a review where this device doesn't support EAX. That is not true. It does support EAX sound environments natively. The confusion may be over EAX for game sound effects. This is not supported in hardware, but is supported by software emulation (and probably why Creative doesn't put a checkmark in their EAX support column for this device). This may have been a negative for Windows XP class machines, but is no problem on a Windows 7 machine. In any case, I tried a couple of older games that used EAX and they worked fine using the emulation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi sounds terrible!, November 24, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with SBX SB1095 (Personal Computers)
In the past when xp pro was the kind, I used the internal CSblaster
and it made sound like my home theatre!
I have win8pro and Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi sounds terrible!
Ive tried every fix and it still sounds like a cheap AM car stereo with over compressed sound.
Unless you can come up with a fix that actually
works, I am going back to the 5.1 Realtek installed in my computer. ! and you will be receiving
this little black box, and crediting my account.
Chris D.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 243 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.