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on December 27, 2009
Everything works and sounds great once I figured it out. The instructions that came with it made it sound simple, plug this here, plug that there and (viola!) you're up and running. Don't believe it. After checking the Creative website for troubleshooting tips (again, no help), I stumbled upon the answer on my own. Using Windows 7, I went into the Control Panel, then Hardware & Sound, then the Sound option, where I had to select the Sound Blaster Wireless card as the default sound option. That redirected the sound from my computer speakers to the Blaster transmitter. I had to then reposition my computer in my home office so that my kitchen (with its big appliances) weren't directly between the transmitter and the receiver in my family room before the reception improved. But it does now work as expected. The lesson here is that, if it is made to sound simple, you can bet it is anything but. But if you know about changing the default playback device to the Blaster USB card, then make sure your transmitter won't have big obstacles (like metal appliances) between it and the receiver(s), you'll be fine.
1010 comments69 of 71 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 24, 2010
Now, in theory this is a great device and it's really easy to setup: plug in the stick into the USB Port, hook to the receiver to your Audio System, press the connect button. Driver installation from CS is only needed if you want some of the advanced settings or things like listening to incoming sound from a Microphone. When it works, it is a really great device. Sadly for me, most of the time it doesn't work, the connection drops constantly for a fraction of a second which gives the sound quality of a radio that loses it's tuning all the time. The distance between the USB Stick and receiver is about 6 Meters, with no walls in between, only a wooden desk and human body. I do not know if the Wireless LAN is interfering, but that works perfectly fine. Overall, I had to replace it with a cable again.
33 comments30 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon November 18, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having used a myriad of devices from the squeezboox boom and the squeezebox duet system -- as well as a few other devices that are not worth mentioning, I'll say that this is by far the easiest to use, install and operate.

Let me walk you through my set-up ... which took about 10 minutes ...

1. Unpacked the box and did away with all the plastic detritus.
2. Installed and registered the software on my laptop.
3. Plugged in the transmitter to a USB port in the back.
4. Rebooted my laptop, turned on iTunes and played a U2 album.
5. Plugged in the receiver (using a nicer set of cables) to my Sony Stereo Receiver on Aux 3. Was tempted to go optical.
6. Hit the find button on the underside of the little device and walked away.
7. 15 seconds later -- music played.
8. Stuck the batteries in the remote and turned it up.

That simple and absolutely no stumbling blocks to speak of.

Sound Quality? -- Better than I expected for this, but I wasn't looking for Mark Levinson to come out of my office and sit down on the couch with a glass of wine. The sound quality is more than adequate for casual home listening and the better your system is, the better the device will sound to you.

Responsiveness? -- I'm constantly unplugging the transmitter from my laptop and taking off somewhere, only to come back replug it back in, and find it working almost instantly and flawlessly. Windows and iTunes are not always asking questions or looking for drivers. It seems that whatever iTunes needed to do to make this thing be compatible with itself, was worked out ahead of time by Creative Labs and Apple. That's a first.

The Software -- is quite good and quite simple. You can customize it to play in zones, if that's your thing or adjust the quality of the sound and other minor changes. The software, from what I saw, doesn't appear to be a resource hog, nor has it been the culprit of crashes or bluescreens. If you don't use iTunes , you don't like to, or don't want to, this may be the only *real* problem one could face. The good thing is that it doesn't require you to depend on it as a player like other companies, or other devices do.

I can find no fault with this and I'm happy with the success of this device. I use it everyday now and I'm thoroughly pleased.

Well done ... a great idea to give as a gift for young or old as the ease of use with this is simple and the learning curve low. How about that for innovation?

...
1212 comments59 of 66 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 13, 2011
Well, the product its fantastic. Very easy to use and once you connect the transmiter is ready in seconds.

There is a BIG BUT. It happens that this system don't let other wireless work. I have tested everything and it happens that the signal of the Creative is very strong and don't let any other wireless device transmit.
I have a modem-router. When sound plays the speed drops almost 30 times and doesn't work. Even fails sometimes. You remove the creative everything comes to normal.

I've changed channels, everything, but its just the device the problem.

So, if you have a wireless network at home, forget about having internet and music at the same time. Look else where.
22 comments13 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 24, 2009
I was excited to be able to play Pandora on my home stereo. I intended to use this on my laptop along side my Linksys wireless A+G pcmcia card that communicates with my Linksys wireless router. Unfortunately whenever I had the Soundblaster card transmitting I could no longer pick up the signal from my wireless router. I did try assigning different channels on my router and the Soundblaster unit but with no luck. Creative customer support said there should be no issue so I suspect they have tested mutliple configs where this was not a problem but I couldn't get it to work.

When I played content from my laptop as opposed to trying to play an internet stream it sounded good. Great idea if you can get it to work in your wireless environment.
22 comments9 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 13, 2011
After trying for about an hour I couldn't get any sound out of my stereo at all. The unit said it was transmitting (when it didn't lose the connection) but i couldn't get anything out of it.
Another thing is that the receiver and transmitter would only be paired up for about a minute or two before it would drop out. You then have to go in the control panel and re-initialize it.
The user manual isn't really any help either. Just a slightly expanded version of the fold out sheet that comes with it.
0Comment6 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My husband and I tested the Creative Labs Sound Blaster with a Windows PC machine and our stereo receiver. Installation was relatively easy and it loaded as an alternate sound output device without much fuss.

Note #1: The first USB port we tried would not connect. We used the adjacent USB port and had immediate success. This could be, and probably is, a Windows problem.

Once we plugged into to the stereo receiver we could stream from iTunes and other sources. The sound quality was good, but not audiofile good.

Note #2: We tried different music from different formats to see if a different source might effect the quality. We couldn't

The real problem with the entire setup was the signal drop. At no time could we get the music to play for longer than 5 minutes. And at no point was a reconnection ever automatically established. You had to manually press reset.

So DO NOT recommend. Our test distance was 15 feet and if it can't cope with that distance, it certainly isn't really a whole house device.
0Comment5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon September 28, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Set-up is made tricky, primarily due to the need to pair the USB connector with the receiver--and the pairing button on the USB connector is very small, almost invisible, and difficult to press. It took me a good 20 minutes to get it paired.

Once the device was paired and I took a trip to System Preferences, I got audio coming out out of the speakers. But I never got the remote to control iTunes and it's not clear how to fix this. The audio quality is nice; there's nothing wrong with that aspect of the product. I do wish there was a TOSlink (optical) audio connector on the back to make it easier to plug into a receiver, but the dual RCA plugs are OK.

Another drawback is the size of the USB connect--it's quite large and overlaps with other ports. My MacBook Pro can only use this device on the right side USB port if I want to have the laptop connected to AC power. The case should be narrower and focus on the audio output (lose the microphone port if that's what it takes to make the USB connector narrower).

All of this might be tolerable, except it interferes with my Bluetooth mouse. I didn't notice any WiFi degradation, but my Bluetooth mouse turns into a jumpy cursor--pretty much useless.

The concept is very cool--I have a lot of AirPort Expresses around the house which I control with our iPhones loaded up with Apple's free Remote application, but I thought this device might be a better solution.

It isn't. Especially for such a high price. If your goal is to hear iTunes in another room or on a stereo away from the computer, buy Apple's AirPort Express instead.
22 comments7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 22, 2010
I have a Bose home system with speakers throughout the house, and wanted to use Pandora for music throughout. My need was to find a product to interface with the Bose system easily and play any kind of music easily. This product worked great right away, and solved the problem for not a lot of money. Other products were more expensive doing the exact same thing . . very pleased with the result.
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on October 20, 2012
First of all I love this thing! All of my music is on a Desk Top PC in the back bedroom and I needed a way to play those songs on my home stereo amp in the living room. After looking at much more expensive and complicated options I decided to give this a try!

After cutting and tearing through abundant retail style anti-theft packaging I simply plugged everything in. After that little exercise that required a razor knife, I opened Windows Media Player, selected a play list and like magic music played in the living room!

Great so far right? After less than a minute I lost my wireless internet connection. I removed the USB transmitter and the internet was up and running again... This is where I was possibly lead astray by the on-line help files. First I was instructed to change the channel on my router. I choose channel 11. (There are 4 common choices for a router channel: Auto, 1, 6 and 11) I choose channel 11. I then set the the USB wireless transmitter to channel 1. Actually the transmitter is set to channel 1 by default, but I now know how to change it if need be. You'll need to install the software to do this.

The idea was since both the Wireless Router and the USB transmitter operate in the 2.4 GHZ band, they can interfere with each other. By selecting channels far apart you might eliminate interference. While this was a FUN learning experience into the technical world of wireless routers and such, I still lost my wireless internet when the USB transmitter was connected.

Did I mention I really like this thing! But I also like having internet on my PC. I contemplated my options which included reconfiguring my on-board wireless internet or buying a separate network card and disabling the on-board chip. While a network card is cheap enough and easy to install, I kept wondering if there was a better way.

Okay here we go... I purchased a USB extension cable! I connected everything again and placed the transmitter a few feet away from the PC. Drum roll please! Everything now works! I can use the internet while others listen to music in the living room. PERFECT!
0Comment4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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