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Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB Audio System with Phono Preamp

4.1 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews
| 96 answered questions

List Price: $99.99
Price: $89.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • Creative Media Toolbox software allows you to record, playback, cleanup and organize your digital music easily
  • Gold plated connectivity for maximum signal quality and easily accessible front mounted headphone and microphone jacks with convenient volume control
  • THX TruStudio Pro is specially designed to bring the same great audio experience found in live performances, films, and recording studios - to the PC
  • Audiophile-grade components deliver unsurpassed USB audio quality with a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 114dB
  • Phono preamp with RIAA EQ allows direct connection of your turntable to convert your vinyl to CD or MP3
  • The item is non-returnable.
  • Special Shipping Information: This item cannot be returned to Amazon.com. For additional information concerning this policy, please visit our Product Specific Returns Policy Page.
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$89.99 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB Audio System with Phono Preamp
  • +
  • Monoprice 107169 6.35-mm Stereo Plug to 3.5mm Stereo Jack Adaptor, Gold Plated
Total price: $94.46
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Technical Details

  • Minimum RAM: 1024 MB

Product Description

Product Description

USB Sound Blaster X-Fi HD is an audiophile grade sound system with premium connectivity for your Notebook or PC. The front panel includes a conveniently located 1/4" microphone input and 1/4" headphone jack with studio quality headphone amp and volume control. The rear panel features optical I/O, gold plated stereo RCA I/O plus an integrated phono preamp for direct recording of your vinyl collection from your turntable. Media Toolbox software lets you record, convert, enhance and organize your digital music easily, while SBX Pro Studio technology brings you the same great audio experience found in live performances, films, and recording studios.

From the Manufacturer

Designed to satisfy audiophiles and music lovers, the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB audio card adds high-definition audio to any PC or notebook with a USB 2.0 port. It uses fine audio components and THX-enhanced audio technology to deliver rich, pristine sound. The X-Fi HD is also a useful device for DJs and turntablists: it features a phono preamp, which allows you to create digital recordings from your turntable. A software toolbox has been included to help facilitate vinyl recordings.

Note: this sound card is not compatible with Mac systems.

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Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB Audio System with THX SB1240

At a Glance:
  • High fidelity, distortion-free audio with signal-to-noise ratio of 114 dB
  • High-grade components and THX technology for surround sound audio
  • Integrated phono preamp with RIAA equalization allows for recordings straight from a turntable
  • Wide range of inputs/outputs for connectivity to a variety of devices
  • Backed by a one-year limited warranty
callout box bottom
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB Audio System with THX SB1240
Features a wide range of input and output ports for connectivity to a variety of devices. View larger.
High-Fidelity Components Deliver Rich Sound
Thanks to its careful audio engineering, the X-Fi HD delivers excellent audio performance. It produces a signal-to-noise ratio of 114 dB, which ensures that audio playback is pure and distortion-free. The card's components make a particular difference when playing music: high and mid tones are reproduced with pitch-perfect detail, and lows are defined and tight.

THX-Enhanced Surround Sound for Your PC
The X-Fi HD utilizes TruStudio Pro, an audio technology developed by THX. This technology works to expand your PC's audio channels, which allows surround sound content to be reproduced faithfully, making audio more expansive, immersive, and realistic. Even if you're listening through headphones, you'll experience the surround sound effect.

In addition, TruStudio Pro uses a variety of techniques to make your music sound livelier. It restores your music's natural frequency range--something that is often lost when music is compressed into MP3 format. It also fills in low frequencies, which adds a little extra impact to bass. You'll be able to enjoy higher quality audio, even when streaming MP3s from your music library.

Record Directly From Your Turntable
Turntable artists, DJs, and vinyl collectors will find the X-Fi HD especially useful. The sound system features an integrated phono preamp, which allows users to create recordings directly from a turntable. The preamp uses RIAA equalization to minimize loss of quality during analog-to-digital conversion. This allows the X-Fi HD to create recordings that are faithful to the original vinyl.

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB Audio System with THX SB1240
Includes Toolbox Software for Advanced Recording
The X-Fi HD comes bundled with Creative's Media Toolbox software to make recording easy. Whether you're recording from your turntable or a microphone, the Media Toolbox helps you compress audio data and convert it into a variety of different formats. It also has several basic editing functions, which allow you to clean up, enhance, and embellish your music as you please.

Supports Wide Range of I/O Connectivity
Built for versatility, the X-Fi HD supports connections to a variety of devices. It features ports that can accommodate microphones, headphones, home studio speakers, portable music players, AV Receivers, and more. Ports include a 1/4-inch microphone input, a 1/4-inch headphone output, an RCA input and output, and an optical SPDIF input and output. Headphone performance is enhanced with the studio-grade headphone amp.

Compatibility and System Requirements
The X-Fi HD USB sound card is compatible with Microsoft Windows XP (Professional x64 Edition, Service Pack 2 or above), Windows Vista, and Windows 7. (The card is not Mac compatible.)

To install the card, you'll need an Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD equivalent processor, 2.2 GHz or faster; 1 GB RAM; at least 600 MB free hard disk space; an available USB 2.0 port; and a CD/DVD drive for software installation.

The X-Fi HD is backed by a one-year limited hardware warranty.

What's in the Box
X-Fi HD USB sound card, USB cable, RCA to stereo cable, user guide, and installation CD.

Creative Sound Blaster Sound Cards (External)
Looking for internal sound cards from Creative?
Click here.
Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! Pro USB Audio System with THX SB1290Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with THX SB1095Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB Audio System with THX SB1240
External Sound CardExternal Sound CardExternal Sound Card
General Info:
Connection TypeUSB 2.0USB 2.0USB 2.0
Speaker/Headphone SupportStereoStereo to 5.1 SurroundStereo with dedicated headphone amplifier
Music and Movies:
24-bit Sound Qualitycheck markcheck mark
THX TruStudio Procheck markcheck markcheck mark
Dolby Digital Livecheck mark
DTS & Dolby Digital Decoding via free PowerDVD Downloadcheck mark
Phono Preamp for Direct Recording from Vinylcheck mark
EAX SupportEAX 5.0
X-Fi CMSS-3D Headphone Surroundcheck mark

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 2.4 inches ; 2.4 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B004275EO4
  • Item model number: 70SB124000001
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: October 16, 2010

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
There are not many reviews for this product, so I am going to go ahead and write a fairly in-depth one.

Like other reviewers, I only got this because it is a high quality DAC (digital to analog converter) in the $100 price range. I am not ready to shell $300+ on a DAC yet. I may use the recording feature in the future to rip video game music, taking advantage of the SPDIF in port. When I do I will update this review.

The reason why I picked this DAC over other ones within the price range (like the Nuforce headphone amps) was because of the SPDIF in port. I did not want a DAC for just my computer. I wanted one that I could hook up my game consoles and TV to as well. Sound quality is huge to me; I find sound quality to be more important than picture quality. A good picture looks nice, but great sound is really what makes you feel like you are there. That is where I thought this DAC would really come in handy.

Now on to the actual review, since I have made clear why I bought this item.

This DAC is high quality. It sounds better than the Realtek HD Audio on my motherboard, it sounds better than my Insignia 32'' LCD, it sounds better than using analog output from my game consoles, and it sounds better than my Hanns G 21'' monitor (yes, that actually has a headphone out port that I can hook to speakers). Like all other reviewers who favor this item, I can hear all the more subtle parts of my music. If you have good speakers (I am using a pair of Alesis M1 Active 520s) and/or headphones, then you will hear the difference. After all, what is the point of having a high quality DAC if your playback equipment is not built to accurately reproduce music?
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Verified Purchase
I had for many years an external Audigy 2 NX that finally stopped working. This was a great unit for the DVD-Audio support and 192/24 support for headphones (96/24 for 5.1), and so a requirement was that any replacement could support playing all my ripped lossless archives at 96/24. Since the NX had permanently migrated to my desk at work, I didn't really care about the 5.1 support, and my main focus was on headphones (since I use it at the office). It also had to be USB, as this is replacing the crappy internal audio on my work computer and I like to be able to use it on multiple systems.

First place I checked was creative.com to see what was new, and started doing research on some of the offerings. I looked at the X-Fi Go! which would have been my choice if ultra-portability was my priority but I liked the extra features of the X-Fi HD: everything I need and nothing I don't. I really loved the 1/4" jacks which make perfect sense for an audiophile targeted item, and the split line-in/phono-in and line out is just excellent. I've been using this for about 2 years now so have a pretty good idea on the pros and cons.

I agree that setup can be a pain, though it seems to mostly be a driver issue and poor ability to control the mixers and mute what you need to through logical software menus. Ironically I have more trouble with Win 7 than I did on XP. A few things to note: The phono-in and the line-in is a shared connection, though it's very difficult to tell through the software which was it's configured. I wish instead of controlling this through software there was a physical toggle switch on the rear of the unit to select.
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Verified Purchase
In this brief review, I am only going to comment on the sound quality of this device. I do not have the intention of using any of its other features (recording, software conversion, etc). With that being said, wow, this thing is a bargain! I mainly bought it to pair with my AKG 172/702 headphones and laptop, but I am also using it with my Swans M200mkIII speakers. All of those items already sounded great in themselves, but once I paired them with this dac(AKM4396VF btw), the boost in quality was a tad unbelievable. Some of the more popular expressions uttered when one upgrades a component in their audio chain are that you can hear things you never knew were there and that you would need to re-audition your music library...and those extend down to this dac. In fact, it's so good, I'd almost retire my DAC1 (whoops, thought it was April) . I have not tried the THX sound shaping algorithms yet, and I don't really plan to, but it is a nice bonus that they at least are the company behind them and not some generic technology. The headphone amp is indeed of good quality, but the higher ohm cans will still want some more power to sound their best(like my 702s).

All in all, I am extemely impressed with this product. I bought it on a whim as a "try out" purchase(couldn't pass up the price), and it will now be staying in my system. The only gripe I have with it is that unlike its desktop specific brother (titanium), I can't upgrade/replace the op-amps. That drawback won't really be one to most of the people who shop this unit though. At this price (whatever price Amazon has it at when you read this), it deserves some serious consideration by the home audio enthusiast on a budget.

Just so everyone understands, I am not trying to allude that this dac is on par with the upper echelon, but it does sound way better than it has any right to given its price/s.
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Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB Audio System with Phono Preamp
This item: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB Audio System with Phono Preamp
Price: $89.99
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com