Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 was introduced in May 2008. This solution is seemingly called to replace Audigy2 NX. Like its predecessor, X-Fi Surround 5.1 features the USB2.0 interface, wireless remote, analog 5.1 speaker output and EAX 4.0 support.
What has changed comparing to the previous generation of USB cards? Firstly, the support for X-Fi Crystalizer and CMSS-3D is added. Secondly, the outward design is more attractive, with a big digital volume control first seen on Xmod.
I bought one of these... Not bad, actually. It is a nice improvement over the AD1981 codec soldered to my mobo, the "idle" noise I was used to simply disappeared... and the whole thing sounds pretty balanced.
As of "audiphile" solutions - I'd bet that 99% of the self-proclaimed audiophiles would spend hard times distinguishing this and a higher-grade X-Fi in a blind test, for example (save for DACs that cost > $1k, maybe, I think it's a safe bet for any other solution...). Those audiophiles seem to underestimate the fact that human perceptions are limited in nature and everything we "hear" and "feel" beyond certain treshold is fruit of the imagination. (Remember those guys hearing diferences between cables, and wall sockets (!!!)? Or differences between ASIO/WASAPI pass-through... Come on...)
That's what I was thinking about, give it a try:
it's like a placebo effect, they only feel good when they invested into "special" audio hardware;)
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