Tested by Jonathan 'Fatal1ty' Wendel, no less.
Creative is probably better known for its X-Fi MP3 players than its sound cards these days, but at least some work is being done to change that. Presumably set to rival such offerings as the (article:ASUS-Xonar-U1-USB-Audio-Station), the Sound Blaster X-Fi Go packs a bunch of Creative’s soundcard-making known-how into a small, portable USB device.
The feature set, as boasted by Creative, stacks up as follows:
- Plug into any USB port and play
- Installation software and other essential files stored on the device. No need to carry an installation CD or additional USB storage
- Handy USB stick format fits onto keyring/lanyard for maximum portability
- Built-in award-winning X-Fi technology comes with incredible 360 degree X-Fi Headphone Surround for an enhanced audio experience with games, music and movies
- EAX Advanced HD 4.0 and Open AL for maximum audio realism in games
Built-in VoiceFX technology allows users to morph their voices into other personas during online games, or when chatting over the internet
- Creative ALchemy software restores surround sound for legacy games under Windows Vista
- Bonus software available for free download:
- Creative Karaoke Player with LRC format support, allows users to sing along with their favourite songs using Pitch Shifter function and Reverb effect
- Creative WaveStudio provides convenient and easy audio editing, special effects and audio clean-up functions for recorded music files, lectures and podcasts
EAX support is probably the main feature an X-Fi soundcard can offer over most motherboards’ onboard offerings. X-Fi CMSS-3D offers a similar effect to Dolby’s ‘Dolby Headphone’ function – namely, adding virtual surround sound to stereo headphones.
The Sound Blaster X-Fi Go carries an MSRP of some €49.99 (~£40), which is pretty reasonable, especially with the added benefit of being usable on more than one PC. Hopefully a full UK release isn’t too far away.