There is a lot of free space inside the big and pretty-looking box because the accessories are rather scanty. Besides the audio card, it contains a good optical cable (3m long), a couple of translucent adapters for it, an installation CD and a user manual. No additional software is supplied with the card. The CD only contains the driver for all versions of Windows.
The Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 differs from the Creative X-Fi Elite Pro only with the DACs and the switching of the inputs, so it uses a slightly modified driver from Creative. The installer is greatly simplified: no flash animations, no optional programs, no extra questions. That’s why the installation process is quick and simple. After reading the license agreement, you are offered to choose the initial operation mode and the number of connected speakers.
The difference in product positioning is clear here. The installer from Creative lists the modes in different order: Game, Entertainment, Audio Creation.
The driver doesn’t have a digital signature yet, but provokes no problems under Windows XP and Windows Vista 64-bit.
You don’t have to reboot the system after the installation and you are not asked to register, either. An Auzentech Audio Console icon appears in the Control Panel, and the Start menu offers an icon for the Volume Panel which is automatically added into the Startup list.
Unfortunately, the card comes without additional software such as THX Setup Console and Creative MediaSource DVD-Audio Player. The latter program, when installed from the Creative disc, worked with the Auzen X-Fi Prelude normally, but the THN Console couldn’t see the compatible audio card at all.
The Volume Panel icon in the system tray is very handy. If you click it with the left mouse button, the volume control window appears. It also allows to run any Creative’s application installed. A right click on the icon allows changing some basic settings. The application takes no more than 9MB of system RAM.