The rest of the settings can be found in the Audio Console, which is going to be familiar to users of such products as SoundBlaster Live!, Audigy and X-Fi. The only notable difference concerns Dolby: instead of the Decoder tab where you could enable the integrated decoder of multi-channel Dolby Digital and DTS streams, there is a section with quite different contents.
The Auzen X-Fi Prelude can encode all sound (for example, surround sound in games) into Dolby Digital format, saving the user the trouble of laying out heaps of inter-block cables around the apartment. You can only wonder what will happen to signal already in this format (for example, to the sound track of a DVD) since the decoder doesn’t have any more settings. The card doesn’t support such special effects as Dolby Pro Logic IIX, Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone since CMSS-3D technology replaces them all. DTS CONNECT is expected to appear in early 2008. I have no doubt all these technologies will also appear on audio cards from Creative Technology then, too.
A double click on the Volume Panel opens up the console. It is a program for controlling the sound volume, effects and many other features. It is different for every operation mode of the card.
In the Entertainment mode the console is stylized to look as a hi-fi system, with a volume control occupying almost half the application window and with clumsy timbre controls. The other half of the screen shows a multi-functional display with indicators of current parameters and buttons to evoke the following setup options: speaker configuration, reverberation effects, CMSS-3D, 24-bit Crystalizer, automatic volume adjustment, graphics equalizer, mixer, Dolby encoder, and digital output frequency. Pressing any button removes this row of buttons from the screen. If you want to go over to another settings section, you have to press the Main display button that appears below.
Considering the sluggish transformation of the display, it is not a great pleasure to use this program, but that’s not the main drawback, however. The bass boost feature and cutoff frequency on Creative X-Fi cards are controlled in the speaker configuration section as well as in the THX setup panel. The latter was not licensed by Auzentech while the console for Windows XP doesn’t have the appropriate button for some reason. The Bass Boost option is available in Windows Vista, though.
The Bass Boost feature is available in the console for the Game mode. Otherwise, the Game mode offers the same functions as Entertainment: