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There are three analog inputs in the I/O unit. The Line-in 1 connector is combined with a microphone input: you can switch between the two operational modes of the jack using the microphone level control. The Line-in 1 (Mic-in), Line-in 2 and headphones connectors are implemented as ordinary 6.3mm jacks, with the jack/mini-jack adapter included with the sound card. Line-in 3 is implemented with left and right channels set apart as two RCA connectors; it is intended for connection of such analog devices as TV-set, VCR, CD player and so on. The analog inputs are only found in the I/O unit, not on the sound card. The manufacturer preferred this solution because it allows reducing the effect of electromagnetic noises on the sensitive circuitry. Take a look at the snapshot below: the entire circuit board of the I/O unit is screened. The screen is soldered up to the board; you cannot remove it.

The circuit board of the I/O unit is covered
with a metal screen

As usual, Creative equips its I/O unit with a FireWire port. The controller itself resides on the PCB of the sound card from where it communicates across the AD_LINK 2 connector (the other connector, AD_LINK 1, is for attaching the I/O unit to the sound card). We’ve got a FireWire port in both front and rear panels. Besides the FireWire port and the third Line-in, the rear panel carries a coaxial input, a coaxial output and a composite digital output for certain speaker systems. We’ve got two full-size MIDI sockets here, too.

The rear panel of the I/O unit

The back panel of the I/O unit is equipped with:

  • Line-in 3 (2x RCA jack);
  • Coaxial SPDIF In/Out;
  • Digital out for 5.1 speaker systems from Creative;
  • MIDI input and output;
  • SB1394 (FireWire);
  • AD_LINK 1 and AD_LINK 2 for attaching the module to Audigy 2 sound card.

The circuit board of the I/O unit with the
protective screen removed

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