In early May Creative introduced a portable sound card aka Sound Blaster MP3+ with USB interface, which joined the company’s successful sound card family (in the Asian market this solution will be selling as Sound Blaster Digital Music). First of all, this new solution is targeted for notebook owners, who are willing to slightly upgrade their integrated sound subsystem, and also for those users, who do not feel safe digging too deep into their PC to install a new component. According to Creative, most users belong to this particular type that is why Sound Blaster MP3+ should occupy quite a bit of the external audio devices market. Really, if you want to install this sound card yourself, you do not need to remove the system case: just plug in the USB cable and install the drivers and corresponding software from the enclosed CD-disk.
The major peculiarities of Creative Sound Blaster MP3+ are the following:
- Bass Boost control for low frequency range and Noise Removal system should improve the MP3 files playback quality.
- Ten-band graphics equalizer with a rich list of presets allows adjusting the audio environment for the type of music being played.
- SVM system (Smart Volume Management), which automatically evens different volume levels during MP3 playback, without getting the user involved.
- Audio Clean-Up function removes all clicking and plopping sounds from MP3 and WAV-files, which may appear if the track is recorded from old vinyl disks or tapes.
- Brand name CMSS 3D function (Creative Multi-Speaker Surround) turns the stereo sound into virtual surround sound over the speakers or headphones.
Our Sound Blaster MP3+ came with the following accessories:
- Plastic clip (for the mobile computer panel) and sticky pads for fastening the device onto any other flat surface;
- Stereo coaxial/minijack adapter;
- USB cable;
- Brief user’s guide booklet;
- Digital user manual on a CD-disk.
The device looks really nice, as well as the package (we should give credit to the company designers here). The dimensions of Sound Blaster MP3+ are similar to those of a pocket PC or PDA. The “box” can be fastened to any flat surface with the help of the special sticky pads included into the package. Moreover, the manufacturer also suggests fastening the sound solution to the panel of your portable computer with the help of a plastic clip, which holds to the back of the “box”.
The connectors seems to be located in a very smart way: when the device is mounted onto the notebook panel, the connectors for speaker systems appear at the lower end of the “box”, while the microphone-In and headphones jack as well as the volume wheel stay at the upper end of the device.