In conclusion to this review I would like to sum up a few things. Well, we have just got acquainted with the true successor to the legendary sound card family from Creative. It is very nice that the company decided to continue working on the sound processing algorithms focusing on the realistic sounding for headphone listening. This is a pretty logical solution, especially since most users prefer headphones to the traditional acoustic systems. X-Fi will be a true gift for gaming fans, because all new games are expected to support EAX 5.0.
From the professional standpoint, I have a few comments to make. I wish the developers paid more attention to the software by providing more functional effects mixer and other special tools meeting the requirements of the sophisticated professionals. While the sound quality is extremely high, the proper development of the accompanying software seems like a logical step to make now, so that this quality could be really put to good use.
I would also like to say that they have quietly eliminated the FireWire support, and the corresponding port has mysteriously disappeared from the card. I don’t have any specific regrets about it, however, this feature surely didn’t affect the final cost of the product, so they might have as well left it on. I believe that many owners of previous generation sound cards from Creative will think twice before make up their mind about an upgrade.
Of course, I cannot miss out another “izer” that the new sound card has acquired: the 24-bit Crystalizer. It is a definite advantage, which can help make up for insufficient home acoustics and add some extra quality to the old audio tracks. Anyway, the new SoundBlaster X-Fi offers such a rich set of hardware and software means that there is plenty of choices for everyone out there.
- Excellent sound quality;
- Functional and powerful software;
- EAX 5.0 support;
- New sound processing algorithms for headphones;
- ASIO-applications support.
- High price ($260);
- Complex standard acoustic setup in some work modes;
- Heavy graphics in the tools interface.