Having spent a number of years as the audio weapon of choice for computer sound systems, Creative has announced a couple of USB releases that will allow any sound card to benefit from its Sound Blaster know-how. The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro is said to offer true 5.1 surround sound, while the Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! Pro has been designed for mobile listeners. Both benefit from the company's THX TruStudio Pro entertainment system, that provides depth and space to give a more natural feel to stereo output.
The Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro's 8.94 x 2.4 x 6.3-inch (22.7 x 6.1 x 16-cm) dimensions are most suited for use with static PC systems and deskbound laptops. Plugging the device into a spare USB port brings THX TruStudio Pro 5.1 surround sound to whatever audio technology is already in residence.
Features include gold-plated RCA stereo and optical digital outs for 24-bit/96kHz playback performance, recording capability up to the same quality, a single cable connection that takes Dolby Digital Live! audio to a decoder or home theater system, and microphone and headphone jacks. The package includes a free download of the Cyberlink PowerDVD software and a compact remote that controls mute, volume and playback.
The Windows XP/Vista/7 compatible device is currently available for a suggested retail price of US$59.
For folks on the go, Creative has also revealed the Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! Pro. At just over five inches (12.7 cm) long, it's about the same size as a thumb drive and, like the unit above, brings THX TruStudio Pro technology to whatever notebook or laptop it finds itself plugged into.
Gamers will no doubt appreciate the unit's support for EAX 5.0 technology. The X-Fi Go! Pro also features OpenAL and Creative ALchemy software to restore EAX surround sound to Windows Vista/7 games and microphone and headphone jacks.
The Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! Pro is also available now for a suggested retail of US$39.