“…like diamond tipped needles are for vinyl records, X-Fi is for compressed audio…” -Craig McHugh, President Creative Labs Inc.
Creative announce the launch of their new Sound Blaster X-Fi Notebook Sound Card and Creative Wireless Receiver. They also played up the earlier announced (22 August 2008) Sound Blaster X-Fi Go!
Creative is banking on the fact that notebook sales has overtaken the sales of desktops and with some statistics from Gartner they believe this is the next growth area. Even though any notebook or desktop you purchase today already comes with a sound card device there isn’t anything yet available that can match the fidelity that X-Fi technology puts back into compressed audio files – MP3, AAC, etc.
The real beauty behind a notebook sound card like the X-Fi Notebook is that it requires no technical knowledge or work by the end user. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Notebook Sound Card
will work with older PC Card slots (they include an adapter) and the (Ed Note: I was originally under the impression the adapter was for CardBus use however upon further and closer hands-on that is not the case)only works with the newer ExpressCard 34/54 slots. The X-Fi Notebook card is an ExpressCard/34 device but it will work with a ExpressCard/54 slot. You only need to use the included ExpressCard/54 adapter to ensure secure insertion.
Pictured: Sound Blaster X-Fi (foreground left), Wireless Receiver, Sound Blaster X-Fi with PC Card Slot Adapter, Adapter
The demonstration showed off the wireless transmission and distribution capabilities when the Sound Blaster X-Fi is mated to four receivers placed through a make believe home. Playback could be turned ‘on’ via the remote control or through a application interface for the specific rooms. A glimpse of what the future holds was also demonstrated some confidential technology - a pair of speakers that had the receivers built-in.
See the Connect button sync the receiver/transmitter using Radio Frequency in the 2.4GHz range
I spoke with Irene Chua, Product Manager Sound Blaster X-Fi about the ability for the wireless application/interface being able to stream independent tracks to the four receivers and she along with the Presenter, Nicholas Ho. They both smiled and said, “The future holds many possibilities“.