Creative Launches Sound Blaster X-Fi Series

The Sound Blaster X-Fi sound card is finally here! This new line of four
Sound Blaster X-Fi sound cards is powered by the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity
audio processor, an entirely new audio standard for music, movies and games :

  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro [US$ 399.99] — features
    professional-quality digital-to-analog converters with 116 SNR etc, "top of
    the line" solution
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS [US$ 279.99] — designed to meet
    performance demands of world’s best-known professional gamer, Johnathan
    "Fatal1ty" Wendel
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum [US$ 199.99] — ideally versatile sound
    card to suit all digital entertainment experiences
  • Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music [US$ 129.99] — able to upgrade any
    existing library of MP3 or any music files to the Xtreme Fidelity audio
    standard

Creative Technology Ltd. (NASDAQ: CREAF), the worldwide leader in audio with
over 250 million Sound Blaster® sound cards sold to date, today announced the
future of audio with the introduction of its highly anticipated Sound Blaster X-Fi?
line of sound cards. Powered by the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity? audio
processor, the Sound Blaster X-Fi cards introduce Xtreme Fidelity, an entirely
new audio standard for music, movies and games.

On May 12th of this year, we introduced the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio
processor and the Xtreme Fidelity audio standard, and the response has been
phenomenal. People have been contacting us from all over the world wanting to
know when they can experience Xtreme Fidelity with MP3 music and games from a
Sound Blaster sound card. We gave a sneak preview at e3 in Los Angeles, and the
crowds were in awe when they heard the difference that Xtreme Fidelity makes,
said Sim Wong Hoo, chairman and CEO of Creative. Were addressing all the
excitement in time for the holidays with the introduction of the Sound Blaster
X-Fi family of ultra high performance sound cards that can dramatically enhance
any music or audio, accelerate gaming, and provide an amazing headphone
experience. With Sound Blaster X-Fis 24-bit Crystalizer? and CMSS®-3D
technologies, all your MP3 music and CD music can sound even better than the
original studio recording. The CMSS-3D Headphone Expander technology will blow
you away. You will think that you are listening to a super high quality surround
speaker system, as the sound will seem to come from external speakers instead of
headphones pressing right against your ears.

Sound Blaster X-Fi heralds the beginning of a new epoch in audio, where X-Fi
enabled audio products will eventually and completely replace the old hi-fi
equipment in the home, continued Sim. With the arsenal of high-end audio
products, technologies and intellectual properties that Creative owns, you can
expect Creative to release more and more audio product lines that support this
new Xtreme Fidelity audio standard.

Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro

The Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro features professional-quality digital-to-analog
converters (DACs) with 116dB SNR, plus an I/O module with a comprehensive
selection of connectivity for audio creation with easy-to-use control knobs for
the X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer, X-Fi CMSS- 3D (Creative Multi-Speaker Surround),
3DMIDI, and EAX. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro also features 64MB of on-board
X-RAM– audio memory dedicated to higher gaming audio quality and performance,
in addition to a built-in pre-amp for direct recording, and high-impedance
inputs for electric guitars. The top of the line Sound Blaster X-Fi solution,
the Elite Pro includes all of the standard features, application software, power
and performance capabilities of the entire family of Sound Blaster X-Fi cards
(described below), in one ultimate solution.

Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS

Designed to meet the performance demands of the worlds best-known professional
gamer, Johnathan Fatal1ty Wendel, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty? FPS sound
card provides stunning 109dB SNR audio quality, accelerates gaming performance
and includes 64MB of on-board X-RAM for high performance gaming. With support
for EAX® ADVANCED HD? 5.0, the latest version of the EAX Environmental Audio
standard, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS card utilizes X-Fi CMSS 3D
technology for stunning audio realism over headphones in LAN gaming. The Sound
Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS features a convenient front-facing internal drive bay
for easy connectivity, plus the X-Fi IR remote to easily access and control all
digital entertainment, and to control the X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer, X-Fi CMSS 3D,
3DMIDI and EAX. In addition to providing outstanding gaming performance, the
Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS includes all of the standard features,
application software, power and performance capabilities of the Sound Blaster X-Fi
Platinum and Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic.

Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum

The ideally versatile sound card to suit all digital entertainment experiences,
the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum sound card includes an internal drive bay with
additional, convenient front-facing input/output connectivity for headphone
listening, PC gaming and audio creation. Delivering 109dB SNR audio quality, the
Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum includes the X-Fi IR remote, for easy access to the
Entertainment Center software console, which enables access to music, movies and
picture slide shows through a slick, streamlined interface. The Sound Blaster X-Fi
Platinum also includes all of the standard features, application software, power
and performance capabilities of the Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic.

Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic

The Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic sound card harnesses the full power of the
Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor to upgrade any existing library of
MP3 or any music files to the Xtreme Fidelity audio standard. With the X-Fi
Xtreme Fidelity 24-bit Crystalizer, MP3 music and movies are converted to Xtreme
Fidelity, which deliver an experience beyond the original CD or DVD recordings.
With the included Creative MediaSource? 3 software suite, users can easily
SuperRip? all their digital music permanently to Xtreme Fidelity. In addition,
MediaSource 3 also allows users to further enhance their music content with
single-click access to rich features like X-Fi CMSS-3D, Smart Cross-Fade and
Smart Volume Management. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music sound card plays
back audio with rich 109dB SNR quality.

 

Optimized Modes for Peak X-Fi Performance

Each Sound Blaster X-Fi sound card can direct its power to any of three key
modes that are optimized for experiences with music and movie playback, PC
gaming or music creation. Each mode is configured to dynamically dedicate the
processors power to deliver only the features, quality and capabilities that the
user requires.

Entertainment Mode

The Entertainment Mode accesses the X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer, which is driven by
the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor. The processor converts audio
to 24-bit/96kHz quality using its 136dB virtually transparent SRC (Sample Rate
Converter) engine. Then it re-masters and selectively enhances the audio by
analyzing and identifying which parts of the audio stream have been restricted
or damaged during the dynamic compression stages to 16-bit and then the data
compression stage to MP3 or WMA formats. For music, low and high frequencies are
enhanced while dynamics are improved, for cleaner, richer sound. For movies,
explosions, gunshots and high-impact audio sequences sound more realistic than
ever before.

In the Entertainment Mode, X-Fi CMSS-3D technology leverages the power of the
Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor to intelligently upmix audio into
surround sound. It also uses advanced techniques to extract specific audio
elements, like voice to the center channel and ambience to the surrounding
channels.

Gaming Mode

The gaming mode accelerates PC game play. A completely re-engineered game audio
processing engine utilizing the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor
enables the Sound Blaster X-Fi cards to deliver a very impressive and critical
performance boost of up to 40 percent in some cases during game play while
simultaneously delivering full audio enhancement effects.

The Creative X-Fi CMSS-3D feature delivers amazingly realistic game audio over
headphones. EAX ADVANCED HD 5.0 provides support for an unprecedented 128 voices
using the X-Fi processors hardware, utilizing EAX MacroFX, EAX PurePath and
Environment FlexiFX technologies to provide a new standard of audio realism in
games. The X-Fi 24-bit Crystalizer automatically upgrades existing games to the
Xtreme Fidelity audio standard.

Audio Creation Mode

The Audio Creation capabilities of the Sound Blaster X-Fi cards surpass the
performance of many professional solutions. The Sound Blaster X-Fi utilizes the
transparent SRC engine in the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor to
convert to and from any resolution at 136dB THD+N. It also provides
digital-matched recording capabilities in resolutions from 44.1kHz to 96kHz.
Musicians who utilize the Audio Creation Mode offered in each Sound Blaster X-Fi
card can enjoy ASIO recording with latency as low as one millisecond with no CPU
load, up to eight different 24-bit hardware effects, 24-bit SoundFont® sampling,
and 3DMIDI.

Xtreme Fidelity Driven by the Power of X-Fi

Xtreme Fidelity sets a new standard for audio by supporting a combination of
24-bit quality, stunning audio clarity with a minimum of 109db SNR and up to
116dB in the X-Fi Elite Pro version, and the CMSS 3D headphone and surround
speaker technology. To achieve the Xtreme Fidelity audio standard, Sound Blaster
X-Fi cards draw immense power from the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity processor,
which includes more than 51 million transistors, and is capable of more than
10,000 MIPS. With 24 times more power than the previous Sound Blaster Audigy®
audio processor, the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity audio processor utilizes
multiple engines to dynamically direct resources through a unique Ring
Architecture to completely change the way audio is managed for any application.

Pricing and Availability

The Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro, priced at US$ 399.99, the Sound Blaster X-Fi
Fatal1ty FPS, priced at US$ 279.99, the Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum, priced at
US$ 199.99 and the Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic, priced at US$ 129.99, will be
available this month in Singapore at Creativex Showroom and major retail stores.

VR-Zone is a leading online technology news publication reporting on bleeding edge trends in PC and mobile gadgets, with in-depth reviews and commentaries.