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Graphics cards & PC upgrades Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook sound card

£55 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Creative

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5 User Rating: Our users rate this 3 out of 10

In many respects notebooks lag far behind their desktop counterparts. But when it comes to the sound card, Creative can help you out with its SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook.

Using a laptop gives you a level of freedom and convenience you simply can't get from a huge desktop PC. But in many respects notebooks lag far behind their desktop counterparts - processors are slower, graphics chips are older and sound cards are frequently dire. Well, when it comes to the sound card, Creative can help you out with its SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook.

The Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook theoretically takes the technology that powered Creative's esteemed X-Fi series to fame in the desktop world and adds it to your laptop. In fact, the Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook shares few core components with the X-Fi PCI cards, but it's a simple upgrade that adds sparkling sound to your notebook.

The Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook comes in the form of an ExpressCard/54 slot - slip this into your laptop, load up the drivers and you're away. Unless you want to connect 5.1 or 7.1 speakers (rather than 2.0/2.1 speakers or headphones), in which case you'll have to spend another £27 on Creative's Speaker Docking Module.

The Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook adds spice to games and music with its 24bit audio. The Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook supports a 96KHz SPDIF out, but only if you use Windows XP - Vista users, annoyingly, will be forced to make do with 48KHz for the time being.

Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook Expert Verdict »

ExpressCard/54 slot
24bit/96KHz SPDIF (Windows XP)
24bit/48KHz SPDIF (Windows Vista)
Xtreme Fidelity
X-Fi Crystalizer
X-Fi CMSS-3D
DTS and Dolby Digital-EX support for PowerDVD
headphones
5.1/7.1 speakers optional
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

The Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook does do a lot of what it says on the box. Admittedly, the technology isn't as sparkling as that found on the desktop versions of the X-Fi cards, while the need to buy an extra Speaker Docking Module for full surround-sound is an annoyance. Nonetheless, if your laptop's onboard audio isn't doing it for you, the Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio Notebook is worth a shot.

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