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I found this sound card among all the other older parts tossed in my box of spare parts, and since my other sound card broke this was the perfect replacement, as my motherboards on board sound had failed. The sound card was ever so easy to install, even without a disc, as I just quickly typed in a quick part number search on google and downloaded the available drivers. I found the Software that came with the drivers did hinder my PC's performance a bit, but I cant use this as a valid bad point as my PC's performance is rather bad anyway. But getting past the performance issues, I found the software too advanced for basic users and its easy to get lost in the maze of tabs and sliders. Its also quite annoying how every time I want the bar at the top to appear it didn't, but when i wanted it gone it seemed to just sit there. Overall the software (although free) wasn't really my cup of tea. The surround sound options on this card are very good. You can easily create a good quality cinema sound setup and the sound quality is great. Even on my outdated PC this hardware works great, and the options available are good, with microphone setup and newer technologies built in. Once you get your head around the software this card is an excellent replacement for your on board sound or an older model of sound card, and even though let down slightly by the over exuberant and advanced software this is still never-the-less a great addition to your PC. Four stars and if you have the spare cash, definitely get this, as by the looks of things you can pick them up fairly cheap.
This is a very good soundcard that really has a great price/quality relationship. I bought it a few years ago with the soundworks dts 2000 (be aware that this review is made with this soundcard/speakers combo) and I think it was one of the best buys I have ever made. Not only is it cheap (I bought it new for around 40£) it also delivers a EAX sound that will satisfy most average users. Specifications (main ones at least) Compatible with headphones, 2, 4 and 5.1 speakers 64 voice hardware polyphony 32 Mb memory 48 midi channels Support for real time effects 131 available hardware channels Customisable effects Dolby Digital audio decoding EAX compatible Features It?s amazing how much this card can do. Me, being an average user, never used more then half of its abilities but most pros will find some of its features, like the huge (in my opinion) memory for sample storing and all the sound effects supported. Plus, you can add further effects from the Internet or create your own thanks to his support of custom effects. If you have a 5.1 speakers keep in mind that you will only use your central speaker when watching movies since he is somewhat turned of in other situations (there might be a way around this, but I haven?t found it for now) Software Besides the drivers, the cd included with the board includes a huge amount of software that helps you take the best of it. I will only cover the most important ones Audio HQ ? from here you can reach every important control of your board like the mixer (more about it down there), Auto AEX that triggers a specific setting when you use a certain program (you program this), music keyboard, sound fonts and some other useful functions. Surround Mixer ? I ;t?s from here that you control the most important sound options for the optimal listening. Besides the usual bass/treble/fade controls, from here you can also control your position relatively to the speakers, you can choose the enviroment options (there are options for almost every kind of music, games, playing instrument, etc) or you can also create your own environments. Creative Playcenter ? There isn?t much to tell about this piece of software, it?s like windows media player but with a different skin. Creative Luncher ? This is a bar that stays at the top of the desktop form where you can reach a lot of useful sound blaster controls and other programs. I find it annoying so I never use it. This a card I recommend to every person that wants to have a good sound with EAX and Dolby effects at a very reasonable price. If your aren?t a music professional or a very exigent listener, I don?t see any reason to spend more money. Minimum Requirements: Microsoft Windows® 95, 98, 98SE, NT 4.0, 2000, Millenium Edition or XP Genuine Intel® Pentium® 166MHz or AMD® 200 MHz Genuine Intel®, AMD®, or 100% compatible motherboard chipset 32MB system RAM (64MB recommended) Open half-length PCI 2.1 compliant slot CD-ROM drive for software installation Headphones or amplified speakers (available separately)
I bought this sound card because I needed great sound quality and EAX High Definition Sound (for gaming), but what made my buy it was the price. Looking around at EAX sound cards they were all a lot more than I could afford at the time and this came in at around £25, and for this price you get 5.1 surround sound which makes DVD's and music sound so much clearer and fuller. Set up: As with most new components these days it comes with a "Quick Start" guide which is illustrated with somewhat clear diagrams, although it would save you some head scratching if you aren't a computer hardware whizz, to get someone who knows there way around the inside of a computer to install it for you. It also comes with the standard a cable to connect the sound card to your CD-ROM drive to play those CD's ever so sweetly. Installing the software is just a case of popping in a CD and following the on-screen instrcutions, simple! The extra mile: This card comes bundled with some Creative software goodies such as AudioHQ where you can change anything you would ever want to change about your sound set up, like speaker arrangement, bass/treble and so on. If you are having any problems there is also a Creative Diagnostics which is designed to diagnose and fix any hardware or software problems it detects. And if you have a microphone there is a socket at the back which will fit this, and a sound recording program where you can sing about how great your new sound card is and play it back or save it and burn it and send it to a record label....anyway back to the review..! Surround me with sound: The card offers support for between 2 to 6 speakers for that 3D sound which can really take you to the cinema in your own home. I am using just 2 speakers at the moment, but I'm thinking about upgrading to a surround sound evironment with 6 speakers or so, a friend has that set-up and it sounds really nice. I'll let you kn ow how it works out with the card when I get my speakers. Conclusion: This is an excellent value card with new digital technologies, I would recommend this to anyone who is stuck with a boring onboard sound card, or an old card, wanting to feel crystal clear digital sound for a low price.
The Sound Blaster Live! brings cinema-quality sound to your movies, music, and games with digital 5.1 clarity. Driven by the powerful EMU10K1 Digital Signal Processor, you will experience the highest-quality sound reproduction with real-time audio and effects. The Sound Blaster Live! makes it fast and easy to create, customize and listen to quality MP3/WMA files. With the ability to connect to Dolby Digital and multi-channel digital speaker systems or analog audio devices, you can experience true 5.1 surround sound with all PC audio entertainment. Creative Multi-Speaker Surround (CMSS) mode lets you experience 5.1 audio from a stereo signal, or enjoy movies in Dolby Digital 5.1 audio when connected to digital 6-channel speakers or analog Dolby Digital-ready home stereo receivers. For riveting movies, music and games with digital 5.1 audio quality - take advantage of the Sound Blaster Live!
|Product Description:||Creative Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 - sound card|
|Device Type:||Sound card|
|Sound Output Mode:||5.1 channel surround|
|Sample Rate:||5 kHz (min) - 48 kHz (max)|
|System Requirements:||Microsoft Windows 95/98, Microsoft Windows 2000 / NT4.0, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition / Windows ME|