I put this in and it worked great. Then suddenly it stoped working. I tried updating the software and many other things, but it just never came back to me. I did get some after market drives to work, but even they got blown away some times so I gave up. I think I might try it one more time and if it doesn't work then it's going on ebay.
Creative labs usually posts big discounts on their website, so I figured I'd give this sound card a try.
Before this sound card, I was using onboard sound of my Asus motherboard. I have paired this with the Audio Technica ATH A700 headphones.
For gaming, it's very clear, you can hear all the little sounds that other players make that I couldn't hear from the onboard sound. The sound card does a great job at emulating surround sound on a headset. The microphone audio, as I was told, sounded very clear as well.
For music, if you like bass, there's a control on the interface and a full equalizer to make it how you want it to sound. Just like the gaming aspect, the music quality on FLAC files was very clear and even when I put on classical music, you could make out all the sounds of the orchestra. This made me enjoy music more overall.
The software works very smooth for the most part. All the options are easy to navigate and the creative interface/drivers actually worked well. The only thing I didn't like was, when you change modes on the creative interface, it's a little slow and buggy switching back and forth. Also, the software updater is a waste of time, just go to the website and do it yourself.
Overall I'd say a 4/5 just because the software could use some updating and creative hasn't really done much with it.
USB Sound Blaster X-Fi HD is an audiophile grade sound system with premium connectivity for your Notebook or PC. The front panel includes a conveniently located 1/4" microphone input and 1/4" headphone jack with studio quality headphone amp and volume control. The rear panel features optical I/O, gold plated stereo RCA I/O plus an integrated phono preamp for direct recording of your vinyl collection from your turntable. Media Toolbox software lets you record, convert, enhance and organize your digital music easily, while THX TruStudio Pro technology brings you the same great audio experience found in live performances, films, and recording studios. Sample Rate: 96KHz Digital Audio: 24-bit SNR: 122dB SPDIF In: Yes SPDIF Out: Yes Operating Systems Supported: Windows Vista 64-bit, Windows Vista 32-bit, or Windows 7 Features: High-Fidelity audio performance D/A, A/D converter with SN ratio of 122dB with 0.001% (THD) distortion. High quality audiophile grade performance components designed to eliminate noise, while dramatically improve sound field dynamics in high and mid tones. Headphone out with 115dB, 24bit/96kHz support High-Definition (HD) quality sound for original playback. Personalize sound field experiences Parts: 5 years limited