Pros Very quiet, clear, crisp, dynamic sound with plenty of volume; separate desk-top console eliminates pain of connecting microphones, headphones, line-in/out cables, etc. to back of CPU.
Cons Most of the bundled software functions don't function with my Dell Dimension 2400, P4, computer. I mean I can't even open the programs! This includes things like the Mediasource functions, the Audio Stream Recorder, the EAX console and others. I've call
Pros Claims a nice featureset.
Cons Defective in many, many machines.
Summary Do a Google search for "squeal of death" and you'll start to get a sense of how awful this product line is. As in, "in need of a recall." The Audigy, Audigy 2, Audigy 2 Value, ZS, and so on, are the targets of countless consumer complaints. And not just because they don't live up to their promise (the first Audigy had a class-action suit against it, which Creative settled on, because of false claims about delivering 24-bit audio).
The real problem: they don't work. On a large number of machines, and a wide variety. They lock up, repeat sound loops, give the dreaded blue error screen, and, worst of all: the now famous "Squeal of Death" that plagues countless users and has had tech articles devoted to it. This SoD occurs when almost any program plays sound for a prolonged period... including the bundled Creative diagnostic software.
Don't just believe this review. Search "squeal of death" and check the following links... and avoid this series like the plague.
(24 pages of negative posts)
(article on the squeal of death)
Pros very expensive and promise of great features
Cons very expensive, cannot use the features advertised. It cannot decode 5.1 from optical in, well it can but you get terrible lip sync issues whilst using external dvd players and either the optical in or coaxial. Stay clear and get a fisher price sound car
Pros DTS-ES Dolby-EX decoding via optical in or decoding from the comptuer's dvd player. Excellent sampling rate. When matched with the S750 pc speaker system, the sound quality is unsurpassed
Cons No Cons for this Card. Analog pc speakers is a must for this system. Anything else is a waste of time and money.
Summary When this card is installed correctly in a computer that can actually handle 7.1 audio, the experience is awesome. People complain that they can't get decoding to work, that experience is due to a lack of knowlege about the product. Yes this sound card does decode DD and DTS via the optical, coax-spdif, or virtual spdif(decoding of dts/dd material that originates from the comptuer. If you have a comptuer with 1 Gig of ram, at least a 2.4 P4 with HT, you should be set. Make sure you get the latest drivers from creative to enjoy the best experience. EAX in games is superb, with realistic environment replication. Pairing this sound card with a home theater system that doesn't have analog 5.1/6.1/7.1 in won't work. The spdif out only encodes for tracks that were originally in dd/dts. Therefore you can't play surround sound games (eax) through a home theater system that doesn't have analog 5.1 in, the digital spdif will only give you 2.0 Creative's S750 system is highly recommended and is necessary in order to experience the full potential of this system. I have had this system for over a year and a half now, and I've been completely satisfied with it. Be smart, if all else fails, update drivers, clean your spyware infested machine, and above all else, follow the directions.
Pros The external has many connection possibilities and the mic level is adjustable from it.
Cons you cannot use this card to get proper sound from your computer to your external amplifier. I have tried connecting with an optical cable, coax (rca both ends and mono miniplug-rca ends) no dolby digital signal. The Creative support didn't help at all. Th