"X-fi is junk, so is Creative"0.5 starson by jpw21683
Pros: Sounded amazing (when it worked).
Cons: Dreaded pop/crackles, Creative support hasn't fixed the problem 6 months later.
Summary: I purchased mine at the beginning of September; towards the end of October, it started developing dreadful popping/crackling noises. RMA'ed it, the new one did the exact same thing.
After searching Google, I found others having the same problem. A post on Creative's own forum has nearly 1300 messages on this subject. http://forums.creative.com/creativelabs/board/message?board.id=soundblaster&message.id=31426. Six months later and still no fix.
Stay away from this junk that Creative refuses to fix. I made recordings of the crackle/pops at http://www.digitaldynamo.net/x-fi.
Also, this link http://forums.creative.com/creativelabs/search?submitted=true&type=message&q=cracks%2C+pops&logic=AND&page_size=50&fuzzy=false&prefix=false&refine=false&sort_by=date does a search for "cracks, pops" across the whole forum. You'll see that similar problems have existed with their sound cards back since 2004.
Lawsuits will be coming soon.