"Its the Xfi that is cheap and has all the functions."4.5 starson by Danail7
Pros: First of all crystal sound, has functionality even for music production, supports 7.1 systems, supports the latest EAX 5.0, its excellent for all purposes, it has all the core functions of the more expensive xfi cards but a lot cheaper.
Cons: The one major problem is that the latest Vista drivers cause windows to shut down/restart in the 5-10 minute range (fixed by installing the previous driver), also functions like X-fi Crystalizer and SVM are just gimmicks for non audiophiles.
Summary: Some of the reviews said that "god must have a xfi music" and he could be right. It is the best bang for the buck sound card that Creative has to offer (I haven't had the chance to examine other highly claimed brands).
What you get for your money if a powerful sound processor for all your movies and music, plus EAX 5.0 for your games. Now all you need is a good set of speakers, which can be 2.0 all the way to 7.1. The gold plated behind of the card ensures minimal disruption to your sound quality.
Now on the other hand you have the 2.18.13 Vista drivers which cause Windows to restart 5+ minutes. They are the latest driver and are from over a year ago. Seriously?! Yes, Windows 7 got an update that fixed this problem, but apparently Creative don't care about their Vista clients. But the problem is semi-easily solve by installing 2.18.8 drivers or older (its difficult since they are hard to find). Other stuff that irritate me are that some of the functions work only for a set of people, but pose no real gain. The X-fi Crystalizer makes the high and low frequencies more loud, which ruins the mids; the SMV puts all the sounds in a single volume zone, resulting in unnatural sudden volume rising and dropping; and the CMSS 3D makes the whole sound blurry (it can produce good effects on headphones though).
Still, the X-Fi Music has all the X-Fi goodness the X-Fi Audio does not and a much lower price than the Titanium/Fatal1ty series.