"Best upgrade decision I've made"4.5 starson by kevdogia
Pros: Incredible improvement in sound quality
Cons: Drivers and software add on to Windows startup
Summary: I consider myself an audio enthusiast and bit the dust and upgraded from my Audigy 2 to the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music when I noticed my local Best Buy clearing those out and replacing them with the cheaper (and inferior) X-Fi Xtreme AUDIO card.
After disabling all the audio enhancments (CMSS-3D, SVM, Crystallizer) all I can say is WOW! On pristine source material, CD's, lossless audio, DVD-A I noticed a HUGE improvement in sound over the Audigy 2 with my Klipsch Promedia 5.1 Ultras. The sound is much fuller, the bass has better definition and midrange has better detail. My computer system now sounds that much closer to my reference JBL/Yamaha/Denon home theater setup.
To be fair, the audio enhancement may improve sound on less than ideal audio sources and computer speakers but they only served to muddy or disorient the sound on my setup.
Highly recommended. HUGE improvement over the Audigy 2 (which in itself killed integrated audio) Would be nice if the drivers/software took up a smaller footprint in Windows XP but just a minor quibble. Snap these up while you still can.