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Auzentech Announces Shipment Dates for X-Fi HomeTheater HD

Auzentech, Inc. announced shipment dates today for the highly-anticipated X-Fi HomeTheater HD sound card. Reviewer shipments of the X-Fi HomeTheater HD will begin the second week of July. According to Auzentech the sound card will also go into full production at that time, enabling customer shipments to begin at the end of July.

"We are excited to officially announce shipment dates of the X-Fi HomeTheater HD sound card," said Stephane Bae, president of Auzentech, Inc. "We appreciate the patience of all our customers, distributors, and dealers who have waited anxiously for this sound card."

X-Fi I/O Bay Titanium Now Available from Auzentech

Auzentech announced today the immediately availability of the X-Fi Titanium I/O Drive for purchase from the Auzentech Online Store. According to the Auzentech website, the X-Fi Titanium I/O Drive is "the ideal way to harness the power of connectivity for select Auzentech PCI Express X-Fi Sound Cards. With the ability to go straight to gaming mode with the push of a button, Headset Connectivity, volume controls and the ability to record your own music, the I/O drive expands your system with a wealth of options."

Creative Unveils Aurvana Air Earphones

Creative Technology today announced their latest Aurvana Air earphones. Using premium materials and Creative's EaseFit ear-hook design, the new Aurvana Air earphones will provide listeners with superior comfort over long hours of extended use. The Aurvana Air earphones have a 1.2 m long Oxygen-Free Copper (OFC) cable, a gold-plated 3.5 mm jack and come carefully placed in a leather carrying bag. Each earphone holds one 15.5 mm Neodymium magnet driver, with frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, impedance of 32 ohms and sensitivity of 102 dB/mW at 1 kHz. The Creative Aurvana Air earphones are supposedly arriving at stores now, and they should cost around 200 Euro (ouch). For more information, please click here.

Source: VR-Zone

HiFiMan Sets HM-801 PMP on Charitable Pre-order

HiFiMan has come up with a new high-fidelity portable media player, the HM-801. Unlike consumer-ended product appearance and feature-sets of PMPs such as Apple iPod, Microsoft Zune or Creative Zen, this one sits in its niche of audiophile products, emphasizing on audio output quality and support for high-bitrate lossless audio formats.

To begin with, the HM-801 uses a unit design that is uncompromising from a sound perspective, featuring a modular amplifier section and the highly regarded Burr-Brown PCM1704 DAC capable of 24-bit/96 KHz. That, coupled with the OPA627 Op-Amps, which have quite the reputation among audiophiles, is bound to give you world class sound quality on the move. Supported audio formats include WMA (including Pro and Lossless), MP3, FLAC, AAC, Ogg-Vorbis, and WAV (PCM,MS-ADPCM,IMA-ADPCM). Its storage is care of an SDHC slot, that will support SDHC cards with capacities as high as the standard supports.

The HiFiMAN PMP also features an analogue and digital line out (via coaxial SPDIF) so that you can feed your portable DAC or amplifier with a good signal. Uncompromising sound quality on the move is bound to cost big bucks and the HiFiMAN is also quite costly at $700, which is $600 at launch due to discounts that include donating $10 per purchase to audiophile website The bigger charity of course would be that you are getting this with $100 off. And this is even without a memory solution you have to buy the SDHC card yourself.


MSI Announces Syren Series PC Audio Products

MSI, the worldwide high-end graphics card and professional motherboard brand-manufacturer, today proudly announced a new series of audio products – Syren series. As the name, the dreaming sound of Syren can hypnotize every person that she wants to. The person who is hypnotized can’t help falling in the dreaming sound, feeling comfortable and satisfied. This is the most important feature of Syren series: “dreaming sound.” The latest Syren series products include “SyrenSound X-Fi” high-end sound card, “SyrenPhone Gaming” professional gaming Headphone, and “SyrenSpeaker mini” Mini-Q speaker, targeting the user who seeks for pure and clear sound.

Gigabyte Offers Free 30-Day X-Fi Audio Trial for X58/P45/P43 Series Motherboards

GIGABYTE Technology CO., LTD., a leading manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, today is pleased to announce GIGABYTE X58/P45/P43/P41 series motherboards now support Creative’s latest Sound Blaster X-Fi technologies, delivering a premium audio quality and listening experience for your PC.

X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity is the new audio standard from Creative that makes your music and movies way better. It breathes life into songs, restores detail, and expands the music to surround sound. For music lovers or gamers, X-Fi technology delivers superior 3D audio solutions. At the heart of X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity lie three key technologies; X-Fi CMSS-3D Virtual, X-Fi Crystalizer and EAX ADVANCED HD 4.0.

Creative Puts X-Fi in Your Car

JC Hyun Systems, a premier leader in car infotainment systems announced the RUNZ CI-7100 Car Infotainment System, the world’s first car infotainment system which is developed exclusively using Creative’s award-winning Xtreme Fidelity (X-Fi) technology to enhance the overall in-car audio experience of motorists. The audio experience of watching movies or listening to music in cars with X-Fi technology will be truly amazing.

Auzentech's Low-Profile X-Fi Forte 7.1 Soundcard Now on Sale, Yours for $150

Auzentech, provider of high-quality consumer sound products, is pleased to announce the retail availability of its Auzen X-Fi Forte 7.1 soundcard. The Auzen X-Fi Forte 7.1 is the first low profile native PCI Express audio card that Auzentech has designed especially for gamers and audiophiles. Compared to the X-Fi chipset reference design, the Auzen X-Fi Forte 7.1 has improved circuitry and components. It also marks the first time a Creative 20K2 PCI Express audio processor has been available in a low-profile board, as well as the first time it has been available in a third-party soundcard. The X-Fi Forte is equipped with 64MB X-RAM, supports EAX 5.0, and most of the latest standards in processing sound from audio and video files. Please click here for more information. The card's retail price is $149.99.

Source: Auzentech

Creative Intros HS-1100 Tournament Gaming Headset

Following Creative's announcement of its big release for this year, the Zii, the company went back to product launches of what's it's known for the most: consumer electronics. Enter HS-1100 Tournament Gaming headset. This piece will lead Creative's fleet of gaming headset.

Although the "X-Fi" term is out of its product name, the headset does incorporate native X-Fi logic. While the headset connects to the audio source using standard 3.5mm jacks, the local X-Fi logic provides X-Fi Crystalizer and VoiceFX (a voice morphing feature). This eradicates the need for any related software to be installed on the PC. The heatset features active noise cancellation to help gamers in rather noisy environments such as LAN parties and competitions. It features 40mm neodymium drivers for sharp and accurate sound effects. The HS-1100 will hit the shelves around April this year, at an expected price of over US $160.

Source: TechConnect Magazine

Zii: A Supercomputer the Size of a Postage Stamp

Zii has taken us by surprise for sure. It's not affiliated with life-science, it's certainly not a PC audio processor. It's a multi-core processor the size of a postage stamp, that its makers claim to possess raw computational power to rival that of a supercomputer. Zii stands for "Zen Two" or Z II, it is a combination of the ZMS-05 processor, a system board, middleware and an optimised OS. Soon to be announced at CES, Zii might well turn out to be Creative's most important product, even more so than SoundBlaster. VR-Zone provided some details ahead of Creative's announcement.

Zii Not an Audio Processor, Something Much Bigger

Late December last year, Creative started a teaser website for the company's "new direction", the Zii. Back then it was courteous enough to give us a clue about what it was about and how big a deal it was, with its rather bold tag-line "Everything you know is about to change". Today Creative dispatched emails to all those who registered for updates on the website, revealing a lot more about Zii, and we can tell from what's given, that Creative has embarked upon something big, which makes its digital audio product lineup look irrelevant to the matter.

The Zii, according to Creative, is inspired from nature's building block of life, the stem cell. A stem cell is a basic cellular unit found in multi-cellular organisms that holds the potential to divide and differentiate into the many different kinds of cells an life-forms have. Here's a revelation: Creative claims to have devised a stem cell-like silicon that can "grow and multiply into different solutions and eco-systems", it can be seen as something parallel to the process in which life functions, only that it's going to be silicon doing it. Creative goes on to add "With an investment that spans over 10 years, over a billion dollars and over 10,000 man-years, the world is poised to experience a breakthrough that will better lives beyond our imagination." Given the state the world economy is in, Creative states that the technology is recession-friendly and will in-turn unlock countless business opportunities based around the technology and its expansion. Creative will be throwing a lot more things out of the box at the upcoming CES event. The Matrix era of artificial life is beginning not to sound too much of an imagination.

Creative Getting Creative This CES with Zii

Known for decades as a company that specialises in digital entertainment products, Creative is up to something new. The company is working on what it calls "Stemcell Computing". It is reportedly making a processing chip or architecture called Zii. A teaser micro-site of the same has been launched. The Zii processing chip is expected to give Creative the new direction the company has been striving for, with announcements of products incorporating the Stemcell Computing technology being expected at the upcoming CES event. Not much is known about Creative's plans at this point in time. The teaser goes with the tag-line "Everything you know is about to change", so we are expecting something big, or significant at least.

Source: TechConnect Magazine

Creative Releases Version 2.18.0008 Sound Blaster X-Fi Driver

Creative updated drivers for its Sound Blaster X-Fi series sound cards to version 2.18.0008. The driver covers all X-Fi series sound cards based on the CA-20K series audio processors, that includes the X-Fi Titanium Series, Xtreme Gamer Series, Xtreme Music, Platinum and Elite Pro. The new drivers add to the capabilities of the sound card in a Windows Vista environment, notably Dolby Digital and DTS decode for certain models, a feature that was lost in the transit between Windows XP and Vista. DVD-Audio playback for models which included the MediaSource DVD-Audio Player application has been re-established as a feature in 32-bit Windows Vista.

Fixes relating to issues such as audio popping/crackling during AC-3, PCM or Dolby Digital through digital outputs of the card, have been brought about. The driver also fixes erratic CMSS-3D behaviour in the Audio Creation mode. The driver can be downloaded from Creative Worldwide Support website.

Auzentech Unveils X-Fi Forte 7.1 Native PCI Express Soundcard

Auzentech has unveiled the X-Fi Forte PCI-Express sound card. The Auzen X-Fi Forte 7.1 is the first Low Profile native PCI express audio card that Auzentech has designed especially for gamers and audiophiles. Compared to the X-Fi chipset reference design, the Auzen X-Fi Forte 7.1 has improved circuitry and components.
"A large percentage of our customers are both gamers and audiophiles," said Stephane Bae, president of Auzentech, Inc. "Increasingly, they are requesting a low-profile sound card with 'mind-blowing' audio playback for music, movies, and games. We created the Auzen X-Fi Forte with these customers in mind."

Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD PCI-E Sound Card Release Delayed Until January 2009

Auzentech, an exclusive Creative partner, informed recently that it has revised the release date for its Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD soundcard to the last week of January 2009. The Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD soundcard was originally scheduled for release sometime in September or October of 2008.
"I regret delaying the product release," said Stephane Bae, president of Auzentech, Inc. "The decision came suddenly due to strategic marketing changes by our partners. These partners have been instrumental in making the Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD an industry-supported audio solution. When it is released at the end of January, it will include the necessary software to access the advanced HD capabilities of the soundcard—and much of that software comes from our partners."
The Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD is a premium sound card, that will compete well with ASUSTeK's recently launched Xonar Essence STX. When released it will offer PCI-e x1 interface, Creative's 20K2 sound core, 64MB X-RAM, HDMI 1.3a output and some of the latest audio technologies in the market, such as Dolby Digital Live, DTS Connect, ASIO 2.0 and EAX 5.0. The card is also said to be able to output multichannel audio from Blu-ray discs with no downsampling, and play high bit-rate audio such as Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream without altering the original sound. For more information, please visit Auzentech.Source: Auzentech

Creative Releases Official 32-bit Linux X-Fi Driver

Creative staff has announced that it is ready with its first release of drivers for Sound Blaster X-Fi sound cards, that supports 32-bit Linux. The driver comes in the form of a source tar-ball. The drivers allow seemless operation over ALSA. Updates to the x86_64 drivers are provided as well. This driver applies to all X-Fi series sound cards based on the CA-20K series audio processor. Its known issues include lack of functionality for external I/O modules, and that there are no Linux versions of the applications Creative bundles in its Driver CDs, which work under Windows, as of now.

To download the drivers, select your compatible Sound Blaster X-Fi model from this page and choose Linux under the manual selection drop-down to list Linux drivers.Source: Creative Forums

Creative Expands X-Fi Titanium Lineup

Creative has expanded its Sound Blaster (SB) X-Fi Lineup with two new entries. The Titanium series marked Creative's entry into true PCI-Express hardware-accelerated audio. The Titanium series cards are said to have a tweaked CA-20K audio processing core that has native PCI-Express interconnects to the rest of the system. It is also said to run a lot cooler than its older variant featured in some of the PCI versions of Sound Blaster X-Fi.

First up, is SB X-Fi Titanium. This vanilla version of the card features the same PCB as the other variants. It is best put as the successor to X-Fi Xtreme Gamer. It has the same audio processor, DAC and OPAMP circuit, just that the X-RAM buffer isn't provided. In its place, a low-capacity memory chip that keeps the CA-20K operational is present. That shouldn't in any way affect its function or quality, except that the X-RAM feature which will be lacking. The card lacks an EMI shield as well. This card has been put on sale for weeks now, on popular etailers such as Newegg. It carries a price tag of around US $100.

Next is the card we are interested in, the card is SB X-Fi Titanium Professional Audio. In many respects, the card is close to being identical to the X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional. The card lacks the Fatal1ty branding, perhaps to give it an audiophile card's look. It bundles 3.5mm to RCA converter cables. The software bundle includes Creative Media Toolbox, a content creation software kit that takes advantage of the card's Audio Creation Mode. Other than that, nothing else advertised seems to differentiate it from the Fatal1ty card. It has been published on Creative's Hong Kong website here, and is priced at approximately US $154.

Creative Announces X-Fi Notebook ExpressCard

Creative today announced the Sound Blaster X-Fi Notebook ExpressCard. As the name suggests, device is a sound card for notebooks with ExpressCard slots. The X-Fi Notebook comes in two modules, the card itself and the portion that protrudes outside the notebook. It provides wired as well as wired interfaces. The card can transmit audio to wireless speakers. Features that are usual to the X-Fi series, such as CMSS-3D and 24-bit Crystalizer aling with EAX Advanced HD positional audio. The package includes a pair of earphones with microphone attached.

Additionally, the card provides theater DSPs such as Dolby Digital and DTS Surround through PowerDVD. Would you want to use this on a gaming notebook as an audio enhancement? While the card does provide features such as CMSS-3D and EAX Advanced HD, the audio processing itself isn't native. The card doesn't feature the CA-20K series audio processor, so there isn't a performance enhancement on offer. The card is priced at US $90. More details are provided on the product page.

Creative to Unravel a New X-Fi Product

Discrete sound cards aren't the essential PC component they used to be about a decade ago. Several forces such as Microsoft, Intel and upcoming semiconductor companies in Taiwan such as Realtek had then envisioned a day when the required processing power for audio would be completely at the disposal of the CPU, and that audio processing would have a very insignificant impact on CPU performance. Intel made the standards (such as AC'97, Azalia HD), Microsoft made the common software driver model, while semiconductor companies sold CODEC chips to motherboard manufacturers like pieces of toffee.

Today's discrete audio finds its way to an audiophiles, HTPC users willing to splurge, and enthusiasts. So features are all that matter. Creative recently released the X-Fi Titanium series of sound cards that offer native PCI-Express support while running a tweaked CA-20K series audio processor. They've done quite a bit, in propagating the "Xtreme Fidelity" technology beyond their own sound cards. Currently Auzentech, MSI and ASUS hold agreements with Creative to launch PC audio products, while Creative itself makes headphones with the X-Fi DSP, iPod docks and external sound cards. They could well be heading towards another sound card release, and as early as this Wednesday. Indications are, that this could well be an external sound device. Creative has already released two external cards based on the X-Fi technology, though not much is known about this device.

Source: TechConnect Magazine

Creative Announces New GigaWorks T3 2.1 Speakers

Creative, a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products, announces the Creative GigaWorks T3 speaker system. Designed to deliver the ultimate music listening experience, the Creative GigaWorks T3 combines innovative design, the best audio components and state-of-the-art technologies to elevate users' audio listening experience to an entirely new level of excellence.

Creative Releases USB 2.0 Sound Stick X-Fi Go!

Creative on Friday announced the introduction of Sound Blaster X-Fi Go!, a USB 2.0 flash device with 1GB of built-in memory that also serves the role of a fully functional sound blaster. Sporting a sleek and distinctive black finish, the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! is incredibly lightweight (less than 20g) and compact. It is compatible with USB 2.0 computer devices and features many of the sound enhancements found in other X-Fi sound cards, like X-Fi Crystalizer that restores details lost during compression of MP3 music or movie files and X-Fi CMSS-3D that expands the stereo signal into virtual surround over 5.1 speakers or headphones. The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! also supports Creative EAX Advanced HD 4.0 which provides a better and more realistic gaming experience for users. The 1GB onboard memory is there to store the essential software for instant simple installation on any notebook or desktop PC without the need of a CD, you just plug in the X-Fi Go! and enjoy it. The included software has drivers for both Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista as well as some bonus software that includes Creative Karaoke Player, Creative Mediasource 5/Organizer and Creative WaveStudio. The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! will be available in Singapore at the end of August 2008 at a suggested retail price of $79.00.

Source: VR-Zone

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Series Driver 2.18.0004 for Windows Vista Released

A long time has passed since Creative last released any new Vista drivers for its X-Fi audio cards. Usually new drivers are being published every single day, and they don't concern us much, but in Creative's case a new driver release can be considered a break-through. It goes even worse, because when we talk about new Creative drivers for Windows Vista we expect something new to be added, but in reward we receive only features that are supposed to work by default with this concrete product. A perfect example for my words is the brand new Windows Vista 2.18.0004 driver for Creative X-Fi cards released today. It is now here to re-establish the hardware Dolby Digital, DTS decode and DVD-Audio playback functions, that were available in Windows XP for more than two years. If you own a Creative X-Fi card just like me and you use it under Windows Vista 32/64-bit, please follow this link to download Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi series Driver 2.18.0004.Source: Creative

Creative Software Modder Daniel_K Gone for Good

Driver modder Daniel Kawakami or better known as Creative's Daniel_K is backing off his deal with providing modded software for all Creative sound cards for free. After receiving second warning mail from Creative threatening him with legal actions, he is finally "gone for good". He has posted a message over at the Creative forums informing everyone for his decission. Leave your thoughts here, and tell us what do you think.
by: Daniel Kawakami
I've received another cease and desist e-mail.

I'm done with Creative

Modder Unlocks Vista Driver Features on Creative Sound Cards

Creative has received much criticism for charging owners of Audigy sound cards for its ALchemy software, which offers improved audio support for certain games under Windows Vista. However, a modder by the name of Daniel Kawakami has managed to build hybrid drivers using a combination of XP and Vista files as well bypassing certain driver checks to enable several features including:
  • Dolby/DTS decoding
  • CMSS, CMSS2 and Stereo Surround (originally only CMSS was available, but this setting also affects ALchemy/OpenAL and Kawakami notes that it’s thus particularly useful)
  • Advanced EQ and Special FX presets
  • DVD Audio
  • Hardware MIDI synthesizer (Kawakami says he wrote a small utility that automatically detects and changes the default Vista MIDI Synth during driver install or can change it later using its GUI. Some media players let you choose the MIDI synthesizer)
  • Equalizer
  • WaveRT
You can read some more complete details of his work at Custom PC and download the files from here. The modded driver was originally uploaded to Creative’s forums, although the company responded in a somewhat heavy handed manner, as you can see in this thread.Source: Custom PC
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