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Creative Unveils the Sound BlasterAxx

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#1
Creative Technology Ltd today announced the Sound BlasterAxx, a whole new generation of Sound Blaster and a new genre of audio device that the world has not seen before. Specially designed and engineered to meet the audacious demand for simplicity and coolness by a whole new generation of networked mobile device users, the Sound BlasterAxx shifts to a new paradigm of literally producing great sound and becoming a great listener of sound while keeping everything amazingly simple. The sound produced by the flagship Sound BlasterAxx, a unique one-piece elegantly designed hexagonal device, simply blows people away, and yet mind-bogglingly, no power adapter is required.

Besides seamlessly supporting PCs and Macs, the Sound BlasterAxx is also designed to work intelligently with smart devices including the iPhone, iPad, Android phones and Android tablets, providing the best of all worlds. The Sound BlasterAxx leverages Creative's vast audio engineering expertise to provide best-in-class audio playback for music, movies, games and voice communications. To support the intelligent audio applications on these smart mobile devices, the Sound BlasterAxx also features advanced Bluetooth wireless audio connectivity and a high-quality dual-microphone array.





"After selling 400 Million Sound Blasters, I was staring at a mega-irony that few realized – they all don't make sound! It was probably due to the hassle of installing Sound Blaster inside the PC; can you imagine the horror if one needs to further install some speakers inside? Today we face a whole new generation of users, who have busy and fast-paced lifestyles. They demand elegant, simple and hassle-free solutions. My ultimate challenge was how to design a whole new Sound Blaster for them. Sound BlasterAxx ushers in a whole new generation of Sound Blaster and marks a paradigm shift for the brand – for the first time ever, we have created a Sound Blaster that not only produces awesome audio, it actually listens to you and your audio environment. This paradigm shift unlocks a whole new world of useful and exciting applications," said Creative Chairman and CEO Sim Wong Hoo, creator of the Sound Blaster.

"Sound BlasterAxx provides absolute freedom, total control and convenience from just a touch on their mobile devices, enabling users to completely customize their listening experience for music, movies and games. We have designed it to also deliver stunning voice quality with smartphone and Skype hands-free calls through adaptive communication technologies that can cancel ambient noise and focusing the microphone-array for accurate voice pick-up. If you like, you may even change your voice when calling others," continued Sim. "Plus it's amazingly simple to use! Installation is as easy as inserting a USB dongle – just simply insert-and-go, nothing else! And it requires virtually no power – in fact, I've banned the unwieldy power adapter together with its cable and plugs! This not only saves money for the users, it's a small but meaningful contribution towards saving the environment. Audio has never been so simple, so elegant, so fun, so engaging, so dramatic and so magical..."

The Sound BlasterAxx stands above the rest in appearance as well as performance. Elegantly designed in the form of a hexagonal tower with backlit capacitive touch controls, it allows users to access key functions at a touch. The Sound BlasterAxx utilizes a unique patent-pending "stacked stereo" speaker design that incorporates two-speaker drivers angled to provide stereo separation. When combined with SBX Pro Studio Surround technology, it delivers awesome room-filling sound from a compact one-piece device powered by only the tiny USB current. Specialized circuitry enables very low power consumption but large amplified power output from a PC or Mac USB connection. This all-in-one design eliminates the need for a two-speaker system with all the messy wiring, microphones and wires, and the unwieldy power adaptors along with their plugs and cables.

The Sound BlasterAxx also works standalone when used with mobile devices. It can then be powered by any certified simple USB power adaptor.

The Sound BlasterAxx is powered by the new SB-Axx1 (Sound Blaster "Axxelerated" multi-core audio processor chip) which inherited all the desired features and technologies of the legendary Sound Blaster series, and boosted by an array of additional technologies and features to tackle the challenges of the new market defined by the new mobile networked generation. This means that for the first time, a single audio enhancement solution bridges every major audio and communication platform and network; for example the PC world, Mac world, Mobile world, Tablet world, the Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth, the PSTN system, the LAN, the WAN, etc. Each of these worlds has its own unique complex requirements.

Since the SB-Axx1 chip is so powerful, flexible and programmable, it is able to adapt quickly and seamlessly to any new audio scenario in these multi-faceted and connected worlds.

With an astounding suite of audio technologies in the SB-Axx1 chip, Sound BlasterAxx delivers dramatic enhancements to two of our fundamental daily activities in the intricate new world of audio: LISTENING and TALKING. These technologies include:

SBX Pro Studio enhances the world of LISTENING with Awesome Playback:
The fully customizable SBX Pro Studio set of technologies dramatically improves audio playback for music, movies and games – delivering unprecedented levels of personal audio realism from a compact one-piece device.

● SBX Crystalizer - Enhances audio for music and movies by restoring details in the high and low frequencies
● SBX Surround - Delivers an immersive personal surround sound experience
● SBX Smart Volume - Solves the problem of abrupt volume level changes in music, movies and games by intelligently applying gain and attenuation to deliver consistent volume levels; includes Night Mode to reduce the impact of explosions and bursts of sound so as not to disturb others after hours
● SBX Dialog Plus - Enhances the intricacy of the human voice in movies and games, allowing the listener to hear the dialog clearly
● SBX Bass - Fills in the missing low frequency tones and gives that 'extra punch' for a better entertainment experience

CrystalVoice Technology enhances the world of TALKING and Communication with crystal-clear hands-free voice and video conference calls:
The Sound BlasterAxx design also integrates a high-quality dual-microphone array which leverages SBX CrystalVoice technology to dramatically improve voice quality for hands-free phone calls or video-conferencing calls. Voice Focus ensures precisely targeted voice pick-up, while Noise Reduction enables clear conversations without background noise interference. Smart Volume gives users the freedom to walk around a room during phone conversations while the listener experiences clear, consistent volume levels.

● Acoustic Echo Cancellation - Eliminates the echoes in a hands-free conference call
● Noise Reduction - Enables the person speaking to be heard clearly over background noise by constantly monitoring the environment, eliminating unwanted noise that interferes with the conversation
● Smart Volume - Automatically adjusts the loudness of a voice to maintain a consistent volume level. This makes it convenient for the speaker to converse normally, regardless of whether the speaker is close to, or far away from the microphone
● Voice Focus – Envelopes the user in an audio shield that blocks out unwanted voices or noises, enabling only the user's voice to be heard clearly
● VoiceFX - Enables the alteration of the user's voice with a variety of effects: create interesting accents, or enable someone to sound like a completely different person, such as changing one's voice from male to female, or monster, or robot, and much more

The whole suite of technologies on the Sound BlasterAxx can be controlled from the PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets. Sound BlasterAxx Control Panel lets users fully customize and control their audio experience from a PC or Mac. The Creative Central app lets users do the same from an iPhone, iPad, Android phone and tablet – with a newfound wireless convenience.

In a nutshell, Sound BlasterAxx makes the two fundamental activities of TALKING and LISTENING simple again.

About the Sound BlasterAxx Series
The Sound BlasterAxx will be introduced in three models: the SBX 20 and SBX 10, which are Bluetooth wireless-enabled, and the SBX 8, which will connect to a PC or Mac via USB for use on a desktop.

Sound BlasterAxx SBX 20

Premium Wireless Sound BlasterAxx for Smart Devices

● Works wirelessly with Bluetooth-enabled devices
● Application support for iOS, Android, PC and Mac
● Innovative acoustic ID utilizes a stacked stereo design that directs sound to fill the room
● Voice Focus with dual-microphone array
● Premium speakerphone encompassing noise reduction and voice focusing technologies to improve communications
● Hardware-accelerated SBX Pro Studio and CrystalVoice technology
● Control buttons embedded in a backlit touch-sensitive panel
● Aux-In connectivity for wired connection to audio playback devices
● 410 x 91 mm form factor

Sound BlasterAxx is also available in the following models:

Sound BlasterAxx SBX 10

Best-in-Class Wireless Sound BlasterAxx for Smart Devices, PC and Mac

● This model incorporates all functions of the SBX 20, except it is smaller in size

Sound BlasterAxx SBX 8

Ultra-portable Sound BlasterAxx for PC and Mac

● Smaller in size than the SBX 10 and is designed to be the perfect companion for PC and Mac

Pricing and Availability
The Sound BlasterAxx SBX 20, priced at US$199.99, will be available in Aug 2012. The Sound BlasterAxx SBX 10, priced at US$149.99, and the Sound BlasterAxx SBX 8, priced at US$99.99 will be available in July 2012.
 

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#2
So.... its a wireless speaker system, with a mic?


this just doesnt seem exciting at all
 

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#3
So.... its a wireless speaker system, with a mic?


this just doesnt seem exciting at all
Was about the say the same myself...all this hype but its only a wireless speaker system no different then Logitech's Wireless BoomBox or MiniBoomBox..

though Logitechs offerings dont have touchscreen or look half as classy so i think thats where the selling point is.
 
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#4
I wish they'd stop jerking around and release a proper Sound Blaster soundcard again. And i mean a proper blue blooded sound beast with best in class 3D positioning, 256 3D sounds support, more advanced X-Fi Crystalizer (not some crappy filter), better elevation filter and MacroFX support and EAX 6.0 HD. With some more aggressive approach with it. They totally mocked up EAX 5.0 HD which is brilliant in my eyes but since they didn't bother pushing it, no one really used it. And they also left OpenAL to rot. Why!?
Everyone jerking on visuals but no one cares to take on our second most important awareness sensor. The ability to listen to sounds. Companies who make software audio engines can brag about it all they want, but none has ever sounded even half as good as any game with hardware accelerated EAX effects. None. And trust me, i've played plenty and i place sound before graphics when it comes to priority.
 

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#5
I wish they'd stop jerking around and release a proper Sound Blaster soundcard again. And i mean a proper blue blooded sound beast with best in class 3D positioning, 256 3D sounds support, more advanced X-Fi Crystalizer (not some crappy filter), better elevation filter and MacroFX support and EAX 6.0 HD. With some more aggressive approach with it. They totally mocked up EAX 5.0 HD which is brilliant in my eyes but since they didn't bother pushing it, no one really used it. And they also left OpenAL to rot. Why!?
Everyone jerking on visuals but no one cares to take on our second most important awareness sensor. The ability to listen to sounds. Companies who make software audio engines can brag about it all they want, but none has ever sounded even half as good as any game with hardware accelerated EAX effects. None. And trust me, i've played plenty and i place sound before graphics when it comes to priority.

EAX has been dead for a loooong time. I dont think Devs want to pay licensing fees to having it in their games anymore anyway. when there are probably other sound/audio engines out there that are cheaper or free and do a great job of providing surroundsound/multidirectional audio.

OpenAL would definitely be the way forward but Creative have been quiet for a while almost as if they are considering a change in direction. Theyve released soundcards but the XFi Titanium's are still the best buy for gaming (next to Xonar cards but they arent made by creative) Creative has their new Recon3d soundcards out but I dont think people really care anymore due to the lack of EAX and any real need for dedicated audiobuffering/processing since onboard audio has come such a long way.

they are either changing direction or they need to do a massive revamp.
 
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#6
3D accelerated sound is dead. Kaput. Thanks to stupid M$ and the crappy console ports. I miss the old days when I was playing Unreal 1, Thief, FEAR, etc, and the sound was like 1million x better that the crap we're hearing (or not hearing) nowadays. OpenGL games? What a joke!
 

BrianB

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#7
Am I the only one who couldn't read more than a few sentences of this? Then again, with Mackie HR824's on my desk I'm probably not the target market. Bi-amp is the way to go!
 
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#8
The Sound BlasterAxx utilizes a unique patent-pending "stacked stereo" speaker design that incorporates two-speaker drivers angled to provide stereo separation. When combined with SBX Pro Studio Surround technology, it delivers awesome room-filling sound from a compact one-piece device powered by only the tiny USB current. Specialized circuitry enables very low power consumption but large amplified power output from a PC or Mac USB connection. This all-in-one design eliminates the need for a two-speaker system with all the messy wiring, microphones and wires, and the unwieldy power adaptors along with their plugs and cables.
Oh, the horrors of all that "messy wiring"! Because 500 mA at 5v is going to give you all the "awesome room-filling sound" you could need! So, let's get this straight, a piece of crap, low-power usb speaker without L/R stereo separation, using layers of "enhancements". I call BS on this whole thing. My idea of "low power" is a T-amp with bookshelf speakers. No fake processing, decent power, real stereo separation, and, wait for it, quality sound! Imagine that!
 
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#9
...its also got a terrible name. Who came up with this?
 
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#10
Yeah, the Creative Sound A$$Blaster :roll:
 

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#11
After selling 400 Million Sound Blasters
In 30+ years ?

Although still a hell of a lot but did they not start selling the SB back in 1990 ? or close to. And tell ya what that's when they were good.
 
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#12
You shouldn't use creative Johnny
My grandmother used creative once... Once...
 
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#14
...simply blows people away, and yet mind-bogglingly, no power adapter is required.
Yes, this is straight from the "err, what?" department...
 
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#16
but none has ever sounded even half as good as any game with hardware accelerated EAX effects. None. And trust me, i've played plenty and i place sound before graphics when it comes to priority.
Dude you run an Altec Lansing MX5021. That isnt putting sound first.
 
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#17
It looks like a nuclear dildo from next century.
 
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#18
I would never buy a creative product again this is the same company that sells a x-fi card with no x-fi chip in it.the same company that sue someone for making drivers that actually work. the same company that sells old cards but forget to tell you their not supported any more on and on and on .
 

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#19
I would never buy a creative product again this is the same company that sells a x-fi card with no x-fi chip in it.
If the soundcard in question is an Xtreme Audio, then it was all a marketting scheme. XFi is also a brand name, not just an audio processing chip

the same company that sue someone for making drivers that actually work
they didnt actually sue anyone but threatend to sue which is a shame as they could have just hired Daniel K. but none the less it marked a turning point with Creatives drivers and they started to improve and i was there watching it with a XFi Xtreme Music, then later on an XFi Titanium Fatality Pro.

Driver problems with creative cards is so old news. People might have issues occasionally but they are nowhere near as bad as it was when the earlier XFi generation were out.

the same company that sells old cards but forget to tell you their not supported any more on and on and on .
its your job to find out if our card is supported or not before you purchase it in most cases. but i agree, Dropping support for hardware that clearly could have worked perfectly in Vista or W7 is bad.
 
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#20
With today's on board sound quality, creative are becoming extinct and need to look for other ways of infecting the market.

Maybe creative should jump on the multi device bandwagon too and sell OEM hardware branded with their logo.
 
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#21
Maybe creative should jump on the multi device bandwagon too and sell OEM hardware branded with their logo.
Oh wait, they have...

Creative Aurvana Live! (rebranded Denon AH-D1001)
Creative EP-630 (rebranded Sennheiser CX300)

The list goes on...
 
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#22
no.... onboard sound sucks.

wile_e should be in here any minute.....
 
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#23
Dude you run an Altec Lansing MX5021. That isnt putting sound first.
O'rly? MX5021's are one of the best PC speakers i've ever heard. I'm not going to go to the audiophile 10.000 EUR zone bullshit of sound purity. Plus the room is so small i don't need anything more powerful. And third fact, all the super expensive sound wizardry will help dick if game is using some shitty software sound engine that is using compressed lossy audio samples.
You can have all the super duper amplifiers, DAC's and 5 million Hz speakers it won't make much of a difference.
 
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#24
O'rly? MX5021's are one of the best PC speakers i've ever heard. I'm not going to go to the audiophile 10.000 EUR zone bullshit of sound purity. Plus the room is so small i don't need anything more powerful. And third fact, all the super expensive sound wizardry will help dick if game is using some shitty software sound engine that is using compressed lossy audio samples.
You can have all the super duper amplifiers, DAC's and 5 million Hz speakers it won't make much of a difference.
If the MX5021 is the best pc speakers you've heard then you've set the bar extremely low. To be frank the bar on PC speakers are low to begin with.

Wouldn't swap real wooden cabinets, 10' woofers, 2.5' tweeters for something plastic. Never.

You don't need to be an audiophile or have a big room. £60 stereo speakers would shit over £200 PC speakers.

If you haven't heard BF3 coming from a Home Theatre System with Dolby Digital Live or atleast Dolby Prologic or DTS Neo, then you can't criticise the audio experience in games.
 
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#25
no.... onboard sound sucks.
Hey not everyone has ears of a dog. Me personally can't tell difference between 128 and 320kbit mp3 even on good speakers, so I don't think I could hear a difference between the latest Realtek chip and extra card.