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    $110.19 $89.99 list()
    1. Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy
    $56.85 $55.00 list()
    2. Creative Labs SoundBlaster Audigy
    $28.49 $26.25 list($39.99)
    3. Griffin Technology iMic USB External
    $53.80 $47.25 list($79.99)
    4. Griffin Technology RadioShark
    $84.54 $59.00 list()
    5. Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy
    $110.19 list($109.99)
    6. Creative PCMCIA Sound Blaster
    $85.99 $85.84 list()
    7. CreativeLabs Creative Sound Blaster
    $149.00 $137.36 list($179.99)
    8. M-Audio MobilePre USB Mobile Preamp
    $149.99 list($249.99)
    9. M-Audio FireWire Audiophile Digital
    $78.95 list($99.95)
    10. M-Audio Transit High Resolution
    $38.94 $38.90 list($39.99)
    11. Creative Labs USB Sound Blaster
    $38.94 list($49.99)
    12. ADS Technologies RDX-150 Instant
    $201.25 list()
    13. Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy2
    $36.99 list()
    14. ADS Tech Instant Music (RDX-150)
    $75.80 list()
    15. XITELPro HiFi-Link
    $329.99 $271.93 list()
    16. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy
    $71.19 list($99.99)
    17. Altec Lansing VS4121 2.1 Computer
    $40.60 list()
    18. Creative Labs USB SoundBlaster
    $160.64 list()
    19. Creative Labs Sound Blaster Wireless
    $169.09 list($199.99)
    20. Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy2

    1. Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Gamer PCI Soundcard (70SB035000013)
    by Creative Labs

    our price: $110.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000WA8AU
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 3224
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Gamer Sound System ... Read more

    Features

    • Superior Fidelity 24-bit ADVANCED HD Audio
    • THX Certified Sound Card for Cinematic Audio
    • Advanced Resolution 24-bit DVD-Audio Playback
    • Ultra-realistic EAX 4.0 ADVANCED HD Effects
    • Complete Cinematic Surround Sound with DTS-ES and Dolby Digital EX Movies

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great sound!
    A few years ago i bought a sound blaster audigy gamer and a set of creative inspiration 4400 4.1s. I got it and installed it and i washappy. Last month my mom got me the Audigy 2 ZS Gamer. It came with 5 games, 4 of them awesome. (tomb Raider not so good). I plug it in and fireup itunes. WOW. Reviews ive read have said that it is not to big an improvement over the Audigy. It is. Now im getting a new set of speakers to complement it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome value....Can't beat the price and features...
    I was going to pick up the regular Audigy 2 for about fifteen to twenty dollars less but when I looked at the bundle that came with this it was impossible to turn down.

    I received the games (all full versions as indicated).The training tutorials on the game CDs are pretty good, which was a relief because as expected no manuals for the games.

    Picked this up with a T7700 sound system and Far Cry (awesome game) if you have a very solid PC to run it...I am playing it at max settings with my new Geforce 6800 OC and the graphics are simply amazing.

    By picking up the sound card, T7700 speakers and Far Cry I also get fifty later to spend on Doom 3 and a fifteen dollar rebate on the T7700 speakers...

    Can't beat this deal and the whole package is a very solid deal for high quality sound...

    4-0 out of 5 stars good solid card though I did not get Jedi Academy
    I have had little compatiblity problems with this card on games.Of course I have a top of the line computer from Falcon that is tweeked to perfection.On my other PC with the Audigy 2 I noticed that my 6.1 setting would revert to the primative 2.0 setting in some games, but that is no longer a problem with this card using the 6.1 speaker setting.I have not tried 7.1 yet as I am still raising funds for the Gigaworks speakers(aka robbing banks, bashing the heads of stupid rich people, steeling corperate info, ect.;).
    This card does not come with Jedi Academy as the other reviewer said, however.I have been wanting that game and only wish it did!The only complaint I have with this card is that it does little to position sounds properly in some games.I cannot get the speech to come through the center speaker only other sounds but that is the game's fault I think.If you have EAX 3 on a game it will not position sound accurately, you must have an EAX 4 compatible game.Knights of the Old Republic does not position speech through the center channel for instance.My old card(Audigy 2) positioned sound perfectly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great deal! Great card!
    This card includes 5 full version games (all prices are amazon.com prices as of 4/8/04)
    1. Halo ($43.99)
    2. Star Wars : Jedi Academy ($44.99)
    3. Splinter Cell ($29.99)
    4. Rainbow Six 3 : Ravenshield ($19.99)
    5. Tomb Raider : Angel of Darkness ($19.99)

    Just the games on amazon cost $158.95!! It also has built in firewire and 7.1 surround sound. Not bad for a card that costs 133.99! Excellent card all around! ... Read more


    2. Creative Labs SoundBlaster Audigy 2 Value 7.1-Channel Sound Card
    by Creative Labs

    our price: $56.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002ZH6QY
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 2334
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value Sound Card, PCI ... Read more

    Features

    • Internal PCI sound card for high-res PC/CD/DVD playback and recording: 24-bit, 192 kHz stereo playback, 24-bit/96 kHz recording
    • Full EAX 4.0 ADVANCED HD effects elevate your gaming experience to new heights; offers full support for Windows Media 9
    • Supports DVD-Audio, Dolby Digital EX, and up to 7.1-channel surround sound; converts stereo sources to multichannel surround
    • Offers analog and digital inputs and outputs
    • Includes tons of software, including Creative's MediaSource Player with MP3/WMA ripping and a fresh, clean interface

    Reviews (2)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Wrong advrtising
    Praduct says it comes with a Laura Croft game.The sound card I seceived yesterday came with Splinter Cell. ( Which I already have.) If it was advertised correctly I would not have gotten it here at Amazon because I already have Splinter Cell.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best cinematic surround, Great package
    First i had creative SB live value sound card which is 4.1 i was really impressed with that product the sound quality and bundled softwares.
    Recently, i upgraded my system then i purchase this card! Excellent product from creative this card support from 2.1 to 7.1 channels speaker systems and have ability to decode dolby digital signal for watching DVD movies one option i like most in card is audio cleanup believe it this will solve your many problems like pops sounds hiss either highor low the SB Audigy 2 can remove it This card has ulta reallistic sound quality . I suggest to use some speaker sets that works well in my thinking

    1. Altec lansing MX5021 THX 2.1
    2. Logitech Z-680 5.1
    3. Creative gigaworks S750 7.1

    I think that sound quality (not raw power i.e higher level of volume ) of all named systems are almost equal these three are top of the line of speakers system available which one system do you like u can play with SB Audigy 2 card for best sound environments around you. ... Read more


    3. Griffin Technology iMic USB External Sound Card
    by Griffin Technology
    list price: $39.99
    our price: $28.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00006BALQ
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Griffin Technology
    Sales Rank: 440
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Amazon.com Review

    Manufacturers have made it increasingly easy to connect a host of FireWire and USB devices to your computer, but often at the expense of the microphone port and other jacks. Enter the Griffin iMic audio adapter, an affordable USB device that lets users connect microphones, speakers, cassette decks, and virtually any other audio source to their Macs and PCs for recording or playback. Among its many uses are recording voices or instruments for home movies, turning your laptop into a DJ studio, or converting your LPs and cassettes into MP3s or CDs. The iMic includes two 1/8-inch mini-jack ports (one mic/line-level input and one speaker output), along with an RCA-to-miniplug adapter for connecting audio components such as phonographs. Thanks to a small toggle switch on the unit, the microphone input can handle both mic-level recording and line-level signals. In addition, the iMic works with most recording software, and even comes with a CD-ROM loaded with Final Vinyl for Macintosh (for recording LPs), along with trial versions of several other applications.

    Design and Setup
    The iMic looks like a compact version of the sleek power adapters that come with iBooks. Its major shortcoming from a design standpoint is the length of its cable, which measures a mere foot-and-a-half long. Users who plug the device into their computers' rear USB ports had better hope that their other peripherals have far longer cables; otherwise, they'll be huddling close to their hard drives while recording. Installation was effortless, however--simply plug the iMic into a USB port and you're ready to go. The iMic is both Mac and PC compatible, though owners of pre-OS X and pre-Windows XP operating systems may not be able to enjoy its full array of features. For instance, the iMic only acts as a recording device for Windows 98 SE and 2000 systems, and is unable to output music. Some users have also reported the need to update their firmware in order for the iMic to work properly.

    The iMic comes with a quick start manual, but it's fairly minimal, which could make it a bit confusing to operate for people who don't have recording experience. Fortunately, Griffin's web site (www.griffintechnology.com) spells out the instructions in relatively good detail. Mac users should note that they'll need to fiddle with the Speech and Sound Preference panels and enable the "iMic USB audio system" before use, while PC users will need to select the iMic under the Sounds and Audio Devices control panel.

    Features and Performance
    We tested the iMic in two different applications--converting a cassette to MP3 and recording a voice with an external three-pin microphone using Griffin's GarageBand microphone cable. The cassette conversion went smoothly. After connecting the tape deck through the RCA-to-miniplug adapter and flipping the toggle switch to the line-level setting, we used the Final Vinyl software to convert the files to WAV format. Once the files were recorded, it was simple to import them to iTunes and convert them to MP3 or AAC files. Given the symbiotic relationship between iTunes and the iPod, it was also a snap to sync the files for portable play. The audio quality was quite good for a low-priced sound card--the iMic offers 24-bit audio processing, though most computers support a maximum of 16-bit sampling at this juncture--and thus was restricted more by the quality of the initial cassette than the iMic itself. However, the increased capacity bodes well for future upgrades.

    The device also recorded the microphone audio quite easily, this time into the GarageBand application for the Mac. The recording quality in this application was also good--no background noise or static. As with the cassette example, the quality will likely depend more on the source equipment and software than on the iMic. When we were finished, it was simple to transfer the recording to other multimedia applications, such as iMovie. One source of confusion, however, was the toggle switch, which we had to move to the microphone setting (which includes a preamp) for proper operation. The problem is that the toggle switch is counter-intuitively labeled--the microphone setting is under the speaker icon rather than microphone icon--so it's easy to set it incorrectly and wonder why the input isn't working.

    On the whole, though, the iMic is a very good value for the price, and is a great addition for Mac users who miss the once-standard microphone ports. Serious musicians and other high-end users should probably invest in professional equipment, but the rest of us will have a ball. --Rivers Janssen

    Pros

    • Great for a variety of uses, from recording voice and instruments to converting LPs and cassettes to digital formats
    • Good audio qualityat an affordable price
    • Plugs conveniently into USB port and sets up easily
    • Compatible with both Macs and PCs

    Cons

    • No user's manual and slim quick start manual
    • Confusing switch between mic and line-level settings
    • Cord is relatively short at 1.5 feet

    What's in the Box
    iMic adapter, RCA-to-miniplug cord, software CD-ROM, quick start manual. ... Read more

    Features

    • Easy to set up and use; compatible with USB-equipped Macs and PCs
    • USB audio adapter for connecting microphones, phonographs, cassette decks, and other sources to your computer
    • Records voices or instruments or converts LPs and cassettes to MP3s and CDs
    • 1/8-inch input jack offers both mic and line-level signals
    • 1/8-inch output jack connects to headphones or speakers for playback

    Reviews (27)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works Great With My Mac Mini
    I bought a Mac mini a couple months ago to archive my tapes & photos (among other things). To convert my tapes to CD/MP3 I had to have some sort of USB or Firewire input device. Most pro Audio interfaces are over $100 and I figured what the heck, I'll try the iMic and even if it is a dog, I'll only be out $30 or so. Well, this little device provides great simultaneous 2 way stereo sound (i.e. recording/monitoring simultaneously) and I love it. The A to D converters on this thing are very good and I am totally pleased with the quality of the audio. My only gripe is that the line level/mic switch on the iMic seems to be labeled backwards as line level is with the switch towards the Mic icon. Griffin, why this one little flaw???

    I plan to do some guitar/vocals thru the iMic via my Behringer mixer. But that is in the future. For $30 you can't go wrong. If I had paid $100 I would be saying the same thing. The only problem I have had recording is the 4200 RPM Mac Mini hard drive is apparently too slow (even with iMic plugged directly into computer and with audio buffers at various settings) to keep up with realtime recording and this causes severe audio stuttering.

    The solution was to buy an external Firewire hard drive. Recording to an external firewire drive has totally solved my audio problems and so far I have converted about 15 audio/voice cassettes to CD and into my iTunes library as MP3s. All flawless and clean.I listen to my old cassettes on my iPod shuffle now. I use Bias Peak LE and Bias Soundsoap to record/clean up the audio and let me just say that my little audio rig with the iMic as the front end....is AWESOME!!! You can't go wrong with this little jewel. I am one satisfied customer.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good for specific uses; not for others.
    First, let's describe what this is: it's a sound card. That means it offers analogue to digital and digital to analogue conversion on the device itself, and is capable of shuffling that data over a USB connection to your computer. It is _not_ a cable adaptor, which confused one previous reviewer; it is _not_ a "live" device - you can't use it as part of a studio monitor, which confused another. It is similarly _not_ a format converter. However, it _is_ useful for bringing in analogue sound to your Macintosh (or, in theory, PC).

    The hardware itself is pretty impressive for the price, when dealing with line-level input. Drum captures are surprisingly crisp; piano capture is surprisingly lush; vocals are strong. It is _not_ professional equipment, but it's also not $300; the value for money is quite high. The input fidelity is significantly better than my Powerbook's onboard A/D converter, and the other, more expensive, card I have in our PC tower system.

    On the downside, its analogue grounding and shielding is - perhaps unsurprisingly, given that it's a USB device - weak. In an RF-noisy area, you will probably pick up some noise that you won't hear on your stereo. I suspect this is where some complaints about hum have come from. I was able to create this problem at home, by playing with it. Insuring best possible ground connections on all other cabling, and adding some local shielding, can solve this problem if you live in an RF-noisy area. Similarly, turning off buzz-creating noise sources nearby - such as small motors, dimmer-switch controlled lighting, and so on - will help. This is not a disqualifying issue, but is one that should be taken into consideration.

    On the other hand, the phono level pre-preamplification is simply poor - noisy and just kind of unpleasant - and the RIAA equalisation preset is iffy. If you want to use this device with a turntable, use your own first stage amplification to get it up to line level. (If you aren't in a band or an audiophile, what that means is: plug it into your stereo's "tape out" sockets instead of connecting your turntable directly to it.) Given that microphone input is similar, you'll probably want to use a powered microphone, or route your passive microphone through other equipment, before digitising.

    As for the software: "Final vinyl" is mostly disappointing. As a data-capturing utility, it's adequate; the ability to set basic equalisation at capture time is useful and works well. It can be successfully used to extract individual tracks from a longer capture.

    But as an editor, it is woefully inadequate. Even the simple track-creating task it was built for is laden with unpleasant surprises. Clearly, they did not throw significant testing resources at the software; it suffers badly from the "if you don't use it the exactly same way we use it, random things happen" problem often seen in products from smaller software houses.

    _Many_ seemingly-reasonable actions put it into an unrecoverably discombobulated state. For example, trying to add a cue marker to the left of an existing cue marker confuses it irredeemably; you will probably end up with random cue mark placing, and when you try to start deleting cues, end up with a negative number of tracks. It is also easy to reorder random segments of sound in such a way that it does not, in fact, appear in the editor, but does appear in playback; I haven't found the pattern to that problem yet, but it is recurring and may involve selecting ranges for post-capture eq adjustment.

    Most of these problems require you to revert to original capture data and flush the undo buffer, which means lost work. However, if you can figure out how _they_ use it, I suspect it works pretty well; but I shouldn't have to work constantly to figure out whether I'm going to trash all my work by moving a cue marker the wrong way, or whether trying to bring down levels at one point in a sample is going to reorder or copy other parts of the sample at random.

    In summary: very good value for dollar hardware at line input level; less so for direct turntable input; and if you're thinking about buying it mostly for the software, get something else. I wanted it for the hardware, and as such, I'm pleased.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Suitable for most purposes
    I was a mac user from years back, and was surprised when I found out my new Mac mini didn't have an sudio in...I was planning on turning some casette tapes into MP3 files.

    While it was usable for this purpose, it has a small noticable mid-range hum.This was not from my casette deck, as the hum is consistent no matter what kind of input I use, from casette to a small powered microphone from Radio Shack.It might be suitable for some podcasting, audio blogging, etc., it would NOT be usable for audio input into something like Garage Band... there are higher end products for that.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a fantastic little solution for a mac
    I really am thrilled with my purchase.I have a older mac.It is 600 mhz g4 and I am digitizing a bunch of old records and tapes with the imic using final vinyl and itunes and it really is perfect.The only issue that I had was hooking my turntable up to the imic directly.I was grounding it with an old receiver that I had then running the signal directly from the turn table to the imic and it was aweful.Tons of static etc.Then Ihad the turntable go through my receiver and out to the imic and it is perfect.I quickly learned the ins and outs of using final vinyl and it is just great.I suppose there are a few pointers that are left out of the documentation that I figured out by trial and error but that's alright.Also I suppose the usb cord is too short and I will be purchasing a usb extension.Other than that I am thrilled with this little device and the price is perfect.

    2-0 out of 5 stars $40 for what?!
    I bought this today at the local computer store for $40. I have an iBook and I wanted to record myself playing bass, guitar, mandolin, whathaveyou and apple doesn't put audio-in ports on their computers anymore. I'm an audio nut. iMic fell short of every expectation I had.

    - They advertise as being affordable. Since when was $40 cheap? I don't get paid much and I try to get the most bang for my buck. iMic was like spending $40 on snakes and sparklers for the 4th of July.
    - I can live with the white noise, which is noticable. I like my audio to be pristine, but the audio from the iMic is crap. $40 of simple wiring should provide perfect audio quality. There's constantly white noise fuzzing away whenever it's plugged in. But it's a mellow white noise and it's tolerable. Still, I could have spent the day with some wire, clippers, and a slodering iron and came out with the same results for cheaper.
    - The delay! there is a delay between the audio going into the imic an and the audio coming out the speakers. That's not too bad if you're just making mp3s of old vinyls or something, but if you want to record yourself playing guitar it couldn't be any worse. You play a note and you don't hear it for at least a quarter of a second after you play it. That is completely unacceptable.
    - it doesn't work with the software it came with. When I tried to use it to record myself playing Audacity, the program that came with it, wouldn't record (or hear) the right channel when I had the recorder set to stereo. When I set it to mono it sounded like it was under heavy distortion. I couldn't troubleshoot this though I tried for over an hour.

    another thing that bothered me about the iMic was the packaging. I would have taken it back if it wasn't packed so you had to use the jaws of life to get it out of the plastic, thus rendering it unreturnable.

    I would strongly recommend looking for another device. Don't buy an iMic. ... Read more


    4. Griffin Technology RadioShark AM / FM Desktop Radio with Time-Shift Recording
    by Griffin Technology
    list price: $79.99
    our price: $53.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001WW3F2
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Griffin Technology
    Sales Rank: 938
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Catch your favorite radio show or the big game and listen on your own schedule with the Griffin Radioshark AM/FM Radio. You can record broadcasts in real time, as you listen to another show, or via a preprogrammed schedule. Play it all back and listen via your computer. Connects via USB. Use the Time-Shift feature to pause live radio and not miss a thing. Includes USB extension cable, installation CD-ROM and user's manual. Imported. ... Read more

    Features

    • Transfers recorded broadcasts to iPod or other digital music players
    • AM/FM radio connects to PC or Mac for online radio reception
    • Records AM/FM broadcasts in real time or via pre-programmed schedule
    • Time shift recording "pauses" live radio so users don't miss a second of programming
    • Connects to computers via USB port; fin shape acts as antenna

    Reviews (25)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Almost there
    Bottom line is, most of the glitches have been worked out. Works great with mymac G4 and a co-worker uses Windows and it works for him as well. This is great for AM talk radio. The only negative is that Griffin hasn't come out with an external antenna that plugs right into the 1/8 jack on the side of the unit. It took me a few minutes to make one but obviously most consumers don't know what kind of wire and/or how to solder the conections to make their own antenna. I didn't have to have an external antenna since I live in the middle of the city but it did help a bit to make the signal that much cleaner. 5 stars for the unit and the software but 1 star for Griffin not coming out with a antenna that you can buy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Happy with my Radio Shark
    I just got my RadioShark four days ago.I had read the reviews and had a bit of concern about the software and the reception.I am running XP on and am in Seattle with good radio signal strength.During the past four days I have used the scheduling and playback features several times.It worked flawlessly.I am very happy with the purchase.I have found that on the lowest quality WMA settings, an hour of radio time takes about 28 megs.I hope you have as much success.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Radio Reception
    As with other people's reviews, this is a great idea.Unfortunately I can't use a great idea if it can't pick up the radio station I listen to.All other radios in the house can, and Griffin's advice of plugging in headphones to act as an improved antenna only helped slightly.Also had a few minor software problems.All in all, disappointing and will be returned to Amazon.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Record radio shows for your iPod
    I got this as a gift for my boyfriend.I was concerned at first after reading other reviews about the antennae reception, and also compatibility with the PC.If you raise the RadioShark so it's elevated and away from other wires or the monitor, the reception is as good as any radio.The AM and FM stations came in crystal clear.Better than the stereo for AM.The RadioShark records in WAV format on the PC, and there's no preferences to import it into iTunes.But if you go into iTunes and add the WAV file from the menu, it will synch your recording into iTunes so you can copy it to your iPod.This is a nifty device for radiophiles, it's like Tivo for the radio.They also have a feature where you can have a buffer in recording live radio, so you can pause or rewind the program while you're listening to it's broadcast!Pretty neat!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Reception isn't a problem
    I was concerned about reception because I have a small clock radio next to my desk, and its reception isn't great. It's okay when I'm sitting at my desk, but when I move around the room, it's spotty. After reading the reviews, I took the RadioShark out of my cart and tried out Audio Hijack and checked out Podcasts. I couldn't get Audio Hijack to work, and read user reviews on several lists complaining of usability problems. So I gave up on those and decided to give RadioShark a try. I haven't had any reception problems with the RadioShark: regardless of where I am in the room, the reception on the RadioShark is fine. So, while I haven't compared it with a decent radio, it's at least better than a cheap, digital clock radio. ... Read more


    5. Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Internal Sound Card
    by Creative Labs

    our price: $84.54
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000CG4DI
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 1665
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Sound System ... Read more

    Features

    • Complete Cinematic Surround Sound with DTS-ES and Dolby Digital EX Movies
    • Superior quality 24-bit/192kHz audio, ultra-realistic game effects, and studio quality music settings
    • Exclusive Creative THX Setup Console provides accurate audio calibration for a precise speaker listening environment
    • The only available PC platform for Advanced Resolution 24-bit/96kHz 5.1 surround and 24-bit/192kHz stereo DVD-Audio playback
    • Multi-Environment audio -- up to four simultaneous environments processed in real time, with Bass Boost, Multi-Band Graphic Equalizer, Audio Clean-Up and Karaoke

    Reviews (28)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Card, Great Price, Excellent Sound
    I found the Card Super easy to install, and super easy to configure.
    The test items in the software make sure for a superb audio experience.
    I was using a TURTLE BEACH card, and its hideous. I would not give the "Turkey" Beach card away, but I am keeping it for my own workshop, since I have a home network where I repair PCs.
    About the only issue thus far has been the lack of DTSaccess.
    But, I am sure I will get this solved; the Audio quality has worked superbly with my Altec Lansing 5.1 system, and the sound is beyond awesome.
    I have never had any significant problem with a Sound Blaster card, and the extras with this card are great. LARA CROFT alone justifies the buy !!!
    If you love great sound, want to do some home recording, then this item, with its additional MIDI port for home studio input will be just a dream setup.
    Admittedly a MAC G3or above is a better move for a home studio, but this card is so superb, and very cool, you cannot do better for the price.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good card but pricey
    First, To the reviewer below. It is not always that difficult to install this sound card. The difficulty was in your motherboard not working very smart. If you are using a Windows based machine you can control which hardware device you want to process your sound through the control panel.

    Also for the reviewer below. That popping noise could be attributed to your electricity regulating itself from A/C turning on or some other high starting amp device. Are you running a high quality surge protector? Do you have clean power....ok now the review


    The card is good. It sounds like it costs $80. I would not hesitate to purchase in the future..... However I found that I got just as superior sound quality if not better from my much much cheaper Chaintech 7.1 card running full digital through its optical cable(included for free btw). Plus via vinyl audio drivers kick butt.

    My reccomendation... save some money on this card and buy a digital speaker setup like the Logitech Z5500 or something like it.


    Peace-

    2-0 out of 5 stars Horrible Product
    I agree with Ken on this totally.I have 15 years of sys admin work under my belt and by far this was the hardest install of my entire life.

    Last time I called for support it was for a raid array failing, this was just a simple install of hardware.Support could not help me after two hours of talking with their "experts".The final resort was to reformat my machine.Granted I needed to anyway, but still had massive issues with installing it.I ended up with just installing this with DRIVERS only, since the software was error-ing out constantly.

    To boot it does not work with my power Mac on the way :(

    If you are not technically savvy, this is not the card for you.

    3-0 out of 5 stars I hope you know your way around a computer!
    Funny, I dont see any comments below about how insanely DIFFICULT it is to install this card. And dont look to the manual, it wont help.

    To install this board, the first thing you must do is go into the setup BIOS and disable the onboard audio-this is not in the instructions. Then you may install this Sound Blaster only to find that your system says it is working properly, but you still dont have any sound. After days of screwing around with this thing I got this wonderful advice back from Creative Labs tech support..."uninstall all other PCI devices along with the sound card, then reinstall the sound card first. Test your sound, and if it still doesnt work, uninstall and move to another slot." HUH?!? Well, that's exactly what it took, uninstalling EVERYTHING and starting all over.

    I must say that the sound is amazing now that I've got this thing working, but I also upgraded to Klipsch 5.1 speakers so I wont give all the credit to Creative Labs. And dont expect any assistance from their tech support on weekends, or evenings...they keep bankers hours. Too bad, I could use some help diagnosing and fixing this constant "popping" sound I hear now about ever 5-10 minutes.

    I never had these kind of problems with my Hercules Digifire which was plug and play and gave me years of beautiful troublefree service. Not worth the trouble. POP!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Audigy is tops....
    Yes, there are some sound cards in the same price range as this Audigy 2 that would be sufficient for most people and their uses. However if you are a gamer, have a decent set of surround sound speakers, and like to enjoy the "environments" of action games, then an Audigy 2 is for you. It allows for endless customization of sound, and has all the features like EAX advanced sound that your old sound card probably doesnt. It's also got a firewire jack to go along with the multi speaker inputs. The directions are simple and straghtforward for installation, and I wouldnt forsee many problems. If your looking for a great sound card at the right price, this is for you. If you want more inputs and features, go with the Audigy 2 Platinum edition, or the Platinum PRO. ... Read more


    6. Creative PCMCIA Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Notebook Sound Card
    by Creative Labs
    list price: $109.99
    our price: $110.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00067KZJI
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 7799
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Notebook Sound Card, CardBus Type II ... Read more

    Features

    • Music - Dramatically improve your digital music listening experience
    • Movies - Enjoy amazing surround sound with headphones and 5.1 or 7.1 speakers
    • Games - Hear sound effects so real, you'll feel like you're actually in the game
    • Recordings - Create studio-quality, low-latency recordings with high-fidelity inputs

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Consider ECHO INDIGO IO/DJ also
    Hi

    I am giving a 5 star rating only because of the awesome work done by Creative in providing 5.1 and 7.1 output etc.

    But if sheer sound quality is only your concern, then consider the more expensive Echo Indigo IO or Echo Indigo DJ.

    If like me you just use a good quality headphones (I use Grado SR80), and ocassionally a desktop speaker system to primarily listen to music and watch DVDs, then Echo Indigo IO is simply excellent for a PCMCIA sound card. Evidently improved performance over ZS Notebook. (Then again for pure sound quality, also consider Headroom Total Bithead (USB Soundcard)).

    Nevertheless, if you have a 5.1 or so speaker system into which you plug your laptop, or want a sound card for games with features optimised for them, then Audigy 2 ZS Notebook will be a totally awesome purchase.

    On an ending note.. Koodos to Creative for clubbing all the bells and horns into one small compact form factor.

    5-0 out of 5 stars music to my ears
    I bought this soundcard with the express purpose of bringing out all the sound of my logitech z-2300's. So far it's doing quite well. The install did take a while, despite having a relatively good system. It did bother me that there was no volume control on the card itself, only in software, but now that my speakers are set up I simply adjust the volume knob on their wired remote and all is well. Had an external usb audigy 2 zs (not ns) sound card been available I'd have likely bought it and installed a usb 2.0 sound card in the pcmcia slot instead, but no biggie. The zs was the only one that mentioned being THX certified, and since my speakers are too I'd settle for no less.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great product. I'll do my best to give a non-bias review
    Background: I usually spend about 5-6 hours a day listening to music on my laptop and have about $800 worth of headphones with a $500 headphone amp. I'm pretty picky about my sound cards and they can make all the difference in the world.

    First a quick note on system noise... Before buying this card, I could tell what my laptop was doing just by listening to the background noise on my headphones. With sensitive headphones, the common programs that tend to consume CPU each have a specific sound pattern that can be heard over the headphones. For example, I always knew the virus scanner started or when an indexing program started by the sound that it would make over the headphones. With the Audigy 2 Notebook card, all of that background noise is gone. This is very good.

    Next sound quality: in short, excellent. It is so good in fact that I immediately noticed a difference between applications that play music. I used a CD (instead of an MP3 or WMA) and listened to my favorite track with several music players. The Creative MediaSource (player that comes with the card) sounded better than iTunes. I wasn't quite expecting this and I'm not overly happy about it either (I've bought a fair bit of music through iTunes). Other players seem to have better quality as well so it isn't just MediaSource that sounds better. After a bit of investigation, I was shocked to see that iTunes uses QuickTime for its audio and QuickTime apparently only uses 16 bit sound (the Audigy is full 24 bit). (If you want to see this for yourself... go to control panel, quicktime, choose 'Sound Out'). I can't really fault the card for ruining iTunes for me but I only use iTunes on my laptop and my laptop only had 16 bit audio before. I hadn't noticed before installing the Audigy.

    The problems:
    - Volume buttons on your laptop do not affect the sound volume on the audigy. This is a pain. If a good song comes on, you need to find the software volume control to turn it up. This was almost enough for me to give the card 4 stars. Others may not care as much

    - iTunes was no longer able to use DirectSound (it was crackling). Not a bit deal although I do notice that lack sound quality in iTunes now. I hope this gets resolved at some point because I do like iTunes.

    - The install takes time. You also need to use the install CD first before downloading the latest versions of the drivers and software.

    Anyway, overall, I'm very happy with the card.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Sound Card
    Easy installation. This card made a big difference in my laptop. This is worth getting if your big on sound, as I am. Get the Z-5500 speakers and your set to go!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good solution for laptop owners
    I recently retired my old desktop and replaced it with a laptop & docking station. One of the problems you have with a laptop is less ability to upgrade it. Mine already has an nVidia 5200FX graphics card, albeit with just 32mb RAM, but it is adequate for all but the most demanding new games. OTOH, the built-in sound needed serious upgrading. I was toying with getting the Sound Blaster Audigy 2 external card with USB connection, but I've already filled 6 on-board USB ports and a 4-port USB hub with other paripherals, so this card was an ideal solution. The card suports 5.1 - 7.1 speaker configurations. If you only have two speakers now (with or without sub), plan on upgrading these as well if you want to get the most out of the sound card. Plugged into the PC card slot and connected to Logitech 5300e 5.1 THX surround sound speakers via the included cable adapter, it fills my 10' x 10' office with sound. DVD's obviously don't sound as good as my home theather set up, but do sound an order of magnitude better than my previous two speakers with sub and the built-in audio was capable of. I haven't had time to try out a game that supports EAX yet, but I assume it will be just as incredible.

    The card has a built-in headphone jack, so even if I take the laptop to another part of the house or on the road, I can still use it. That's something that wouldn't be practical with the external USB Audigy 2. The card comes with a little pouch to store it in when you remove it, so you can toss it in your laptop bag during transport.

    I assume the included software suite is the same one you would get with any Audigy 2 card, but it is the one thing that drags down the product. Rather than one feature packed program, Creative gives you a collection of individual programs. Many of these programs (like volume level, CD burning, etc.) are of limited use and don't appear to offer any functionality not built-in to WinXP or Media Player 10. A couple of the utilities like the THX surround set up are actually useful though. Curiously, some of these utilities include buttons that launch others in the suite, but not all of them and not all apps have the buttons. OTOH, there is a dashboard utility/toolbar that has buttons to launch all the utilities and it starts now whenever I start up the machine or reboot. It "hides" at the top of the screen until you mouse over the top edge, then drops down into view. This is an unnecessary and unwanted "feature" as far as I'm concerned. Since the programs are all accessible from the menu, or via desktop shortcuts you could easily create for the most often used utilities if you want to go that route, I don't see the benefit of having an app launcher utility continuously running and taking up memory/system resources. I haven't yet explored disabling this utility, but intend to.

    The hardware itself performs flawlessly, but the app suite and unnecessary, but forced app launcher toolbar prevent me from giving it 5 stars. Nevertheless, if you've got a laptop and you want to upgrade the sound, this is really the best way to go. The USB route is a little bit cheaper, but the PC card is worth the couple extra bucks for its portability and just the fact that it doesn't require a USB port to plug into. ... Read more


    7. CreativeLabs Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Notebook - sound card ( 53SB053000003 )
    by Creative Labs

    our price: $85.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007SXHO6
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 1225
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Creative Labs (53SB053000003) PCMCIA Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ... Read more

    Features

    • Audio card for notebook computers
    • 24-bit audio
    • EAX ADVANCED HD Music Tools
    • Built-in Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES decoding
    • Easy to install and use

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Same great card for less $$$
    If you have searched Amazon for an Audigy 2 ZS notebook sound card you may have noticed that the Amazon search engine returns three different results for this product. Two of them (item model # 70sb053000012 and SB0530) priced over $20 than this model. If you are wondering what the difference is between those two and this one, you may be surprised to know that there is none other than the packaging. The two high priced versions come one in a colorful box and the other in a clamshell. This one comes in a plain cardboard box. The contents of the box are exactly the same and so are the technical specifications for the card.

    Package contents:

    - PCMCIA Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Notebook audio card,
    - Speaker docking cable,
    - Clear carrying case,
    - Creative earphones,
    - Quick start leaflet,
    - Creative DVD-Audio sampler disc,
    - Sounds best on SOUND BLASTER CD installation,
    - Applications CD containing: drivers for Windows XP & Windows 2000, Creative software suite, and user's guide.

    The one that I bought did not have the latest version of the drivers. However, you can easily download them from the Creative web site together with several upgrades for the applications that come with the card.

    So, if you want to save yourself at least $20 to use them towards buying yourself, say, a good speakers system, and you do not care about fancy packaging you may seriously consider buying this one.

    I did not experience any problems with my card, like pops/click sounds as those problems are more related to the laptop where you will install the card (e.g. insufficient PCMCIA bandwidth that depends on your system's cardbus controller) than to the card itself. Also, the volume buttons of my laptop (Compaq) do control the card volume.
    ... Read more


    8. M-Audio MobilePre USB Mobile Preamp and Audio Interface
    by M-Audio
    list price: $179.99
    our price: $149.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000TP57E
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: M-Audio
    Sales Rank: 13251
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    MobilePre USB is the perfect audio interface and preamp for your laptop recording needs. A total of three kinds of audio inputs and outputs provide maximum flexibility for any application - including two on-board microphone/instrument preamps and high-impedance instrument inputs ideal for connecting guitars and basses. MobilePre USB is completely bus-powered so you can take it anywhere you need to record and play music - including field recording and sampling expeditions with your laptop. (Of course, you can use it on the desktop as well.) And unlike many competitors, our zero-latency direct monitoring provides you with an easy and professional recording experience.2 x 2 USB audio interfaceIdeal for mobile operation3 types of inputs including 2 microphone inputs (XLR balanced) with 48v phantom power, a stereo desktop microphone input (1/8?) andhigh-impedance instrument/line inputs (1/4? balanced)3 types of outputs including 2 analog outputs (unbalanced 1/4? @ -10dBv), a stereo line output (1/8?) and stereo headphone output (1/8?) with level control knobGain control knob for each input channel (+40 dB max)Zero-latency hardware direct monitoring with software level controlMono/stereo direct monitoringUSB-powered (no wall wart or batteries needed)Resolution: 16-bitSampling frequencies (kHz): 8, 9.6, 11.025, 12, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 line out) line out)THD: 0.00447% (line out); 0.0100% (mic in); 0.0126% (line in)Pentium II 30... ... Read more

    Features

    • USB-powered for total mobility
    • 2 x 2 16-bit/48kHz analog I/O w/ preamps
    • 2 microphone inputs (XLR balanced) with 48v phantom power
    • 2 high-impedance instrument/line inputs (balanced/unbalanced 1/4" TRS)
    • Zero-latency hardware direct monitoring (mono/stereo) with software level control

    Reviews (1)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Does its job after some tinkering
    I bought this recently after the release of Garage Band for OS X. I'm going to share some information that is negative but I am overall happy with the features of this product, with the OS X support, and would recommend it for purchase.The features that I was looking were analog instrument input and the XLR microphone input, along with the best price I could find.I might get into home recording, but I didn't want to spend a ton of money until I was sure I would stick with it.

    First off the information in the M-Audio web site lists that the box is able to sample up to 24bit/96kHz.It isn't a big deal to me yet, but I haven't figured out how to change the sample rate.This may be a function of the application but I can't figure out how to change it.

    The second issue I had was with drivers.When I got the unit I downloaded the latest drivers 1.5.8 off their website that were supposed to be for use with OS X 10.3 (Panther).I was never able to get anything but squealing out of my machine with those drivers -but the 1.5.8 drivers worked fine on my PowerBook.Out of desparation I installed the drivers 1.5.1 off the CD that came with the MobilePre and the squealing went away.While I am happy that I can record on my desktop I wonder why I have to back down on the driver version.

    The third thing is that there is sometimes some sort of latency issue with the unit.Sometimes as I play and switch settings in Garage Band, there will start to be some lag before what I play comes out of the computer.It makes it pretty impossible to play.Strangely when you open up System Preferences and change the "Latency" setting the lag goes away.It doesn't really matter what you change the latency to, it goes away just with changing.

    I have not used the unit for USB audio output so I can't comment on that feature.Using the headphones in the MobilePre's monitor port would be useful if you were using the USB audio output, but for recording I find that listening to my unprocessed guitar signal is not all that useful. ... Read more


    9. M-Audio FireWire Audiophile Digital Audio Interface
    by M-Audio
    list price: $249.99
    our price: $149.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001AVUXA
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: M-Audio
    Sales Rank: 2639
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Now compatible with ProTools M-Powered SoftwareFireWire Audiophile is a compact, FireWire-compatible audio/MIDI interface that takes the legacy of M-Audio's award-winning Audiophile line to the next level. 4 x 6 audio I/O combines with powerful on-board mixing in a mobile package that's perfect for live performance, home recording, and digital DJ work. Stereo headphone output with A/B switching between assignable sources allows precuing for DJs and mobile musicians - and the assignable aux bus is perfect for creating dedicated headphone mixes and effect sends. You also get zero-latency hardware direct monitoring, ultra-low latency ASIO software direct monitoring, and 1 x 1 MIDI I/O. FireWire Audiophile even has AC-3 and DTS passthrough for surround sound playback.Features4 x 6 24-bit/96kHz I/O2 x 4 analog operation (RCA)digital S/PDIF (coaxial) I/O w/ 2-channel PCMdigital out also supports AC-3/DTS surround soundheadphone output with dedicated level controlflexible software-controlled mixing of hardware and software I/Oaux sends on all channels and aux output assign allows for dedicated headphone mixes and sends to external effectsuser-assignable front-panel level control (output, input, software return, aux send)zero-latency hardware direct monitoringlow-latency ASIO software direct monitoringmomentary switch for A/Bing two software-assignable headphone sources or switching ASIO monitoring on/off1 x 1 16-chann... ... Read more

    Features

    • 4X6 I/O
    • ASIO, WDM, GSIF and Core Audio support
    • Assignable dual stereo headphone jack with robust level output and a dedicated control
    • Software mixing panel with aux send for creating a separate submix
    • Hardware direct monitoring

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great audio interface at a great price!
    Awsome for the price! This box is the key component in my home recording studio. Its a 24-bit interface and is up to its specs.I use it for studio recording doing track-at-a-time recording and a high end studio mic, and this box introduces nothing - just as it should!The hardware controls are simple and the software interface provides lots of easy-to-understand control over mixing and routing.

    Plus, it comes with a limited version of Live Delta which is an extremely versatile and powerful program that can be used for multi-track recording, live DJ clip-sessions, and much more. It took me a week to go through this software and learn all its ins and outs, and when I was done, I sprung for the $225 upgrade to the full version. The M-Audio box cost $150, so for $375 I had a powerful hardware/software solution for a home studio that cost less than the price of the software alone ($500). A great deal!

    There's a warning about not connecting to your computer when its turned on which is dissapointing.FireWire is supposed to be hot-pluggable.But, with my laptop, it works fine if I just close the cover so it goes to sleep, plug in the M-Audio box, turn on the box, and then wake up the laptop.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Up and running in less than 15 minutes!
    First impressions of this unit are stellar. I owned the PCI version of this card and was very happy with it. I fried it by accident. It gave me a good excuse to upgrade. The pricing on this unit is actually LESS than what I paid for the PCI card about 2 years ago. The Delta Control Panel interface is redesigned completely. But it doen't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. The frequency response is a few db better than the original too, which I like. I like the extra 1394 port to plug in my harddrive. You have to turn on the interface to get the harddrive to activate in Windows "My Computer" though. A "refresh" of My Computer is also required if you plug in the drive after booting. What I like especially over the PCI version is the GREAT DRIVERS. They actually come ON THE PROVIDED CD. Whoopee!! NO "dowload the latest driver at, blah blah blah!" ... Read more


    10. M-Audio Transit High Resolution Mobile Audio Interface
    by M-Audio
    list price: $99.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000CDHP5
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: M-Audio
    Sales Rank: 5093
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Small enough to fit in your pocket, Transit brings hi-resolution 24-bit/96kHz recording and playback to any USB-compatible computer. Digital I/O lets you transfer pristine audio between your computer and other devices such as MiniDisc and DAT. The digital output can deliver AC-3 and DTS from your computer to an external decoder such as a surround receiver. And the bus-powered design allows you play and record virtually anywhere your laptop can go. Transit is your ticket to ride. Features:Mobile 24-bit/96kHz USB audio upgradeStereo analog/optical digital input (1/8? )Stereo line/headphone output (1/8?)TOSlink optical digital output allows AC-3 and DTS pass-throughAccommodates self-powered stereo microphones ... Read more

    Features

    • Transfer pristine digital audio between your computer and other devices such as MiniDisc and DAT
    • Digital output can deliver AC3 and DTS from your computer to an external surround processor or receiver
    • Bus-powered design lets you play and record virtually anywhere your laptop can go
    • 1/8 Stereo Analog / Optical Digital Input
    • 1/8 Stereo Line / Headphone Output

    Reviews (5)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Terrific sound but not for novices
    It's small, requires no power cord, has no buttons, and has a 104dB s/n ratio and almost no harmonic distortion -- yes!The moment I installed this on my Dell Latitude D600, I could hear a marked improvement in bass clarity and overall imaging.

    Now the drawbacks: The software is not so hot.You cannot adjust its output and there is no equalizer.Plus I had a huge driver issue and tech support had no idea how to solve it.I had to do three hours of serious technical detective work (Windows driver version numbers, service packs, system files, etc.) to fix it.(Turn out it was an issue was with XP's USB drivers... surprise!)

    Furthermore, it cannot monitor its own line-in.Thus you cannot use the line-in jack to, say, play another audio source through your speakers.

    Still, the simplicity of the device and its sound quality won me over.Recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tranist USB small device, big results
    The Transit USB helped me achieve the goal of getting digital pastrhough from my powerbook to reciever.The deivce does a great job of passing DTS and Dolby signals directly through the optical port.The tricky part is setting up the device, the manual is lacking in many areas.Also, rather than use the drivers that ship with the device download the newest one from M-audio.The driver that shipped with mine was over a year old, and did not fully support OS X 10.3.7.Also the manual fails to mention that the Transit USB device creates it own settings icon under OS X, rather than adjust the device through the "sound" or "audio MIDI" control panels, use the "transit" control panel.Overall the sound quality has been great, very crisp, no added static and the digital pass through has worked great.Just don't foget to change the Apple DVD player to "Digital output" from "system sound" to take advantage of the DTS and Dolby signals.Overall a great device to allow digital audio output from a Mac

    3-0 out of 5 stars Driver problems
    I bought this unit to replace a first generation Xitel unit. The main problem I am having with the M-Audio box is that if the iBook is restarted, the device driver does not show up. One has to unplug and plug in the USB cable to get it to show up. I should have bought the upgraded Xitel HiFi Pro unit instead (which comes with a full set of cables). This unit does not come with a fiber optic cable, the Xitel unit does, and is about the same price.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Transit: Proceed with Caution
    Bought an M-Audio Transit to replace a Griffin iMic, whose sound quality was not acceptable, on a Macintosh G4 titanium PowerBook 667 MHz (1 GB RAM, OS 9.2.2 and 10.3.4).

    Transit hardware: Excellent. Meets its wonderful specs.
    M-Audio Mac OS 9 driver software: Garbaggio. Totally non-functional and not very stable.
    M-Audio Mac OS X driver software: Works for us, not for others.

    The Mac OS 9 software is unusable junk: neither the input level controls nor level meters of most software will operate with the Transit, though the same software works fine with the (inferior, audio-wise) Griffin iMic, and Apple built-in hardware on other Mac models. Software which will not work with the Transit and its current drivers (we tried both 1.5.4 and 1.5.1) include: Coaster 1.1.3, Amadeus II 3.7.2, Sound Studio 2.0.7, and the OS 9.2.2 Sound control panel. All these are standard Sound Manager-compliant software packages that work stably and well with everything except the Transit. Only the output of the Transit seems to work under OS 9.

    During the week of troubleshooting and emailing, M-Audio support recommended using software which supports ASIO drivers, avoiding the Apple Sound Manager. They recommended BIAS Peak LE. We tried the demo of Peak LE 3.2, which was so wildly unstable that we were unable to perform meaningful tests.

    We had acceptable results with OSeX Panther 10.3.4, though other OSeX users have not (details on xlr8yourmac.com). Proceed with caution, and make sure you can return the Transit if you cannot make it workable on your system.

    Wishing everyone trouble-free audio input and output,

    ))Sonic(( (and unnamed friend)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Solution
    Everyone who wants digital audio on his Macintosh is best served with this device. I tried a lot of solutions when I wrote an article about audio devices for DVD playback for Macworld Germany, and Transit is definitely the best of them, specially if someone wants to connect his Mac (PowerBook, iMac, everything with USB ports) with an amplifier that has optical digital input. I use transit now for month and so far had never problems on my Flatpanel iMac. ... Read more


    11. Creative Labs USB Sound Blaster MP3+ External Sound Card Sound System
    by Creative Labs
    list price: $39.99
    our price: $38.94
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000095IMS
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 1337
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    SOUND BLASTER MP3 EXT USB SOUND SYSTEM ... Read more

    Features

    • Compatible with Windows 98SE, Me, 2000 SP2, or XP
    • High fidelity sound system improves music through Bass Boost and Noise Removal
    • Proprietary Smart Volume Management matches volume across MP3 tracks
    • Make MP3s and personalized audio CDs in one easy step
    • CMSS 3-D delivers virtual surround on stereo speakers and headphones

    Reviews (18)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Decent software, good features, and a reasonable price
    I have had my MP3+ for a while now, and have no real gripes about it.When I first got it, I was running Windows 98, which detected it and set it up without a problem.I later installed Windows 2000 Pro, which also detected it and set it up without a problem.I did not experience any problems with getting it to work.After 2000, I used the sound card with XP, which also supported it no problem.All the versions of Windows that I used the sound card with had no problem detecting the card, and all automatically used it with the generic USB sound card driver, which worked for most applications.Unfortunately, I did experience some trouble with the sound not working every once in a while.Especially while using XP and 2000, sometimes I would boot up the computer, and no sound would come from the card, although the blue light would flash when I played stuff.My solution was to unplug the card, reboot with it unplugged, then plug it in after Windows was loaded.It would then work fine.The final test came when I switched from Windows to Mac.OS X correctly detected and installed the MP3+, and I am still using it to this day.Of course, I don't benefit from the included software, but I never used it that much in the first place.It seemed to do its job, but was kind of clunky and annoying in some aspects.That is why I usually just used Windows' own drivers and software to use the card.One aspect of the drivers (and card) that should be mentioned is latency.The card does not have ASIO drivers available, and using DirectX drivers in sound programs, I could only get the latency down to about 50 ms before the sound started cracking or distorting.
    As for hardware, it isn't too fancy, but the RCA jacks are very nice for recording records and such.I wish the line out had a hardware volume control, but it works as it is.I've never had a use for the optical in and out, so I can't say how well they work.
    Overall, it is a good deal for the price, and I recommend it for people who maybe can't afford a hundred dollar sound card, but want something better than the noisy internal card that came with their system.

    5-0 out of 5 stars LOVED this sucker for hooking up outside dev. to computer!
    I work as a disc jockey, and I couldn't be happier with this little sucker. Liked it so much, I not only bought another, but on other systems I've custom built for clubs that have their own internal system, I've gotten it.

    Your pc, yes, including the aforementioned Windows 2000, will see the device as a "usb sound"... no installation of ANY drivers has been necessary on either my SHOW pc, or my three HOME pcs! I absolutely love this, and highly recommend them to others. It's not the "GO!" unit, nor is it the hated ver2, which doesn't even have RCA connections!

    I also use this for recording items ONTO the computer, such as live audio from an outside mixer!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Unattractive Price
    PROS:
    + Optical Connectors
    + Windows XP can install a default driver
    + Applicable in slow notebook
    + Bass-Boost and graphical equilizer
    + Real-time Audio Clean-up from external sources

    CONS:
    - Only two channels stereo
    - Only 88-DB Single-to-Noise Ratio
    - Expensive for two channel sound card

    1-0 out of 5 stars Worthless
    Simply junk. If you value your time don't buy this product.
    It does not work with Win 2000 at all, well, maybe if you have a whole day to tinker around with a $30.00 piece of junk.
    I am returning it right now.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Simply Terrible
    I bought this almost a month ago in hopes of having a decent sound card capable of worry-free playback and recording.Unfortunately, the sound skips consistently on playback and even more while trying to record.I consulted Creative's support site, did everything they said to do to try and remedy the situation, and nothing changed.I attempted to contact their customer support people, and was told the estimated time for a response was 1 working day.Weeks later, with no response, I sent the item back, since it was a30 day return policy.I'm still looking for a decent sound card.Do yourself a favor...don't buy this cheap piece of junk. ... Read more


    12. ADS Technologies RDX-150 Instant Music
    by Ads Technologies
    list price: $49.99
    our price: $38.94
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00067TMGA
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Ads Technologies
    Sales Rank: 8645
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Instant Music, USB ... Read more

    Features

    • Record Your Old LPs and Cassettes to Audio CD and MP3
    • Save music as MP3, WAV, WMA and AAC iPod audio formats
    • Burn professional quality CDs
    • Capture from any audio source - cassette, turntable (with preamp), TV, radio, DVD
    • Mac Users can use Instant Music with Garage Band or Sound Studio 2.1

    Reviews (7)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Great Idea.....But it just Doesn't Work!
    Instant Music is a great idea, by simply connecting the RDX150 to your PC with a USB cable, you should be able to convert your old LP's and cassettes into wav, MP3 or other digital files which you can then burn on CD or download to an MP3 player. Even someone as lo-tech as me can figure it out, I mean I don't know the first thing about computers, but the RDX150 was easy to install. The Nero software that came with the RDX150 is also pretty east to operate. Simply by clicking on the "Wizards" tab, all I had to do was basically push "play" on my stereo and click on "record" on the software, again very easy to use. The problem came when I actually began to record some of my cassettes. I have read other reviews that spoke of a "hum" that was audible during the recoreding, I wasn't even that lucky....at times I was getting such a loud static sound as feedback, that I wasn't able to hear the original audio! I tried replacing the USB cable that hooked up Instant Music to my PC, and that didn't work. I even used a different stereo hoping to solve the problem. I moved the Instant Music box away from all electronic devices in hopes that by getting it away from the monitor, PC etc. I would cut down on the interference...nothing worked. I e-mailed ADS three days ago with the problem....put it this, I ain't holding my breath for a response now. And just to put it in perspective, I am not trying to get optimum sound for recording, I am not trying to transfer hi-definition, I am simply trying to convert my collection of old radio shows from the 30's, 40's & 50's. Most of which contain enough static on their own, and all of which are mono recordings. So I don't need pristine sound. I finally gave up yesterday, and bought a product called "INport" by Xitel. Basically, it's the same thing, but I found out the "INport" is grounded....I have no clue what that means, but it works! Unfortunately, I don't care for the software that came with the INport, so I am using the Nero software that came with the RDX150. The INport is about $20 more, but it's well worth it, and will get the job done!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Works pretty well with a Mac G5
    This device works fine using Garageband that comes included with the Mac. It's a two step process, but it works. I had no luck getting the device to work with my Dell D600

    1-0 out of 5 stars Neither Software nor Hardware was acceptable.
    The transfers that I made from my turntable to the hard disk using this device were terrible.After a little investigation, I tracked the problem to the USB connection between the RDX150 and the computer.The connection at the RDX150 end did not seat properly - I could wiggle it around and change the quality of the sound.I'm not sure whether the problem was with the design of the device or with the particular unit that I purchased.

    I finally decided to direct the output of the pre-amp directly to the soundcard in the PC to see how the Nero software worked.The software had some good features - after a little practice I could record music, break it into tracks and remove noise.It was particulary good at removing clicks and crackles.

    However, when I tried to burn a CD, all a got was a terrible hum - the sort of noise that will damage speakers.I was able to burn an acceptable CD from the files created by Nero using Windows Media Player.It is possible that I was not using the software correctly, but the help available for Nero, either included on the CD or available from their website, is virtually useless.

    All-in-all, there must be a better way to do this.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware!
    Caution-I'd advise potential buyers to look carefully for online info concerning INSTANT MUSIC by ADS. Last site I checked rated it 1.4 out of 5 and that's high in my book. The package I just bought is currently back in the original box ready to be returned and here's why:
    Nero Software is incompatible with my VAIO and Microsoft XP-->ADS support said they were aware of problem (constant freezing on Step 2) and that I could download a correction from Nero site; Okay, but they didn't tell me that the download was a 5-6 hour affair and my browser kept crashing after 200 plus minutes: two days later, still no upgrade so I called ADS to see if they could ship a new Nero CD with upgrades included-nope...so, essentially, they're selling a defective product and know it but refuse to fix it..come on people-do the right thing...what's with these tech outfits?! In Detroit, we call it a "recall" and it's done to fix defective merchandise and protect buyer's rights and make them a repeat customer. This company makes crap, sells it and knows it and, apparently doesn't care. No soup for you!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Will do your vinyl if you're patient
    First, a warning about transferring LPs to CD.You can't just plug your turntable into this thing.The signal from your cartridge must be first run through a "pre-amp."But if you've got a hi-fi system amp or receiver lying around you can use that.The turntable plugs into the phono jacks on your amp, and then you run audio cables from the "record out" jacks (what you used to use to record your albums to tape) of the amp to the Instant Music.
    Second, the Nero software is multifaceted and most of it is not necessary for making an LP to CD transfer.There are several ways you COULD make the transfer, but I found NeroMix's "Record" function the easiest.Just bring up the NeroMix window and hit the record button.Windows come up to let you make a few simple settings.Then start the record playing, and save the audio to your hard disk.Then choose another setting in NeroMix to turn these files into an audio CD with your CD-R.
    The Nero software has additional features to take out pops, rumble, etc, and normalize the volumes across tracks, but those functions are more complex.I found that unless the vinyl was very scratchy, I was quite satisfied with the CD sound produced ... Read more


    13. Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Platinum Pro Internal Sound Card (70SB036000000)
    by Creative Labs

    our price: $201.25
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000CD0B9
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 13830
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro Sound Card ... Read more

    Features

    • Ultra-realistic EAX 4.0 ADVANCED HD Effects
    • Studio Quality Audigy2 ZS External I/O Hub
    • Superior Fidelity 24-bit ADVANCED HD Audio
    • THX Certified Sound Card for Cinematic Audio
    • Advanced Resolution 24-bit DVD-Audio Playback

    Reviews (6)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Sound Card, Poor Music File Format
    This sound card puts out great sound, much better than Windows Media Player or any other Player I've tried.It has many Audio adjustments so you can have your own sound studio.

    The Black Box that comes with it seems like overkill and I think most people do not even need it. This obviously adds to the cost.

    This could probably be rated 5 stars except for the Music File Format.I't's poor compared to the Windows Media Player

    3-0 out of 5 stars Hmmm...
    It is not up to the expectation of that I have thought about this hardware but i will watch over this slowly.

    2-0 out of 5 stars interference problems
    This card looks very fine on paper en sounds also pretty good.
    The only problem is that the card is nor working properly in my system.I have four western digital 740 sata disks in my system
    this sound card picks up noise when i reading or writing to the disks this is very disturbing. I replaced the card with another
    simpler card and everything works oke.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great system
    the two reviews below criticising this card are written by the same person. if you look around this person has written one star reviews of almost all new creative lab products using the same language, eg: "for crying out loud I am a computer engineer."

    this is one of the best card combo's on the markjet and professional reviewers say so. if the person below is learnign how to use a computer and installing their first card (and that is clearly the case from the "format" comments), they should take a breath and think about their own issues, not those of creative labs.

    1-0 out of 5 stars It's all true...
    The guy before me is completely correct.I received this card and installed it in my board, tried to load the drivers but I kept getting the "Blue screen of death."By this time I was thinking it must be win2k(BTW, I did have SP2).I formatted my whole hard drive and put XP Pro on with all updates SP1 and all.I loaded the drivers and everything was going smoothly, it recognized the card and said it was working properly.So I go to test and it doesn't work, at all.So then I formatted again to get a fresh start and the same exact thing happened.I have the Soyo Dragon Platinum MB w/ P4 2.4 GHz.If you have the same chipset I do or close to it, look elsewhere.The customer support is terrible and they make it seem like you're the idiot and didn't install it right or anything.A complete waste of time, I'm sending this nightmare back and getting a Hercules digifire. ... Read more


    14. ADS Tech Instant Music (RDX-150)
    by ADS Technologies

    our price: $36.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00065AO9Q
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: ADS Technologies
    Sales Rank: 2757
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Just plug the Instant Music into a USB port on your computer and you are ready to begin recording from any analog audio source into the most popular digital audio formats available such as MP3, WAV and WMA (Windows Media 9 Audio) and AAC. Once in a digital format you can create Audio CDs, MP3 CDs or have the audio ready to be played for your personal music enjoyment on a variety of MP3 player devices. Convert your old collection of cassettes and LPs into crisp, clear digital audio and then create audio CDs and MP3 CDs so you can keep a personal archive of your collection that will not degrade or deteriorate over time. Use the LP or Cassette to Audio CD Wizards in the included Nero SoundTrax software to go from LP to CD audio in 4 simple steps. ADS Tech respects the rights of copyright owners and asks that you do the same. ... Read more

    Features

    • Includes Mac software
    • Import music in any format to PC or Mac
    • Easy USB installation
    • Save in many popular formats
    • Easily create CDs or MP3s

    Reviews (4)

    2-0 out of 5 stars not as easy as it sounds
    After spending hours trying to get the ADS Tech Instant Music to work, I called the ADS Tech phone line, only to get an answering machine.Frustrated, I finally took the kit and my computer to my local computer shop, where I shelled out another $45 for the guy to tell me that the audio quality through the box provided with Instant Music allowed too much static and wasn't as good as plugging the LP/cassette audio into what I already had on my computer.To their credit, the ADS Tech people eventually called back a few days later, but I doubt whether they would have been of much assistance, as they immediately referred me to the FAQ on their website, which I had already seen.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Apparently has QC issues
    I've been through two of these so far, and only the first one worked, for about half an hour. It worked very well, but then suddenly relapsed into a weak, extremely noisy signal. (Yes, the source was still good.) The S/PDIF I/Os are a nifty feature, though not ones that I can currently use. The included software is an unusually irritating subset of Nero 6, and documentation of the unit itself is minimal. I know when to cut my losses. Next up: the Xitel Inport. Wish me luck.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Affordable way to transfer music from DAT
    ADS is marketing this devise (Instant Music) as an inexpensive way to convert analog audio source (LPs, cassettes) to digital format (MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC).But what surprises me is this device also includes some high-end features, such as digital I/O interface (SPDIF or Toslink). SPDIF is a standard for transmitting high-quality digital audio withought going through analog conversion process. I have a quite few collections of field recordings on DAT tapes (recorded with the portable Sony DAT TCD-D8).I've tried to use Instant Music to transfer music from DAT to my iMac G4 using GarageBand (part of Apple's iLife suite).I followed the instructions (can be downloaded from ADS website) and successefully transmitted my music to the Mac and burned onto a CD using iTunes. For more advanced users, M-Audio's Transit may be a better choice as it can capture 24-bit/96kHz (as opposed to 16-bit/48kHz for Instant Music).Transit also allows AC-3 and DTS pass-through. But for me, Instant Music just suits my needs. The package includes USB cable, RCA cable, and a CD with Nero software for the PC (Nero Mix, Nero SoundTrax, and Nero Wave Editor2).Did I mention it also works with Mac (OS 10.X)?A bargain for anyone who wants to convert/transmit analog/digital music to the PC/Mac.Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to connect, easy to use and great sound!
    The directions on how to connect the box are simple and straightforward, and using it is easy.Within a couple of minutes I was able to connect it to the headphone outlet of an old boombox and copy a cassette to my hard drive, reduce the hiss and "rumble" from the recording and then record it to a cd.I tested it immediately after recording and it played fine on my pc, but the big test was if it would play on my car's cd player, which tends to be kind of finicky, and sometimes refuses to recognize cds that have been copied.It passed the test and played fine. The sound is as good as "commercial" cd's.And, if you didn't happen to like the order of the tracks as they originally appeared on the cassette or record, you can move them around, the same as if you were using any other music software on your computer.

    I would strongly recommend this to everyone.However, I do have 2 pieces of advice once it's connected and you begin using it - 1)If you can't hear your cassette playing through the speakers of your pc, you might have a conflict with your existing music software, and have to temporarily remove it. 2)Go through all of your volume settings, and make sure your microphone is not muted, since that's what's used for input. ... Read more


    15. XITELPro HiFi-Link
    by Xitel

    our price: $75.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000078WG6
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Xitel
    Sales Rank: 10393
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    The Pro HiFi-Link takes the output characteristics of the HiFi-Link to a whole new level. It's a simple way to radically improve the audio performance of your PC, allowing it to digitally connect to your HiFi system as though it were a piece of high fidelity stereo equipment. Internet radio, streaming audio, downloaded music, and even DVD surround sound can now be played digitally from your computer to a home receiver, amplifier, or portable boombox with unbelievable clarity. ... Read more

    Features

    • Includes everything you need -PowerDVD software, 30 feet of optical digital cable, 30 feet of coaxial digital cable, & 30 feet of fully shielded studio-grade RCA cable.
    • Play DVDs with Dolby Digital or DTS Digital Surround sound
    • Play MP3s, WMA, WAV, Real, Liquid & all other formats
    • Cuts out distortion & interference
    • USB connection for easy installation

    Reviews (19)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Works with Macs
    Works just fine on an Apple Mac running OS X.It will not output Dolby Digital/DTS (Mac OS X not compatible with core audio drivers), but works like a charm for PCM/analog audio/music.I have two of them just for running music all over the house with iTunes.I even bridged the two 30 foot optical cables with a signal amplifier.No problems what-so-ever.

    5-0 out of 5 stars what a great product
    This worked like a charm.I am puzzled as to why one reviewer insists that a hum is inserted when using the analog connection considering I am using it right now and listening to music off of my computer with no hum.I do agree that it is somewhat stupid to spend $80+ on a usb sound card just for analog when you can buy a $15 adapter cable and use a stock sound card.Could you buy a regular sound card for under $90 with digital outs?Yea you can and I have owned one with digital outs but it didn't work as easily and hassle free as the xitel.The SB Audigy 2 NX has and SPDIF which I connected to my HT reciever with no avail.I could not get the sound card to output the raw digital data for surround sound.I got the xitel and in literally the two seconds it took to set it up i had true digital sound going to my reciever.Great job Xitel!!

    Pros:
    -ease of use
    -three connection options
    -30 ft of optical, digital coax, and rca cables equal to the price of the whole thing
    -comes with free dvd player software that allows digital pass through so you can get dolby digital or DTS encoding done in your reciever

    Cons:
    -it is a bit pricey
    -nothing else really

    overall this is a wonderful device for anyone who has high quality stereo/HT setups that wish to play high quality music files or movies off of their computer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not useless for analog!
    After I read the comment that said you'd need an audio isolation transformer for $35 to eliminate the 60 hz hum caused by a ground loop between the computer and stereo, I began to consider buying a digital receiver for the study--where I had only a 1993 Kenwood.I also considered just springing for the transformer with my purchase.I'm glad I didn't.My RCA connectors provide crystal clear sound.Maybe they will on your system too. Great product, simple to set up!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing
    The sound quality from my Toshiba M200 laptop headphone jack to my receiver (using the best Monster cable)was weak had you could hear a slight hiss.The first step (based on helpful reviews here) was to download the Izotope Ozone plug-in for Windows Media Player 9.0 (they also support other players too).
    This noticably improved my 192Kbps WMA and MP3 files sound.You can download the free seven day demo and hear for yourself. Guarantee'd you'll buy this once you hear the difference.OK, enough said about that.Next I couldn't resist coupling this with the Xitel Pro-HiFi link.I bought this for the Optical connection.The great thing is that it comes with a 30' optical connector which allows me to kick back in my living room chair several feet away and play the best quality music from my laptop that I've ever heard.This is a winner - buy it!!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars To the point
    Installation on a WindowsXP machine was as simple as simple can get.Simply plug the USB device into the machine, then plug your desired cable into your home theater a voila... music is sent to your theater as it should.

    This product performs exactly as advertised.Only downside is that all computer sounds get sent to your home theater, so if you are listening to music at a high volume and you get mail... everybody knows. ... Read more


    16. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 4 Pro Limited Edition
    by Creative Labs

    our price: $329.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006BK50I
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 20744
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    MODEL- SBAUD4PROVENDOR- CREATIVE LABSFEATURES- Sound Blaster Audigy 4 ProSound Blaster Audigy 4 Pro is an amazing fusion of Entertainment andMusic Creation. Featuring ultra-high quality DACs and an ExternalI/O Hub which provides 6 Stereo Inputs/6 Stereo Outputs, SoundBlaster Audigy 4 Pro enables amazingly clean recording of sixchannels at 24-bit/96kHz with low latency ASIO 2.0 support. SoundBlaster Audigy 4 Pro also comes with the all new EntertainmentCenter software and remote control unit, transforming your PC intoa Entertainment Center with easy MP3 and movies playback andnavigation.Includes Sound Blaster Audigy 4 Pro PCI card, Sound Blaster Audigy 4Pro External I/O Hub with infrared receiver, Remote Control unit anda battery, AD_LINK cable, Power Converter Cable, 3.5mm (1/8 ... Read more

    Features

    • 3rd party Games and Applications included
    • ? Entertainment Center and Remote - Easily Navigate through Movies, Music and Pictures with the Entertainment Center Software and IR Remote.
    • ? Professional Quality DACs - Create Extremely Clean Recording with High Quality A/D Convertors and 10-Input Connectors on the External Hub
    • ? Studio Quality Audigy┬┐4 Pro External I/O Hub - Studio quality I/O with analog stereo connectors for six channel input, optical and coaxial digital I/O, full-sized MIDI I/O, microphone with gain control
    • ? EAX 4.0 ADVANCED HD - Feel the Adrenaline Rush of Ultra-realistic EAX 4.0 ADVANCED HD Effects in your Games

    17. Altec Lansing VS4121 2.1 Computer Speaker System, 3 piece
    by Altec Lansing
    list price: $99.99
    our price: $71.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000C20XD
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Altec Lansing
    Sales Rank: 1901
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    When it comes to awesome performance in a compact design, few speaker systems compare to the VS4121. You’ve got to hear it to believe it. The tweeters sing with crisp, clear highs, while a unique, down-firing midrange driver in each satellite uniformly disperses sound around the roomcreating a warmer, more natural ambiance.

    The long-throw woofer brings out the thumps and bumps that make listening to music, watching movies and playing games truly intense. This versatile and compact system fits anywhereand sounds great everywhere.

    • Serious Power Experience what great performance is all about!
    • Impressive bass... Feel shakes and quakes from the front-firing, long-throw subwoofer housed in a solid-wood cabinet.
    • Crisp high end Specially engineered Micro drivers reproduce highs with thrilling clarity.
    • Exceptional sound dispersion Our unique, down-firing midrange driver fills the room with rich, accurate soundyou’ll enjoy clean mids anywhere in the room.
    • Revolutionary, low-profile design Looks great and fits virtually anywhere.
    • Also features Built-in controls with bass and treble, headphone jack, shielded satellites for use near video monitors, and color-coded cables for easy installation.
    ... Read more

    Features

    • Low-Profile Design
    • Serious Power
    • Deep Bass subwoofer
    • Crisp high end specially engineered micro drivers
    • Exceptional Sound Dispersion from down-firing midrange driver

    Reviews (23)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A pretty good deal
    For 99 bucks I was fairly impressed with the system's overall sound quality. I have had these speakers for almost 10 months now. They get VERY heavy usage from me. I am an avid music listener. If I am at my computer, these speakers are being used. After ten months of hard usage, the volume knob is starting to give out. The sound transition is no longer smooth, and there are occasional crackles as I turn the knob. No other complaints from me, the bass is boomy, but I like it that way, so it doesn't bother me. The volume knob issue is the only thing that prevents this set from getting five stars. I will be upgrading to the Logitech Z-5500 to take advantage of the digital output of my PC. These speakers have served me well.

    1-0 out of 5 stars WARNING - SUBWOOFER HUM
    I have a MSEE (Master's in Electrical Eng) - this sound system is flawed from the ground up - there is a substantial 60 Hz hum that will not go away no matter what volume level or wiring configuration you use.The company has the nerve to print in its op manual that such hum is "normal" - and therefore will not do anything to remedy it - I returned mine to Amazon within a week - I hope they have the decency not to charge me for shipping back such a defective unit.I just received a Creative Inspire 3000, which is head and shoulders better than anything I've heard from Altec Lansing.and it's $25 cheaper.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I concur...
    I concur with J. Osborn(Sacramento, Ca), but I am still happy with the purchase as it was for my girlfriend and she LOVES them! I agree that the highs seem to be getting lost and I often turn the bass down, however I also realize that the bass is about 8 inches away from my head. We are evaluating how and where to place these speakers for better performance, and I think that will help. I also noticed the buzz that J. Osborn spoke of.

    So I deducted 2 stars for those critisism's and then I gave 1 star back for styling and price. They are attractive speakers, if that is important to you. Amazon had these for $66 at the time, plus with the $30 credit for signing up and using the Amazon credit card, and the Amazon Associate kickback and the SuperSave Shipping, they came in under $35.

    So I would say even in the $70 range, these are pretty nice speakers if you can deal with the slight buzz. Certainly you can spend more, but when can't you? We tested them first at local store and comparred with Logitech speakers in the same range and these sounded better to us there. I have a $300 surround sound from Logitech that I think is the best purchaes I have ever made, but for this price range, these are nice speakers and outside of the buzz issue (if you have it) I think you will be happy with them. As with any audio purchase, the best thing to do is listen to them before you buy them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Speakers!!
    I just received this set today and I must say they are well worth the money.The sound is unbelivably clear and the bass is just awesome.Great for gaming and listening to music. Not to mention I got it at a very great price using a coupon from cybuys.com.I did a lot of research to find some good quality speakers at a decent price and these turned out to be the best in this price range.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very happy with this set
    As a replacement for an old set of CS 4-Point Surrounds, these are remarkable.The soundstage is palpable, highs shimmer (with proper treble adjustment of around 70%), lows are well-defined and punchy (with bass turned down to around 25%, this thing can go a little crazy), and the convenience of having volume, bass, treble, power, AND a headphone jack on the right speaker is HUGE.

    I was aware of a potential dip in low to mid-midrange frequencies due the downward firing driver; it's there, but very VERY slight.I do have a highly reflective soft pine desk, though.Volume, while not room-demolishing, is great, and distortion isn't a factor until well beyond comfortable listening volume.

    Appearance is great, and the speakers themselves feel solid.This is one of the better ways I've seen the slim profile handled; like it or not, speakers size is directly proportional to their ability to move air and generate midbass frequencies.By including a 3" midrange, Altec has made a speaker than balances form and function perfectly.I can't recommend these enough, espescially at the price! ... Read more


    18. Creative Labs USB SoundBlaster Live! 24-Bit External Sound Card
    by Creative Labs

    our price: $40.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00030099O
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 8429
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    The Easiest Upgrade from Basic PC Sound to Home-Theater Quality Audio

    Enhanced Music Quality

    Enjoy Crystal Clear 24-bit Audio

    With 256 times the resolution of your basic built-in sound, all your music, movies, and games will sound better in 24-bit ADVANCED HD™ quality

    Create MP3s, Organize Music, Burn CDs

    The full-featured Creative MediaSource™ digital player allows you to make high quality MP3s, manage your music library, and burn personalized CDs.

    Make Your Music Sound Even Better

    Dramatically enhance your music with features including Bass Boost, Smart Volume Management, Multi-Band Graphic Equalizer, Audio Clean-Up, and more!

    Convert Old Recordings to MP3 Easily

    Record all of your old cassette tapes and vinyl records to MP3 with simple connections and easy-to-use recording software with advanced cleaning tools.

    Immersive Games & Movies

    Experience Realistic Sound in Your Games

    Imagine hearing game sounds so realistic that you feel like you are actually in the game. Whether you're playing first person shooters, strategy games, or others, with EAX® 3.0 ADVANCED HD™ support you'll hear all the action.

    Surround Yourself With 5.1 Sound

    Immerse yourself in your games and DVD movies with 5.1 surround sound that lets you hear every sound in front or behind you.

    Easy USB Setup

    One-Step Hookup

    Upgrading to Home Theater quality audio on your PC is as simple as plugging into any available USB port - no power adapter needed.

    ... Read more

    Features

    • High-resolution stand-alone sound card with abundant inputs and outputs
    • Simple hookup via USB 1.1 port; no power supply required
    • The perfect tool to help you put your LPs and cassettes on CD, create MP3s, and organize music
    • Audio enhancements include bass boost, smart volume management, a multi-band graphic equalizer, and audio clean-up (hiss and click removal)
    • Encodes and decodes audio at up to 24-bit/96 kHz resolution; offers 5.1-channel output for use with 5.1 speaker systems

    Reviews (3)

    2-0 out of 5 stars I am not happy with this external soundcard
    I have a Dell notebook with PIII 866. This soundcard slows way down my computer when I use it to listen music. I guess it is okay when you listening music only. If you are planning to surf on the web or other things, you need a fast CPU to handle this soundcard. I did not know souncard take much of CPU usage. Also software is much different than internal Live 5.1 or Audugy.It
    does not allow custom setting for sound effect. I love that future on internal soundcard for singing. Internal soundscard allows you to adjust reberv, echo, etc..... I am bit disappointed with this soundcard.Quality of sound through headphone, I did not noticed much different than dell equipped onboard soundcard.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Oweson Sound
    Overall I am very pleased with the product. The sound is awesome! Definitely a high-quality product. Install went perfectly under Windows XP Home.
    24-bit sound is an immense step up from my old 16-bit card. Crystal clear at very demanding levels, quitest passages, and everything in betwen.
    If you want awesome sound at an owesome price, buy this. Know in advance the equalizer is SEVEN bands wide, not the TEN promised on the box.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Sub-Standard Driver
    I am not a novice at PC hardware but this one was a challenge to install and configure. I have not had enough time to explorer the hardware but the driver installation was riddled with problems. For me, it will always stop at DirectX update. I ended up wasting more time than its worth. ... Read more


    19. Creative Labs Sound Blaster Wireless Music
    by Creative Labs

    our price: $160.64
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000E2RZN
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 11308
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Sound Blaster Wireless Music ... Read more

    Features

    • Compatible with Windows 98 SE, Me, 2000, and XP
    • Listen to the MP3's on your PC in another room of your home over your 802.11b or 802.11g wireless network
    • View and choose songs and playlists from your entire MP3 collection on the remote control's built in LCD screen
    • Place the music receiver anywhere since the remote uses RF transmission it doesn't require line of sight
    • Works with home stereo and standalone speakers featuring digital optical (SPDIF) and standard RCA connectors

    Reviews (45)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Initially Great - Ultimately Disappointing
    I was pretty excited when i bought this.I picked up a wireless G router and set-up was quite simple.Had a few minor connectivity issues, but their latest software downloads took care of those.

    The trouble started when I began to build up my music library.Once I had built my library to about 20GB, this thing really became sluggish.Navigation got so slow and eventually things just would freeze up.Pain in the neck!

    Now that I have my library built up to about 80GB, this product is worthless.It sits in my closet along with any other failed projects :)

    In the end, I have to say it was a nice attempt by Creative, beautiful product with a way cool remote control... but they just couldn't pull it off.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good, still a few bugs
    Works OK except for:

    1. If you press play from the start of a playlist, the system will automatically play all songs in the playlist, as desired.However, if you want to start a song that is somewhere within a playlist, it will play that one song ONLY, and you manually have to play the next song, and the next song, and so on.Really poor design here.

    2. When adding songs to the playlists, it appears that there is an incompatibility with music that is also used by iTunes.When you add music to the Creative Labs organizer, you loose all the of embedded mp3 data in iTunes.... information like artist, title, genre, etc.

    3. Songs have a longer-than-expected delay before playing.This often makes me question whether I pressed play correctly, or whether the system missed my Play command.

    4-0 out of 5 stars excellent product
    wow...what an excellent product...
    people freak out when the hear the "Creative Wireless" name...
    i have a Linksys 802.11b router....and it took me 10 minutes to set everything up...(eventhought that i have WEP encryption in my wireless network)
    the Creative wireless works like an IPOD....easy to use
    when you select a song, dont espect to listen it inmediately, its gona take about 8 seconds...but not a big deal

    4-0 out of 5 stars Works as advertised
    Bottom line: this product is not w/o some minor warts, but overall it is high quality and does an excellent job of streaming your digital music files to your home stereo.

    The remote control is where the negatives lie.The features on the remote are fairly limited, and it is essentially a line of sight device.Navigating through the menu to select your music is sometimes a bit clumsy.I also do not believe this item has the capability to stream video, as there are only audio (both analog and optical) outputs on the receiver.

    I had some minor problems during installation.I followed the instructions precisely and still had some difficulty.The receiver immediately recognized my network, but the software that comes on the installation cd wasn't quite as accommodating.My best advice for installation is insert the cd, install all applications, restart your computer, and then power up your creative receiver.The installed software should load as windows starts, and then it should take over from there.The rest is very easy.

    Overall, this is a high quality product that has liberated my audio collection.I can now listen to all of my music without fumbling around with CDs.It's a good thing.

    3-0 out of 5 stars useful little gadget. wish the software was better !
    this is such a neat little gadget. it has revolutionised the way we listen to music in out house. my large and unwieldy CD collection had grown to the point where i could never find the song/CD i wanted. now i can. my song collection is now 1500+ and this devices handles it ok. i run the server on a windows 2000 box.

    problems
    1. about 1 in 5 times, (of the unit being turned on), it cannot
    connect to the server. almost always, a quick switch off/on
    of the unit fixes the problem.

    their software could do with a lot of improvements. some suggestions.
    1. editing / data entry : tab movement, auto completion should
    work like it does in all windows program.
    2. if a song has more than one artist, that song must be
    reachable by looking at either of the two artists.
    currently, if you enter the two names comma separated, the
    result is a new artist (whose name is a concatenation of
    the two names.
    3. faster search for songs, artists, etc from remote.
    currently, the first level menu is a list of single letters
    from A to Z and the next level is the name of all the songs. ... Read more


    20. Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Platinum Internal Sound Card (70SB035000003)
    by Creative Labs
    list price: $199.99
    our price: $169.09
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000CD0BU
    Catlog: CE
    Manufacturer: Creative Labs
    Sales Rank: 4221
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Platinum Audio System ... Read more

    Features

    • Ultra-realistic EAX 4.0 ADVANCED HD Effects
    • Front Panel Audigy 2 ZS Internal I/O Drive
    • Superior Fidelity 24-bit ADVANCED HD Audio
    • THX Certified Sound Card for Cinematic Audio
    • Advanced Resolution 24-bit DVD-Audio Playback

    Reviews (7)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Run Screamingin the Opposite Direction
    I thought this would be a nice upgrade from the SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 , which had good performance. Upon initial install None of the audio applications are finding the card. This includes the MediaSource that comes with the Card.Hmmm.. It seems that to really uninstall the SB Live! first you must follow a page long proceedure outlined in a service ID file at Creative Tech suppport but not mentioned in the install instructions...another hour and two more reboots, and now my Live Card and all its applications are really really gone from Windows. Unfortunaltely this did NOT fix the problem. SO my next bit of advice from Creative goes like this:
    "advice you to uninstall all the drivers and applications of the sound card. Remove the sound card from the PCI slot. Update your motherboard BIOS to the latest updated followed by windows to latest service pack and updates. Download and install the latest Direct X. Now put back the card into the computer in another PCI slot. Install the drivers and applications from the installation CD than update your drivers from our support side."

    Sounds fun, but I'd rather be listening to music!!!!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good sound, convenient I/O box, but still has problems
    The Good News: The hardware is all first rate. The I/O panel box is a wonderful and convenient. It looks good, and works very good.
    The Bad News: Unfortunately, Creative clearly employs freshman software school engineers. In the more than two years that Windows XP has been out, Creative STILL has not figured out how to write compatible software and drivers for XP and SP1. It is maddening and pure frustration should your system crash or freeze after doing the creative installation. Calling Creative for support is useless, hopeless. They are truly helpless. They do not have a clue! If by chance you manage to get the system running, you will find the hardware functions extremely well and the sound is gorgeous. Creative should simply contract out the software engineering to a competant firm and be done with it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Hyper Threaded Processor Users Beware
    The good about this card:It sounds great and has nice inputs.

    The bad about this card:It constantly crashes my Windows XP Pro box.After much searching I found that Creative has problems with Hyper Threaded or Multi-Processor systems.If you have one AVOID THIS CARD LIKE THE PLAGUE.Creative's idea??Disable Hyper Threading.My idea??Buy a different brand of sound card!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great piece of hardware!
    After using an old Creative SB Live! Value (The original, not the 5.1) for several years, I finally upgraded, and I must say I'm seriously impressed.As the other reviewers have said, Creative has horrible tech support, as was evident when I upgraded to XP with my previous card.This one, however, went in flawlessly.To anyone buying this who isn't a complete geek such as myself, I have a few pointers... 1) Uninstall your previous card first (Go to device manager, right-click on it, and pick Uninstall).2) Take a good look at the directions, because there are several cables to hook up to both the card and the Platinum drive.3) If you're using older (Analog/cheap) speakers, plug them into "Line 1", not the main speaker jack.And 4) When you turn the computer on after installing the card, put that install CD in right away, because otherwise windows bugs you about the locations of a few files during the PnP setup.

    Anyway, enjoy.This is a great product... The kind of quality I've come to expect from Creative.Huzzah!

    5-0 out of 5 stars review below is from a crank
    the review belowtitled "format" has been placed by a crank who has written the same review for EVERY creative labs product. cleasrly they don't know what they were doing, installed the card or software wrong and now have a grudge. ... Read more


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