am gonna go for a new soundcard...do i go for the X-fi extrememsuic or the audigy 2 ZX taking into account that the audigy 2 zx is cheaper,but is the sound quality really that noticable on the X-fi? i am using a creative 6600 inspire 6.1 setup.,current card is a live 24bit
I went from an Audigy 2 Value to the X-FI xtreme music, and i am satisifed with the sound card. The EAX 5.0 in Battlefield 2 is unbeatable, and the Crystalizer really does improve compressed audio. The new drivers and software dont have any of the problems and annoyances like the Audigy line did. With my old Audigy2 i found myself reinstalling the drivers every couple months just to get rid of a mic problem or something like that.
My only complaint about the Xfi is that you have to manually switch between gaming and entertainment modes, otherwise the sound gets a little screwy depending on what youre trying to do.
It still comes down to personal prefrence in the end, some people say that the improvements in the Xfi arent that spectacular, but others with an ear for good audio quality say that its a great investment for a consumer card.
I recently bought a X-fi for $99 (Cheapest I've seen it yet) at best buy, I listen to music 24/7 (yes I really do, even while sleeping) I absolutely love it! I've used the Audigy (original) and various M-Audio cards, but this is by far the best card I've used.
The CMSS-3D headphone and 2.1 works great, but not as good as a real 5.1 or 7.1 system. When I play CS:Source I can hear where every shot comes from and react accordingly.
The 24bit crystalizer is good, but still a gimmick IMO. It sounds wierd when enabled in games, so switching modes is necessary.
My old computer (Wife is using) has an Audigy2, and my new computer has an X-Fi Platnum. The X-Fi totally blows the doors off of the Audigy in every way. Games sound more realistic, and music sounds like you are there with the artist. The X-Fi is not that much more than the Audigy2 and sounds so much better.