Creative Software Boosts On-Board Audio to Hi-Fi

Thursday Creative Technology Ltd. revealed a new version of its X-Fi MB software suite. Called Sound Blaster X-Fi MB2, the software is claimed to enhance the sound of any basic on-board sound system by combining THX TruStudio Pro and Creative's own EAX Advanced HD 5.0. The end result supposedly offers premium audio, whether it's during HD video playback or while fragging with the latest shooter.

According to the company, ASUS will be the first manufacturer to incorporate the suite, bundling it with the Republic of Gamers Rampage III Formula and Gene series of motherboards. "Our partnership will continue to push the boundaries of PC gaming audio, providing the much-needed realism and immersion in game-play that modern PC games demand," said Steve Erickson, Vice President and General Manager for Audio and Video at Creative.

The new suite will come with native OpenAL support, a tool called Creative ALchemy that restores EAX effects and 3D surround audio for legacy, DirectSound 3D game titles in Windows Vista and Windows 7, and VoiceFX technology for morphing user voices. EAX Advanced HD 5.0 will feature multi-environment rendering and reverb modeling, whereas TruStudio Pro will add punch to every gunshot, explosion and gaming sound.

Additionally, the TruStudio Pro suite features THX TruStudio Pro Surround, THX TruStudio Pro Crystalizer, THX TruStudio Pro Speaker, THX TruStudio Pro Dialog Plus and THX TruStudio Pro Smart Volume. Other features found in Creative's EAX Advanced HD 5.0 include EAX Voice, EAX PurePath and EAX MacroFX.

Despite this however, there's still no getting around the fact that most if not all onboard motherboard audio solutions are comprised of very low cost audio components. From cheap integrated DACs, to cheap DSPs, you just can't get aorund those things.

  • Looking forward already to Daniel_K's version of this..
  • Greg_77
    Yea, you just can't get "aorund" some things ;)
  • Strider-Hiryu_79
    From cheap integrated DACs, to cheap DSPs, you just can't get aorund those things.

    This is true. There's only so much that software emulation and programming can do.
  • grillz9909
    I wish EAX would just die already. There needs to be a non proprietary equivalent so we don't have to rely on their shoddy drivers. Just wishful thinking though.
  • jimmysmitty
    I think I will stick with my X-Fi anyways. Betetr quality parts means better true HD audio.
  • dragonsqrrl
    Creative... you can't produce "premium audio" through software. It's just another deceptive quick money grabbing scheme meant to prey on the ignorant and ill informed. Congratulations Creative, you can add this to your repertoire of terrible customer service, shady business model, and horrible driver support. It's just as Mr. Parrish stated, no matter how much you pretty it up, there's no getting around the cheap integrated audio components. Although something like this might do well in a laptop, merely enhancing the sub par audio performance of an integrated audio solution, it's still far from a "premium audio" experience.
  • Creative has been providing this software to motherboard manufacturers for a while now. This is just the latest revision. Too bad it can't be purchased separately.

    However, given Creative's track record in regards to support and updates, you're probably better off purchasing a motherboard with a Realtek chipset and Dolby Home Theater. You get all the same features (minus EAX5,) but support is much better. Realtek releases new drivers approximately once a month. When I reported a bug, I received a prompt reply, and the bug was fixed in the next release.
  • matt87_50
    creative drivers and support sucks!

    but it is nice of them to restore old game's sound. wtf MS?? why did you break everything with vista? audio? openGL? wtf?
  • kinggraves
    Nothing more than a mobo bullet point. Software emulation is nothing with a lousy DAC or cheap speakers, it's not like the Realteks don't come with "sound boosting" technology as well. Computers just can't replace a decent receiver, especially not with the "protected path" garbage.
  • reconspartan
    I have laptop with no dedicated sound card + windows 7 + surround sound headset (that uses directsound) and all I play is BF2. Too bad they aren't selling the software IMO. Seems like it would improve my experience.