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Creative X-Fi: A New World of Sound

Inputs And Outputs

The PCI card has a single 1/8th inch (3.5 mm) input jack called a "FlexiJack", which can be configured via the driver to serve as a line input, mic input, or digital connection for input and output. There's a plethora of connections on the Elite Pro rack. The front features two 1/4" (6.35 mm) input jacks with adjustable level. The first, depending on the position of the adjustment potentiometer, is either a line input or a high impedance (Hi-Z) input, the most common use of which is plugging in a musical instrument such as an electric guitar. The second is more standard, and serves either as a line or microphone input.

On the back is another input using cinch connectors; a small switch lets you configure it as either a line input or phono input with RIAA correction. This is an excellent idea, and will let you take advantage of your vinyl disks, either to digitize them or simply to listen to them. Note that a ground connection is provided for hooking up a turntable, a detail that's sometimes forgotten... Added to all this are optical and coaxial digital S/PDIF inputs and a pair of cinch connectors for MIDI input and output. Finally, there's a special connector for Creative speakers.

If you look at all the possible connections, you'll see that while Creative has stayed with consumer-type hookups - there's no symmetrical input - it offers a complete range, with microphone, line, and phono, plus the added possibility of connecting a musical instrument with a simple standard cable. So it's a design that can meet the needs of all amateurs.