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.