Creative Labs announce Dolby Digital 5.1 sound cards

Creative Labs have announced a number of 5.1 channel versions of their popular Soundblaster Live! sound card. Featuring both analogue and digital output options, the Soundblaster Live! 5.1 line of sound cards enable PC users to get the best out of both their games and DVD movie titles.

Not content with just a standard 5.1 card, Creative Labs have developed a whole range - each catering for a different market.

The Soundblaster Live! Platinum 5.1 is aimed at the high-end user who wants the best in 5.1 channel sound from their computer. In addition, there are two more specialised cards - the Soundblaster Live! MP3+5.1 aimed at those who want the best music performance and the Soundblaster Live! X-Gamer 5.1 aimed at the PC games players.

Here's a full round-up of the key features direct from the press release:

Dolby Digital 5.1 and Analog Surround Sound: Experience full 5.1 surround sound in either digital or analog output. The Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 series provides surround sound on your PC, with built in support for two-, four-, or six-speaker configurations. You will get superior Dolby Digital 5.1 sound quality by connecting to speaker solutions such as the upcoming Cambridge SoundWorks® DeskTop Theater(TM) 5.1 DTT3500 Digital or the DeskTop Theater 5.1 DTT2200 (both expected to ship in October) or any Dolby Digital equipped home theater system. Dolby Digital content ensures the best audio support for next generation interactive DVD titles.

Quality Digital Signal Processor: The revolutionary EMU10K1(TM) Digital Signal Processor gives you all the power you need to create crystal-clear audio files. Since processing and playback remain entirely digital, your files maintain the highest level of audio quality with settings optimized for headphones, two, four, or 5.1 speakers and home stereo systems. The Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 series provides hardware acceleration for EAX(TM) audio technology, Microsoft® DirectSound® 3D and DirectSound® gaming, providing up to 32 3D hardware-accelerated channels, up to 64 hardware-accelerated channels, or up to 1024 voices. With support for real-time digital effects like reverb, chorus, echo, flanger, pitch shifting, vocal morpher, ring modulator, auto-wah or distortion, the power provides an overwhelming experience.

EAX(TM): Developed by Creative's world class audio scientists and built into groundbreaking Personal Digital Entertainment (PDE) Solutions, EAX is changing the way audio is experienced. EAX adds interactive, high-definition audio to the Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 series with 3D audio technology and 5.1 analog and digital sound, for a premium audio experience in music, movies, and games.

Complete Internet Entertainment Solution: Creative PlayCenter(TM) 2 provides a full 320kbps encoder with up to 9X digital audio acceleration to allow you to create high quality, compact digital audio files. It allows you to rip and organize your entire music CD collection into either MP3 or WMA formats, transforming your PC into a massive digital music jukebox.

Live!Ware(TM): The Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 line is fully supported by the Live!Ware upgrade program. This program is a direct vehicle to future product features and enhancements.
UK availability is currently unknown, but the US versions of these cards are available now retailing at $199.99 for the Soundblaster Live! Platinum 5.1 and $99 for the Gamer X 5.1 and MP3+5.1 cards.

The full press release is available over at Yahoo.

Colin Polonowski

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