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Review: Soundblaster Extigy

by Craig Ball on 11 June 2002, 00:00

Tags: Creative

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qal2

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Recently Creative Labs have released the Extigy soundcard. This is basically an External Audigy Soundcard connected via the USB port. Personally I think the device is amazing. The Sound quality, appearance and functions are superb. I decided to buy an Extigy as I thought this would be a nice piece of hardware to go with my Shuttle SV24 and also my laptop. The Extigy also comes with a remote control which is capable of controlling various programs and tasks. Capable of delivering a stunning 24-bit 96kHz multi-channel audio playback and 100dB SNR. It enhances audio for digital music, DVD movies and games.





The appearance of the Extigy looks very stylish with the silver front panel with gold connections housed in a sleek black casing. The word Creative is stamped onto the top and bottom of the casing. Creative have also bundled in a remote control. I haven't really tried the remote yet but I had a quick mess on with it and managed to get it to control Winamp. Its great being able to lie in bed controlling your MP3's. The remote can also control many other pieces of software, most of which is bundled with the Extigy. In order to get Winamp working I had to add it to a list of programs which the remote can control. The list can be seen here.




As far as a know the software bundled with the Extigy is the same as the Sound Blaster Live just with the additional extra's like Remote Centre (or as the American's spell it, "Center" hehe) :-).

I haven't really played around with the software but a feature which really stands out is the On Screen Display when using the remote. I've taken a few screenshots of the OSD. The display has the ability to be customised to suit yourself. I liked the transparent blue effect, as seen in the screenshots. The picture of the car is my background picture and not a skin within the Extigy settings.

While doing this review I came across a few more settings which was to do with EAX. Its a feature called DREAM (Dynamic Repositioning of Enhanced Audio and Music). I had a little play around with this and managed to get the music I was playing at the time bouncing and swirling around me with the front and rear speakers. You can alter which direction and speed u want the sound to go. Its a neat feature but something which will often not get used. Everytime I go to look at something within the settings of the Extigy I keep finding new toys and gadgets to play with. :D



The connections on the Extigy is superb for all users providing connections for allsorts of devices.
On the front of the device we have a number of connections and controls.

Starting from the left of the Extigy is:

  • Optical Out
    • Used to connect to a minidisk recorder for recording music digitally. I use this connection to output to my Stereo which has an optical input.
  • Optical In
    • Able to connect a DVD player to this to enable 5.1 sound from a standalone DVD player. The Extigy doesn't need a computer in order to work. It is also able to be connected to a games console.
  • Line In
    • The usual sort of devices like a CD player, Walkman, MP3 player, etc. to amplify the sound.
  • Mic In
    • Self explanatory really. Its an input for the microphone.
  • Headphones
    • Also self explanatory. When the headphone jack is in this connector all other sound is muted.
  • Microphone Volume
    • Controls the volume of the input volume of the microphone.
  • Master Volume
    • Controls the Master volume of sound outputted.
  • CMSS Button
    • Creative Multi-Speaker Surround. Enables users to up-mix stereo content for a 5.1 surround sound experience. CMSS also provides virtual headphone and stereo spatialization.
  • Power Button
    • Turns the device on and off ;) Along side the power button is the sensor for the remote control.


On the back of the Extigy we have another row of connections. Starting with the left hand side we have:

  • Center/Subwoofer
    • Connection for the center and subwoofer speakers. For use with speakers such as the Inspire 5300 or an Analog Amplifier.
  • Rear
    • Connection for the rear speakers. Also used with speakers like the Inspire 5300 or an Analog Amplifier.
  • Front
    • Connection for the front speakers. And also used with speakers like the Inspire 5300 or an Analog Amplifier.
  • Digital Out
    • Output for speaker such as the Soundworks Megaworks 510D and devices such as a DAT player.
  • SPDIF In
    • Used in conjunction with a DAT player.
  • MIDI In
    • Capable of inputting MIDI sounds via MIDI Keyboard.
  • MIDI Out
    • Capable of outputting MIDI sound samples to a MIDI Keyboard.
  • USB
    • Connection from the Extigy to the Computer or Laptop.
  • 12V Power
    • Power connection to the mains adapter.


  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Dolby Digital Decoder
  • Looks Stylish
  • Gold Contacts
  • Remote Control
  • Plenty Inputs And Outputs
  • Able To Stand Verticle Or Horizontal
  • Plenty Gadgets



  • Expensive at £135
  • No Firewire Port
  • No Game Port
  • High CPU Utilization


As the Extigy uses the USB port, you can hot-swap it between your notebook and your PC so you don’t have to buy another soundcard. You don’t even have to open up your PC to install it. If you want great sound quality which is portable then the Extigy is what you need. Although its not exactly convient to carry 5.1 Speakers and a Sub woofer around with you with your laptop. But this is ideal for all users. Gamers, Movie fans, etc...
If you dont have one. Go buy one today. hehe :-) Creative are onto a winner with the Extigy.