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Creative Technology Ltd. announced the Sound Blaster Audigy line of PC audio cards, slated for immediate shipping to global retail and online outlets.

The Sound Blaster Audigy cards set a new benchmark for PC audio with its completely redesigned Audigy ADVANCED HD audio architecture. Powered by the Audigy processor, Sound Blaster Audigy delivers audio clarity comparable to professional audio systems and surpasses many high-end home stereo solutions with exceptional realism in audio playback. Sound Blaster Audigy is the only audio processor capable of delivering EAX( ADVANCED HD, which enables high definition Multi-Environments and powers advanced 3D audio imaging for unsurpassed digital entertainment experiences. The Sound Blaster Audigy features four times the processing power of the previous Creative audio processor EMU10K1 used in the Sound Blaster Live!, which, together with its EAX technology, has already been firmly established as the new de facto standard for PC audio.

"Creative is setting the standard for PC audio once again by pushing mass market PC audio into the realm of professional audio quality with the Sound Blaster Audigy," said Sim Wong Hoo, founder and CEO of Creative. "It represents the best audio you can achieve on a PC, way surpassing any other audio solution. The huge installed based of PC users can now upgrade to Sound Blaster Audigy to empower the PC as the top-of-the-line digital entertainment platform," he added.

High Definition Audio Clarity: Sound Blaster Audigy delivers stunning audio clarity in multi-channel through 24-bit/96kHz digital-to-analog converters (DACs), producing an outstanding 100dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). This dramatic increase in audio quality is attributed to the Audigy's proprietary high definition components and circuit design wizardry.

The Sound Blaster Audigy also includes support for true discrete multi-channel playback, which allows users to maximize their listening experience with Dolby( Digital 5.1 music.

High Definition Audio Realism: EAX ADVANCED HD delivers unprecedented realism in PC gaming through Multi-Environment, Environment Morphing, Environment Panning, Environment Reflections and Environment Filtering technologies.

Digital music enthusiasts can also utilize EAX ADVANCED HD for Time Scaling, to slow down or speed up a track while retaining accurate pitch; and Audio Clean-Up to remove hiss and scratches from LP and MP3 music.

Users can now sample the exciting new DREAM technology (Dynamic Repositioning of Enhanced Audio and Music) which allows them to interactively reposition different bands of music in a surround 5.1 environment, currently only available on the Audigy platform.

In the new Sound Blaster line, users can also expect the continuation of the Dolby Digital decoding, DirectSound, DirectSound3D and Open AL acceleration features that have been included in previous Sound Blaster products.

SB1394

The Sound Blaster Audigy solutions include fully integrated SB1394, fully embracing the IEEE 1394 standard for connection to popular devices such as DV camcorders and external devices and for superior low-latency peer-to-peer PC networking with as many as 63 different PCs. With its transfer rate of up to 400Mbps, SB1394 functions as much as 30 times faster than USB 1.1, making it an ideal solution for easy transfer of large files to and from external devices.

Pro Studio Applications

The Sound Blaster Audigy supports 24-bit/96kHz format over the digital I/O for compatibility with professional audio gear such as AES-EBU equipment. Users interested in music creation can utilize the EAX ADVANCED HD optimized driver designed for low-latency ASIO support, providing low-latency multi-track recording.

Creative PlayCenter 3

The Sound Blaster Audigy includes the new Creative PlayCenter 3, a personal digital music center for creation, organization and enjoyment of digital quality music enhanced with EAX ADVANCED HD effects, along with Dolby Digital AC-3 file playback and integrated CD burning capabilities. When connected to a digital music player, Creative PlayCenter 3 makes it fast and easy to transfer playlists and digital music content.

 

The Creative Sound Blaster Audigy family currently includes the Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum eX, Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum, Sound Blaster Audigy MP3+ and Sound Blaster Audigy X-Gamer.

Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum eX and Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum The Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum eX signals a radical departure for the Sound Blaster line of products. The front-facing drive in the external Audigy Drive connects to a custom cable that allows users to position the drive on the desktop, for convenient control in music creation and other applications. This solution is also ideal for users who do not have enough drive bay space to add new products or who would rather conceal their PC beneath the desktop yet still have convenient control of their sound card from a desktop level.

The Audigy Drive in the Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum is installed in the drive bay of the PC. Both products allow simultaneous digital and analog connectivity to devices such as MIDI instruments, MiniDisc players, external digital audio devices and headphones.

Users can enjoy the versatility of two SB1394 connectors - one on the drive and one on the card - for both the Platinum and Platinum eX models. Both products also come with a wireless remote control for simple navigation.

The Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum eX and Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum include 16 and 15 software titles respectively: * Steinberg's Audio Suite; * Ulead VideoStudio(tm) 4.0 SE Basic; * MixMeister Technologies' MixMeister(tm); * Beatnik's Mixman Studio Remixer; * Unibrain S.A.'s FireNet; * Vienna SoundFont(r) Studio 2.3, and; * iM Networks Inc.'s iM Tuner Software(tm).

In addition, the Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum eX includes Sonic Foundry ACID DJ 2.0 and Image Line Bvba FruityLoops, while the Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum includes Deus Ex Game of the Year. A host of Creative software is also included with both products, including Creative PlayCenter 3 and the Oozic(tm) Player, which adds visual enhancement to music.

Sound Blaster Audigy X-Gamer

For the core gamer who demands an immersive, multi-dimensional gaming experience, the Sound Blaster Audigy X-Gamer delivers true surround sound for compelling gameplay. The SB1394 connector allows easy PC-to-PC connectivity and low latency gameplay performance beyond LAN gaming. This card comes with full versions of Interplay's Giants: Citizen Kabuto(tm) and Deus Ex Game of the Year, as well as Unibrain S.A.'s FireNet; the Goldmine application to illustrate EAX ADVANCED HD's audio realism; Creative PlayCenter 3 and six other Creative software titles.

Sound Blaster Audigy MP3+

For the Internet and digital music enthusiast, the Sound Blaster Audigy MP3+ makes it simple to create, customize and listen to audio files with multi-channel high-definition quality. The Sound Blaster Audigy MP3+ comes with the following software to enhance the digital music lover's experience: MixMeister Technologies' MixMeister; Beatnik's Mixman Studio Remixer; Unibrain S.A.'s FireNet; iM Networks Inc.'s iM Tuner, Creative PlayCenter 3, Oozic Player and five additional Creative software titles.

Pricing and Availability

The Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum eX holds an estimated street price of US$249.99; the Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum's estimated street price is $199.99; and the Sound Blaster Audigy X-Gamer and Sound Blaster Audigy MP3+ hold an estimated street price of US$99.99. The entire line is slated for immediate shipment to global retail and online outlets.

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