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Creative Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 USB Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Integrated Beam... by Review Summary ,  Aug 21, 2015

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Creative Sound Blaster Omni Surround 5.1 USB Sound Card with High Performance Headphone Amp and Integrated Beam...
Report Date: 01/03/2016
Based on 230 customer reviews
Overall satisfaction: 4.2
Returned or considering to return: 4.8%

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Frequently Mentioned by Customers:


Individual Feature Rating
Music4.7   above average
Price4.7   above average
Headphone4.4   above average
Quality4.4   average
Audio4.3   average
Sound4.2   average
Speaker4.1   average
Volume3.9   average
Noise3.8   below average
Surround3.8   below average
Windows3.8   average
Control3.7   average
Microphone3.6   below average
USB2.7   mediocre


Quotes from the Reviews - What People Say about:

Audio

Audio:
"Audio Setup: Windows 10, ASUS Z170-A MotherboardSpeakers (3.1, no surround rear): 3 x Presonus Eris E5 (2xFront + Center), Bose subwoofer from older 2.1 desktop systemPower conditioner: Furman PL-PLUS C 15 Amp, Advanced Level Power Conditioning (for powered speakers)Headphones: FiiO EX1 Nanotech Titanium Diaphragm In-Ear MonitorsWindows 10 driver update represents a mature product addressing many problems from older reviews.4 problems can be solved 5 star for sure:1) Simple, clear quality 2.1 - 5.1 speaker music playback, using powered speakers2) Gaming using powered speakers3) Optical output for surround music gaming to an AVR system4) Surround sound ear phonesStory: Brand new, ASUS Z170-a motherboard with Crystal Sound 2 could not produce clear surround sound audio."
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"The user manual is simple to follow the only part that wasn't clear to me is how to change the audio from the microphone to the AUX in."
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"If you are using Razer surround and are unsatisfied with the audio quality, consider this a viable option."
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"One of the Best external audio card for mac"
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"Even out of the box the mids are more clear than they were with the onboard audio."
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"Upgraded my computer audio to Dolby 5.1 without problems."
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"It provides audio for my bootcamp Windows install as well as an alternative audio source under OS X."
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Control

Control:
"When my old pci based xi-fi extreme gamer failed, I decided to get this to replace it for the volume control and also built in mics."
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"This is only a problem because it might take a few seconds for the volume control to register."
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"The speaker volume control for my 5.1 system is not easy to get to, so I never use the optical out now."
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"The sound quality is awesome but unfortunately the control panel software has a tendency to crash and cause my keybaord's own built in media functions to stop working a few minutes after booting."
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"The cinematic tab in the macintosh control panel is missing altogetherThis means no digital 5.1 output on macintosh with this product"
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"For you mac users, the description of this sound card said that volume control knob will not work on mac OS, well they must have updated the software because mine works perfectly."
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"Easy to install, works with Windows 10, gives more control to user for gaming and music, was well worth purchasing while Microsoft corrects the surround sound issue for those who've lost full 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound."
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"The control panel is easy to use and everything in it works."
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"Works flawlessly when switch between hosts, and the wide array of plugs make it easy to control whether it's outputting to my headphones or stereo system."
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"Great control."
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Headphone

Headphone:
"I really needed this card to replace my PCI sound card because it was unbearable while using headphones."
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"Overall, I gave this a 1 star rating because it's completely missing speaker balance (this also goes for headphones - no balance there), as well as having most of the cards main selling features sound like complete garbage."
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"One of my complaints with almost all open back headphones is that the bass is tight, but not punchy, and I love the larger soundstage, but miss the big bass of more traditional headphones."
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"In that regard, this Omni Surround delivers, but it it does not work well with any of the in-ear headphones that I have."
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"These sound AMAZING with my P5 Headphones!"
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"Low end is excellent from headphone out instead of line out."
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"This is surprisingly good for an entry-level headphone DAC, especially if you want surround sound for gaming."
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"Works flawlessly when switch between hosts, and the wide array of plugs make it easy to control whether it's outputting to my headphones or stereo system."
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"The static in the speakers is very low ( and does not change with increasing my system volume ).The headphone sound wonderful."
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Headset

Headset:
"I have tried the microphone on it and it sounds great as well but does pick up a lot of background noise, so if that is a problem for you just use a headset and you will be fine."
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"The built in microphone is okay, but I don't recommend using it if you have a good headset with a microphone."
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"But I always use a headset the biggest challenge was utilizing my Astros A40 with all of them together."
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"I'm glad I did, I was having a problem with my headset I had with disorting sound every few seconds with their USB plugin, and found this corrected the problem, and also allowed me to mimic the surround sound my headset was able to do."
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"Seems like a great bargain compared to other sound cards and headsets."
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"Its usable until you need a good microphone, then get a headset w mic, an analog mic in to this unit or a separate USB mic."
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"works great but I didn't have a pair of headset so I sent it have as always amazon is so great"
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"But that is not enough for me to knock it because my headset has an outstanding mic and this sound card makes that mic really shine."
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"If this item included Echo cancelation, proper install of control panel to a permanent folder and the option to swap from headset phones in software... Then it would be a perfect product."
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Microphone

Microphone:
"While it does work with Linux, it will have microphone hiccups with a dual boot system."
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"good soundbuilt in mic is not that good."
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"The user manual is simple to follow the only part that wasn't clear to me is how to change the audio from the microphone to the AUX in."
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"Secondly, the dual mic is the worst mic i have ever seen."
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"My only complaint is the beam mic."
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"Its usable until you need a good microphone, then get a headset w mic, an analog mic in to this unit or a separate USB mic."
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"The integrated microphone voice changing options is pretty good (lacks variety of voice choices (18) and many either sound same or not understandable) and doesn't require any trouble to install like other software."
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"Works great and has a built in Mic which works great with Windows 10"
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"Also to my surprise, the mic is really good."
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Music

Music:
"okay im not an audiophile but you don't need to to notice the difference god you will never believe how clear these make your music sound even just YouTube video I have as pair of audio technica ATH M50 and damn they make them sound unbelievably good I feel like i have an entirely new pair of headphones anyway long story short if you own any sound equipment over a hundred bucks your honestly wasting your money if you don't buy these"
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"I work in a home office, so I listen to music around 6 hours per day, so it's incredibly important to me that the music sound good."
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"Easy to install, works with Windows 10, gives more control to user for gaming and music, was well worth purchasing while Microsoft corrects the surround sound issue for those who've lost full 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound."
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"The Omni Surround 5.1 instantly produced clear, low-noise, good-quality 3.1 music playback from stereo and 5.1 sources and superb, flawless game sound."
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"The music now is more clear and less muddled."
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"Good Sound card,update my computer as a music factory! "
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Noise

Noise:
"I have tried the microphone on it and it sounds great as well but does pick up a lot of background noise, so if that is a problem for you just use a headset and you will be fine."
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"Horrible underwater sound when noise canceling is on, no matter what mic you use (obviously some kind of bug in the algorithm)."
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"But this model has poping noise problem."
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"This sound card has no white noise and sounds splendid, so big thanks for that."
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"The built in microphones are surprisingly good, and have a very low noise floor - with noise reduction on and smart volume on."
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"I have tried the microphone on it and it sounds great as well but does pick up a lot of background noise, so if that is a problem for you just use a headset and you will be fine."
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"I highly recommend the Kensington Noise Reducing Car Audio AUX Cable if you plan to use the Line In port on the Omni, as you'll need it to get tolerable sound quality."
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Price

Price:
"Very good features and performance for the price ($50 at time of purchase) but setup was a hassle."
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"Sound quality is great and for the price I am very pleased with it."
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"Very good features and performance for the price ($50 at time of purchase) but setup was a hassle."
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"The built is might is great but nothing to write home about but nice added feature for the price."
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"I would recommend purchasing something else, as this would be a waste of your money."
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"Plenty of features for both the playback and recording sections, and is even compatible with some portable use (if you use an OTG cable).For the price, I think it's well worth it."
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Quality

Quality:
"They've lost their focus on good quality, mainly because the shift in markets unfortunately."
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"If you are using Razer surround and are unsatisfied with the audio quality, consider this a viable option."
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"If you are using the front panel connectors on your computer, remember that the analog signal (which is very susceptible to interference) is traveling past all your various components before it reaches you, which may degrade quality somewhat."
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"The headphone difference is not at all noticable to me and there's supposed to be a big difference with the headphone amplifier (a big reason I purchased this unit).In fact, using the Sound Blaster unit is a whole lot more erratic in quality."
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"The sound quality is awesome but unfortunately the control panel software has a tendency to crash and cause my keybaord's own built in media functions to stop working a few minutes after booting."
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"Though not quite as good as the old cmss 3d when it comes to positioning, it seems have less of a negative impact on sound quality and is FAR better than THX sound."
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"Sound quality is great and for the price I am very pleased with it."
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"The quality is amazing."
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"Excellent quality."
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"Sound quality is very good, but then so was my on-board card - when it worked."
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"The sound quality is amazing!"
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Sound

Sound:
"I did have some trouble getting one of my machines to work with it through the kvm switch but after I swapped out the default stock usb cable for a shorter one it fixed the problem and now I can swap my keyboard, mouse, and sound card between each machine."
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"I really needed this card to replace my PCI sound card because it was unbearable while using headphones."
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"Solved my problem with Windows 10 not recognizing my Logitech sound system."
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"not suited for my need, sound and interface are not that good."
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"Audio Setup: Windows 10, ASUS Z170-A MotherboardSpeakers (3.1, no surround rear): 3 x Presonus Eris E5 (2xFront + Center), Bose subwoofer from older 2.1 desktop systemPower conditioner: Furman PL-PLUS C 15 Amp, Advanced Level Power Conditioning (for powered speakers)Headphones: FiiO EX1 Nanotech Titanium Diaphragm In-Ear MonitorsWindows 10 driver update represents a mature product addressing many problems from older reviews.4 problems can be solved 5 star for sure:1) Simple, clear quality 2.1 - 5.1 speaker music playback, using powered speakers2) Gaming using powered speakers3) Optical output for surround music gaming to an AVR system4) Surround sound ear phonesStory: Brand new, ASUS Z170-a motherboard with Crystal Sound 2 could not produce clear surround sound audio."
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"I now have a great sound device to use one great set of speakers, which changes between computers the same time my keyboard and mouse do."
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"Sound quality is great and for the price I am very pleased with it."
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"These sound AMAZING with my P5 Headphones!"
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"It really does a nice job of separating all the instruments and making the sound stage larger."
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"Seems like a great bargain compared to other sound cards and headsets."
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Speaker

Speaker:
"Caveats: Use powered speakers or optical output to an AVR."
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"Overall, I gave this a 1 star rating because it's completely missing speaker balance (this also goes for headphones - no balance there), as well as having most of the cards main selling features sound like complete garbage."
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"If you do not it really doesn't work well for you as there is no just plain speaker out other than the head phone out but then if you want to use your headphones too you're switching cables back and forth."
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"The speaker volume control for my 5.1 system is not easy to get to, so I never use the optical out now."
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"I now have a great sound device to use one great set of speakers, which changes between computers the same time my keyboard and mouse do."
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"made the difference i was looking for....music is crisp and clean...and i feel like my entry level speakers are performing to the best of their ability now."
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"Of course I'm using gain on the powered speakers for the heavy lifting, but it would be a nice touch on the speaker configuration page to be able to do a little fine tuning."
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"This card adapted the system beautifully, and I was able to get full functionality out of my speakers."
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Surround

Surround:
"Audio Setup: Windows 10, ASUS Z170-A MotherboardSpeakers (3.1, no surround rear): 3 x Presonus Eris E5 (2xFront + Center), Bose subwoofer from older 2.1 desktop systemPower conditioner: Furman PL-PLUS C 15 Amp, Advanced Level Power Conditioning (for powered speakers)Headphones: FiiO EX1 Nanotech Titanium Diaphragm In-Ear MonitorsWindows 10 driver update represents a mature product addressing many problems from older reviews.4 problems can be solved 5 star for sure:1) Simple, clear quality 2.1 - 5.1 speaker music playback, using powered speakers2) Gaming using powered speakers3) Optical output for surround music gaming to an AVR system4) Surround sound ear phonesStory: Brand new, ASUS Z170-a motherboard with Crystal Sound 2 could not produce clear surround sound audio."
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"If you are using Razer surround and are unsatisfied with the audio quality, consider this a viable option."
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"By having a USB interface, it's all digital (not susceptible to interference) until it's well away from your computer and on your desk.2) It has tons of extra features for gamers, like virtual surround sound (It's great, but not that great), voice modulation, and even a special mode that claims to amplify important sounds (like an enemy's footsteps) so you can get the jump on someone before they do the same to you."
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"only one problem I got the surround sound system used and i didn't get all the components to use the this particular unit."
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"I'm glad I did, I was having a problem with my headset I had with disorting sound every few seconds with their USB plugin, and found this corrected the problem, and also allowed me to mimic the surround sound my headset was able to do."
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"The lack of true 5.1 surround sound support in OSX is very disappoint too."
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"this is the best external sound card I have ever seen if you need an external sound card this is the best I recommend it is truly 5.1 surround"
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"Easy to install, works with Windows 10, gives more control to user for gaming and music, was well worth purchasing while Microsoft corrects the surround sound issue for those who've lost full 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound."
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"catID=1&CatName;=Sound+Blaster&prodID;=21712&prodName;=Sound+Blaster+Omni+Surround+5.1Installed and my sound is great again."
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"The Omni Surround 5.1 instantly produced clear, low-noise, good-quality 3.1 music playback from stereo and 5.1 sources and superb, flawless game sound."
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"Would recommend it to anyone who wants to have a 5.1 surround with their laptop"
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USB

USB:
"I did have some trouble getting one of my machines to work with it through the kvm switch but after I swapped out the default stock usb cable for a shorter one it fixed the problem and now I can swap my keyboard, mouse, and sound card between each machine."
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"Also the USB cable isn't holding up very well, and I had to replace it because the wires became exposed."
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"I didn't know how well it would work through the usb port."
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"I usually find most usb sound cards are fairly weak and have popping or hissing issues, this has neither issue."
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"I would not recommend this item, if you have about $10 more and don't care if your USB... You can get Sound Blaster Z, it's a lot better and less buggy."
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"If your looking for USB this isn't the best and it's not the worst."
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"Amazingly versatile sound via USB."
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"Overall if you are looking for a good usb sound card, I recommend you getting this I have no complaints."
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"Instead, for under $5, I bought the SANOXY Wireless USB PC Remote Control Mouse for PC, which is a great little remote - especially for the money."
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"Because Creative did not see fit to include USB connection instructions and warnings in their manual, I give this unit 4 out of 5 stars."
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"If your looking for USB this isn't the best and it's not the worst."
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Volume

Volume:
"When my old pci based xi-fi extreme gamer failed, I decided to get this to replace it for the volume control and also built in mics."
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"This is only a problem because it might take a few seconds for the volume control to register."
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"My unit had a faulty volume knob that introduced a LOT of static when raising, or lowering the volume."
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"The speaker volume control for my 5.1 system is not easy to get to, so I never use the optical out now."
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"Bass is still excellent at lowest volume setting."
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"The Omni Sound Blaster Amp is very good, when I plugged it in, I was surprised on the amount of volume I get out of it."
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"The static in the speakers is very low ( and does not change with increasing my system volume ).The headphone sound wonderful."
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"Nice sound, I bought it because I don't like the standard MacBook Pro volume output power and the sound quality is just ok. Until now very satisfied, no problem installing drivers and software or applying the firmware update."
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"Noise reduciton does exactly as it states, and smart volume dynamically adjusts the mic volume (and it does it very well)."
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Windows

Windows:
"The constant popping coming from it is unbearable and it tends no disagree with Windows 10 regularly."
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"Solved my problem with Windows 10 not recognizing my Logitech sound system."
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"Therefore it does the job for me, it sits well on my table, sounds good, looks good, the only disadvantage for me is that you can'tswitch between outputs in windows sound device manager, I have to plug off the earphones if i want to listen to the speakers."
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"Easy to install, works with Windows 10, gives more control to user for gaming and music, was well worth purchasing while Microsoft corrects the surround sound issue for those who've lost full 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound."
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"Works great and has a built in Mic which works great with Windows 10"
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"The added benefit is that as I have windows installed in bootcamp this works fin for windows 10 as well."
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"It provides audio for my bootcamp Windows install as well as an alternative audio source under OS X."
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"did not get the 5.1 surround sound like i expected on my MAC computerI remember always having the option to force 5.1 surround in windows (pushing 5.1 surround in all my previous creative sound cards on windows)"
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