It’s a dark day for Creative. If you’re budget-minded, you can get an excellent Razer sound card for $50 today from Woot, and if you’re an A/V snob, Asus’ top-shelf media card, the Xonar, will probably beat the pants off any X-Fi — for a price. Judging by the amount of this post that I do not understand, this sound card is in some deep media-handling territory. There are more audio and video protocols and acronyms being bandied about than I care to say, and it seems the Xonar excels at handling all of them.
Not only that, but its SplendidHD system does hardware post-processing of images, if you like that sort of thing. I find noise filters and contrast adjustment make a big difference with downloaded files, even nice x264 720p Matroskas. If the hardware does it right (which is a matter of taste), that’s one more reason to get this card. They didn’t reveal the price, though, and for the specs, I’d expect quite a lot of damage.