Creative Sound Blaster Extigy review


While the Audigy is Creative’s latest PCI Soundcard, Extigy is their first external Soundcard. Though seemingly having much in common feature wise with the Audigy, the Extigy is NOT an external Audigy and this review will cover why not as well as what it is & how they differ. The Extigy also features some great stand-alone capabilities, not just the fact that thanks to a USB interface it can just as be easily used with a laptops or as a Dolby Digital decoder for your DVD Player, Xbox or whatever.


Manuals & Installation

As per normal with Creative products now the Manual comes in 2 parts, with the actual print one being a Quick Start/Install guide for the hardware & the other being the Extigy PDF Manual on the Installation CD which covers pretty much everything about the product, e.g. connecting to different Speakers/Hardware, Driver installation, etc. & is well detailed.

Installation wise the Extigy proved rather simple to setup. Rather than requiring you to open up your PC & find a free PCI slot all you need is to have a free USB port to connect to on your PC & you’re effectively setup (In stand-alone mode this isn’t even required). Should you want to there’s 2 plastic stands that will allow you to tilt the Extigy on it’s side if need be. Then just power on the Extigy & run the Installation CD. Interestingly enough the Extigy is perhaps the first product I’ve reviewed with a specific installation warning before the Hardware itself is installed.

Once beyond this point you go through the usual setup options. Though much like the Audigy the Extigy will automatically force the Drivers to be installed regardless of which option you choose. Should you try re-run setup after having installed the Extigy you’ll receive the following message:

In this way the Extigy is somewhat better the Audigy Installation CD, which doesn’t give you such a warning/option, which usually resulted in you receiving several Windows File Protection error messages were you to have updated its Drivers & merely decided you wanted to, say install PlayCenter thanks to the Drivers being auto-installed.


Software Bundle

The SoundBlaster Extigy is bundled with the following Applications:

  • Creative Audio Control

  • Creative Diagnostics

  • Creative Audio Mixer

  • Creative WaveStudio

  • Creative PlayCenter

  • Creative Recorder

  • Creative RemoteCenter

  • Creative MiniDisc Center

3rd Party Software

  • iM Tuner - iM Networks

  • MixMeister Technology's MixMeister 3.03

You can read more on the software bundle at PlayCenter will be covered in more detail later on, along with some of the control applets. Like most Creative hardware bundles the only thing that might be considered missing is a software DVD decoder, more so because pretty much every other hardware vendor includes one with their Graphics card/Soundcard.

Overall though the software bundle with the Extigy shouldn’t really be too much of a consideration when decoding whether or not to purchase it & to be honest other than perhaps PlayCenter 3 you’ll likely find the other applications of any use (Bar the Control/Mixer software).

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