Believe it or not, the USB device pictured is actually a sound card. The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! (the exclamation mark is actually part of the name, depressingly) is designed to give laptop gamers “ultra-realistic” headphone surround sound. Now you can experiencing a harrowing and bleak war zone scenario when on the train too!
Squeezed into the device are lots of exciting technologies that probably require headphones that are slightly better than the ones that are cheapest in the Argos catalogue. There’s X-Fi 360 degree headphone surround, EAX Advanced HD 4.0 (added “environmental” sound processing so sounds come from a specific “position” rather than just everywhere then into your ears) and support for OpenAL hardware accelerated audio (which is like how OpenGL is to graphics cards).
Apparently the built in Voice FX chip will allow you to digitally alter your voice when playing online games – so it’ll be much easier to pretend to be a girl on World of Warcraft.
What’s pretty clever about the sound card is that because it is a plug & play USB device, all of the driver files and like are stored on the device itself on the 1GB of flash memory – which you can also use as basic USB storage.
If this sounds like your sort of thing (see what I did there? That’s journalism, that is), then you can get it for £39.99 – and Creative will even chuck in Creative Wave Studio and Creative Karaoke Player free.