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Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 SB1090 5.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz USB Interface Sound Card

  • 5.1 Channels
  • 24-bit 96KHz
  • USB Interface

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

Boost your Laptop's audio performance with a USB sound card from one of the premier names in computer audio: Creative Labs. The Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 USB sound card is designed to enhance your laptop's music, movie, and gaming experience at an affordable price. An easy upgrade for your laptop's integrated sound, the card's audio processor with Creative's CMSS-3D technology remixes your stereo audio into surround sound—even through stereo headphones.

EAX Advanced HD enhances game audio tracks, providing a more immersive experience. The Creative Xtreme Fidelity audio technology restores the detail and clarity to your music and movies lost during compression, making all your music and movies sound better! Simply pop this card into a vacant USB port in your laptop and you'll have speaker and headphone connections for stereo to 5.1-channel surround sound.

  • newegg X-Fi CMSS-3D Intelligent Surround Sound Remixing X-Fi CMSS-3D intelligently upgrades your MP3 music, movies and games to surround sound using your multi-channel speakers.
  • newegg EAX ADVANCED HD EAX ADVANCED HD supports multiple simultaneous audio environments for exceptionally realistic 3D sound in FPS (first person shooters), MMORPG (massively multiplayer online RPGs) and many more exciting games!
  • newegg Revitalize Your Downloaded Music and Movies Xtreme Fidelity audio technology restores the detail and clarity to your music and movies lost during compression, making all your music and movies sound better!
  • newegg Creative ALchemy Creative ALchemy restores the audio for legacy gaming titles running on Windows Vista to their former glory - in full surround sound with hardware accelerated audio mixing, sampling rate conversion and EAX effects.

Learn more about the Creative Labs SB1090

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the Creative Labs SB1090

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  • Christian A.
  • 8/31/2012 4:08:51 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggseh

Pros: eh it's okay, not a fan of USB Sound Cards, replaced this with a HT | OMEGA STRIKER 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card

Cons: usb a no no for me

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  • Jeff C.
  • 12/20/2010 12:05:28 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsgood simple usb sound interface

Pros: No driver installation is needed for windows 7 64-bit.
(I don't use the volume knob which would require driver - I use the built in windows 7 drivers which windows installed automatically for it.)

I like the 2-rca connectors for connecting to my older JVC receiver. I haven't seen another usb solution which has these.

Cons: Price is a bit high compared to other usb solutions, but this looks better!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Aaron P.
  • 12/11/2010 7:56:58 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsIntermittent popping/cracking noises

Pros: The unit seems to be well built, and looks good sitting on my desk. The volume knob is definitely a nice thing to have.

Cons: As the title states, the audio signal this unit outputs through the analogue (I can't speak for the SPDIF, since I haven't used it) contains intermittent popping and cracking noises. These noises occurr most frequently with games, but also occur with music and video.

I've tried the drivers on the CD as well as the latest drivers straight from Creative's website. I've followed the troubleshooting tips listed in their forums as well as any I could find elsewhere. I've tried using different USB cables to make sure that the stock cable wasn't simply a shoddy cable. I've tried every output bitrate and frequency avaliable on the product, and the problem still persists. Overall, I've been very dissatisfied with the X-Fi Surround 5.1.

Other Thoughts: In summary, 2/5 eggs, and I would not recommend this product or buy it again.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 11/24/2010 6:44:15 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month


Pros: - Did what it was supposed to... almost.
- No... I lied, it didn't work at all.

Cons: DO NOT BUY FOR A NETBOOK!!! Netbooks simply do not have enough processing power to run this external sound card. I have an ASUS EEEPC 1000HE, one of the most powerful nets on the market. IT CHOKED THIS THING!!! It reduced my video playback performance by 55%, my video game performance by 70% EVEN WITH ALL SOUND EFFECTS DISABLED, AND my netbook stuttered and popped on a lowly MP3 music file!!! Seriously?? YUP!

Also, the drivers are severely broken! I downloaded the latest from and they are missing key features that are talked about in the manual! Namely "Gaming Mode". The control panel for the device features different "modes" that enable/disable features on the card. According to the documentation, there SHOULD be "Entertainment", "Gaming", and "Audio Creation" modes. HOWEVER, ONLY ENTERTAINMENT MODE EXISTS!!! Even with 3rd-Party utilities, trying to switch to the other modes produces a system crash. THEY SIMPLY DO NOT EXIST.

Other Thoughts: As a wrap-up, DO NOT BUY FOR A NETBOOK. Why not? Because this device does all it's audio processing on your computers CPU, INSTEAD of on the devices own hardware, where it SHOULD. So, in essence, you are getting NO HARDWARE ACCELERATION at all! Instead, all this device does is enable SOFTWARE acceleration and more I/O ports. This can DRASTICALLY reduce the performance of your computer if you are trying to run programs that take up more than 50% of your system resources.

And one more thing... DX The volume knob on the top of the device, THAT is software-driven too! That means that if your computer is sluggish or non-responsive, that volume knob will be EXTREMELY laggy, IF it works at all! Seriously, Creative, how hard is it to make a hardware-based knob? Oh! I know that answer! IT'S NOT!!! In fact, it is MUCH easier to make a hardware volume knob! All you need is a single potentiometer!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • All R.
  • 11/20/2010 4:36:09 AM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsIncredible sound!

Pros: Very simple hardware to set up and use. Does everything that is promised and more. Incredible sound especially when used in high end systems but will greatly improve low end systems. Made my low bit rate MP3's sound almost as good as lossless.

Cons: Software is not named intuitivly for ease of identification wehn opening a specific program and can be hard to figure out solely for that reason. Otherwise very configurable with great graphical interface.

Other Thoughts: Even for high end systems this unit can provide sharper clarity and configuration not otherewise available. I would recomend this for anyone playing music from there laptop or desktop. This is a MUST HAVE unit.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Aaron H.
  • 10/22/2010 9:57:24 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGreat Deal minus the Bloat softs

Pros: -Sleek Knob, small black box interface, blue LED power light(O.o).
-Crisp Sound, Tons of Sound and Quality Options depending on what all you allow to install.
-Includes all the cables even an RCA/Stereo plug adapter (but minus a toslink=)
-Worked with just plug and play, but didn't have any options without the software.
-Can totally notice a compressor at work, removing dead noise and distortion. A Welcome touch to any MP3 library.
-Can hear rear surround speakers alot more clearly now.

Cons: -LightWeight.. all most too lightweight for a desktop.. tends to move around a bit unless you have it set in place.

-Software's a pain...seriously. I'd almost suggest just letting plug and play install drivers, but then you'll miss out on the control panel that opens the surround sound options up for you. Avoid installing all the software they want you to.. I'd suggest sticking with just the drivers and then picking and choosing what all you want to install. Alot of it's non essential and pretty old hat.
Also...After installing, Plan for about an Hour of new download updates from Creative. ..might consider going to the source and skipping the install disk.
-The Dashboard definitely will slow down older systems,
but it hasn't been enough to be a bother. DJ's will not want to mutltask.
XP pro sp3 hung up and I had to reinstall it again too...

Other Thoughts: -Made it sound like it should, brought up the mids and highs. Helped surround sound compete especially in the rear channels and subwoofer areas. Removed ground buzz/noise.

-I got this gear to get rid of the annoying ground buzz by going optical... I haven't even gone Toslink yet and the ground buzz is seriously dampened compared to before.
I'm very satisfied and hope this gear lasts.

-I wish the THX version looked like this.. I would have gotten that instead, but either way it works and I'm completely satisfied.

Installed and worked on 4 OS platforms, Tablet XP, XP pro(2), Vista Ultimate. The Older box(2001) suffers , yet new boxes show less if any lag.
and They All sound...Awesome.

-Make sure you set up your speakers, you'll find alot better sound than stock settings with a few tweeks, Like Surround Sound over Surround Expanse.

-Toslink offers no DSP Processing, so if that's what you need you might want something cheaper. But none will look this cool or probably sou

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Taylor P.
  • 9/2/2010 5:41:00 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGood Sound Car

Pros: Its a sound card. It makes the sound a little bit better. And it supports a lot of channels.

Cons: Why do I have to buy a stupid adapter if I want true 5.1?

It doesn't wingman me?

Other Thoughts: Good card for the money. I'm not sure that it takes that much load off my CPU though.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Siddharth K.
  • 8/3/2010 3:21:26 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

2 out of 5 eggsPiece of C$ap

Pros: When it works, it works.

Cons: Drivers are horrible.

Other Thoughts: 1) You will get 5.1 surround sound ONLY if you use this card as a "conduit" to get your signals to your receiver using the optical out. This card will NOT do ANY processing for you if youre using the optical out.
In which case, you might as well use a cheaper card.

2) The drivers are horrible, creative support is bad. I keep getting a message saying "The SBlaster AVMonitoring utility has stopped working" or some such in win 7. Creative support has been very unhelpful in resolving the problem.

Im getting an internal turtle card. Lets hope that fares better.

I thought we were over such driver issues already! Sheesh!

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Phuong N.
  • 7/26/2010 6:06:54 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

3 out of 5 eggsGood but alot of BSOD!

Pros: the price is good and the sound is decent enough for low end gaming/music

Cons: Every few hours and every time i try to update the software i get the Blue Screen. I just can't get it to update without getting the Blue Screen while in the middle of updating

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Debbie P.
  • 7/25/2010 9:29:13 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggs

Pros: Works great, simple design means even my mother could figure it out.

Cons: none yet

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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