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Creative External Sound Blaster Live! SB0490 5.1 Channels 24-bit 48kHz in 5.1 mode and up to 96kHz in stereo mode USB Interface Sound Card

  • 5.1 Channels
  • 24-bit 48kHz in 5.1 mode and up to 96kHz in stereo mode
  • USB Interface
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Learn more about the Creative Labs SB0490

Model

Brand
Creative
Series
External Sound Blaster Live!
Model
SB0490

Audio core

Channels
5.1
Sample Rate
48kHz in 5.1 mode and up to 96kHz in stereo mode
Digital Audio
24-bit

Ports

Line In
Yes
SPDIF Out
Yes
MIDI/Joystick
No

Spec

Interface
USB

Manufacturer Warranty

Parts
1 year limited

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year


Customer Reviews of the Creative Labs SB0490

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  • Anonymous
  • 4/1/2008 3:48:54 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggs

Pros: this is a fantastic external sound card. it has high-quality audio, it works with every system i've plugged it into, and it is highly customizable with the software included.

Cons: it's external.

Other Thoughts: this is a usb2 device, so ignore the previous reviewer who complained about that.

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

  • Anonymous
  • 3/15/2008 10:22:03 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day

2 out of 5 eggsMicrophone input adds a lot of hiss; not worth it

Pros: USB, if you need that.

Cons: The microphone input is awful. Adds a lot of hiss, so I'm returning it.

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

  • Ran Z.
  • 1/31/2008 9:50:19 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

3 out of 5 eggsGood for basic audio needs

Pros: Allows expanding a laptop sound to 5.1 surround analog. Also support digital out.

Cons: USB 1.1, Stutters with high bandwidth audio.

Other Thoughts: If you need surround sound and you only listen to music, you can get this. If you play games or watch high definition videos, do not get this as the bandwidth limitations in USB 1.1 will cause audio buffer choke and everything goes bad (I mean everything as in you video stutters too as a result).

Not recoomended for anything except basic audio. For everything else. Personally I'm getting an Audigy 2 NX.

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Paul G.
  • 1/9/2008 3:47:52 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggsNO Idea

Pros: May be great but no idea

Cons: I have had this for 2 months and so far still can not get to work with 64bit Vista.

1 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Dmitry P.
  • 12/27/2007 4:21:08 PM
  • Tech Level: Average
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsgreat sound quality

Pros: good sound quality for headphones, perfect combination of base, etc.

Cons: old drivers (2003)

Other Thoughts: might not be same version i have

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

  • Cassie S.
  • 12/11/2007 4:51:57 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsHorrible Product

Pros: Has lights. Volume control. Comes with cables.

Cons: Plays sound at around 4x the speed it should be playing. Conflicts with video codex and takes about 20 minutes of letting my music play before it corrects itself and plays at the correct speed.

Other Thoughts: The only reason I bought this was to connect it to a coax amp set up with 5.1 surround sound. Now I wish I had just bought Creative's Coax to Digital I/O connector. I wish newegg carries this product, I don't trust Creative.

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

  • Vijay R.
  • 10/13/2007 9:27:11 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsNot worthy

Pros: External, looks nice, easy to plug sound devices. Works with really long usb cables, volume and mic knobs in front for easy access, front digital volume control makes the mic volume control the only moving part.

Cons: Dont know what the fuss is about. This soundcard attempts to simulate extra clarity by natively boosting bass and treble, thereby leaving the midrange muddled and dampened on both on the analog and digital ports!!!!! Ticks me off bigtime because I am a serious music buff who deals with ambience and new age music more often. Get a cheaper soundcard with optical out which *DOESNT* do this treble boosting instead. I would strongly suggest the philips aurilium or even better- the M-audio audiophile 2496. After listening to the M-audio for 1 year, switching to this 'treble beast' is seriously annoying. At lower volume, I can hardly hear anything but sizzles. I am sure a lot of users who had posted good reviews about this product would agree with me once they do a direct comparison with a serious card.

3 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Teresa B.
  • 9/20/2007 9:35:39 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggshey

Pros: I've had this product since about a week after it came out. It does everything it says. I've never needed to update the drivers. a perfect replacement for a laptop with a fried audio chip!

Cons: none with the card, just that a june bug fried my audio chip in my laptop.

Other Thoughts: I learned from trial and error that in order to get 5.1 from the SPDIF output, I had to make sure the software i was using (I.E. the dvd program, the video game, etc., etc.) was configured to run in 5.1 (default on just about everything was standard stereo). I've got to say that this may be one of the best audio cards available for laptops.

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

  • Anonymous
  • 8/7/2007 6:25:04 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week

3 out of 5 eggsSPDIF Is Not 5.1!

Pros: What it actually does, it does quite well. Bundleware didn't totally take over my system.

Cons: Before purchasing, I downloaded the "manual" (just a help file), and since it was rater vague, called tech support. They assured me that the SPDIF output was indeed 5.1, necessary since my speakers only work via SPDIF. Tried latest software and drivers, ("latest" 2+ year old, that is), still nothing. If you set it to Digital Only, you don't get any options other than 2 speaker, if you don't, it allows you to set 5.1, but you only get sound from FL & FR. Also, the 24/96 is a little misleading. The hardware is in fact 24/96, but the signal is only 16/48... the "extra" insures greater accuracy of the existing signal and does make a difference, but it still is 16/48.

Other Thoughts: This is not really a con, just something to be aware of with any external sound card... if you use a device such as a TV tuner that has an internal audio connection (i.e. the CDA port) you'll have to figure out how to run a line to the box. (I already have a cable MacGuyverred up for the purpose)

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 7/29/2007 10:12:54 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

2 out of 5 eggsNot a good buy

Pros: Plays music well.

Cons: First, the SB website claims you can use this for mp3, etc. But once you buy, they ask for money for mp3 software.
Second, it removes your speaker icon and places its own icon in the tray. You can add yours back.
Third, it stuttering in eve-online.
Fourth, it picks up cellphone noise.

Other Thoughts: Nice try, but this product will not work so long as it has these problems.

3 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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