Summary: The reasonably priced Creative Xmod does a remarkable job of making audio sound brighter, deeper, and more vibrant.
Pros: Creative's Xmod enhances compressed audio by effectively converting it to 24-bit audio; attractive and easy-to-use hardware; no drivers required; PC and Mac compatible; works with any audio source; priced right.
Cons: The Creative Xmod requires an AC adapter for use with line-in audio devices such as an MP3 player; does not ship with an AC adapter; not a true portable solution.
Excerpt: Creative is a little late to the wireless music-streaming party, but the company comes with a gift its competitors can’t match: the X-Fi Crystalizer technology lifted from its X-Fi soundcard line. The Xmod Wireless base station captures your PC’s audio stream and transmits it to a remote receiver.
Pros: Great sound quality at a great price. Stylish
Cons: No display on remote or receiver; no independent streaming; can't stream Internet radio.
Excerpt: With the popularity of laptops over desktop PCs, and the zillion other portable media devices that interface with your computer rather than with your standard stereo system, it comes as no surprise that Creative is looking for ways to cater to that segment as well.
Excerpt: Being audio purists, we typically piss on products that sit in the midst of an audio stream and manipulate what the artist intended to create. But when listening to music played through Creative’s X-Fi soundcards, we’ve increasingly found ourselves turning on the 24-bit Crystalizer—and liking it! Creative’s 24-bit Crystalizer converts an incoming audio signal to 24-bit resolution with a sampling rate of 96kHz.
Pros: The 24-bit crystalizer helps audio sound more...real.
Cons: Only certain songs end up sounding like trash
Conclusion: Xmod is an interesting accessory for a notebook, which can replace the integrated audio in convenience and audio quality. Good large digital volume control, separate outputs for headphones and speakers, built-in effects that can be disabled. Cons: no hardware support for 3D audio in games, you have to buy a power adapter for the autonomous mode, the price is rather high for our market (MSRP $80), we could buy a sterling sound card with converters of higher quality with...
Excerpt: The Xmod is Creative’s first external sound card to implement X-Fi technology. X-Fi has been securing Creative’s leading position in the sound card market for a long time thanks to its excellent sound quality enhancing functions. The Xmod offers a similar feature set to full blown X-Fi cards, incorporating CMSS 3D and Crystalizer technologies to enhance the quality of your sound output in ways an internal sound card can only dream of.