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Old Dec 13, 2009, 08:07 AM   #1
Editor-
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Soundblaster XFI surround 5.1 usb

Hello everyone

The new iMacs finally convinced me to swap from Windows to Mac. There is one major question that I have though: I always have been a big fan of music and got myself a logitech x540 installed in my room. At the moment I am on a laptop and connect the speakerset through a SB XFI 5.1 Surround USB - http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Labs-.../dp/B0017QQQAE

I have googled the internet and many people do confirm that Creative does not have drivers for the Mac world so I might not be able to use that XFI on my mac. The question is, what external soundcard is worth buying?

I've heard good things about

Numark Dj i/o - http://www.amazon.com/Numark-DJ-Mult...0713214&sr=1-1
Fireware - http://www.synthtopia.com/images/griffin_firewave.jpg

Can someone help me out?
Thanks !
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 04:19 AM   #2
dzleo
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Actually the SB X-Fi 5.1 Surround DOES work for Mac. I just bought mine and connected it to my Logitech X540 and it works like a charm. Only thing that doesn't work is the volume control. You have to set it up using the Audio MIDI Setup BTW. I'm using Snow Leopard, so i'm not sure if it'll work on older versions of Mac OS.
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Old Jul 25, 2010, 02:20 PM   #3
nazariof
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For sure???

Quote:
Originally Posted by dzleo View Post
Actually the SB X-Fi 5.1 Surround DOES work for Mac. I just bought mine and connected it to my Logitech X540 and it works like a charm. Only thing that doesn't work is the volume control. You have to set it up using the Audio MIDI Setup BTW. I'm using Snow Leopard, so i'm not sure if it'll work on older versions of Mac OS.
Did you get working all the 5 speakers.. i'm reading in other places that only front left and right work... did you have any problems in the beginning...

I also have a logitech 5.1 set and the only product that i can actually buy easily is this... the firewave is no longer available.
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Old Nov 26, 2010, 04:36 AM   #4
heidelfuchs
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all channels work.

Hey there,

despite this is an old thread I felt like answering the last question because I have this card and it actually works great (but not the Volume control)

To use all Channels go to applications -> utilities -> audio/midi setup and configure the card with all channels (16 or 24bit!). After that everything should work fine, also in Traktor.

My personal question would if there is any possibility to control the Mastervolume. The OS-Integrated control doesn't seem to work for the card and the controller on the device does nothing too. So in my case all channels are at 100% without any chance to adjust it. Does anyone have a solution for this problem?

greetings
Heidelfuchs
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Old Nov 30, 2010, 11:36 PM   #5
mcmood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heidelfuchs View Post

To use all Channels go to applications -> utilities -> audio/midi setup and configure the card with all channels (16 or 24bit!). After that everything should work fine, also in Traktor.
Hi, I did the audio/midi setup and made sure it showed 6 channels and configured the speakers. But my itunes still plays my cd's through only the left and right speakers. Any clue why, or what I have missed out. I didn't get what you meant by Traktor.
Thanks in advance!
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Old Dec 1, 2010, 12:03 AM   #6
heidelfuchs
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you're right. I face the same problem. Itunes will play on all speakers only if surround information are available. So this is an issue of itunes, not of the soundcard. DVDs and in my case Traktor should therefore work fine with all channels.

I really miss the function in Itunes to set 2x2Stereo for listening to the Music with four speakers. I would be happy if someone got a hack for that.
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Old Dec 1, 2010, 06:48 AM   #7
mcmood
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Any other players...

Would using an alternative player for audio cd's work then? Do you or anyone know of good alternatives?

Secondly, in the audio/midi setup section. I can test sound from all individual speakers in the speakers configuration section. That works. But on the main screen, where there seems to be individual controls for each speaker, where I believe I would be able to individually amplify or reduce the sound output of individual speakers. Despite seeing those options, I am unable to change those individual options. Is that the case for you too?

I am guessing an audio cd, doesn't generally include more than stereo information? (It's just a voice audio cd - i just would like in the absence of surround sound info that it plays through the other main speakers too like on my PC)

Thanks in advance.
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Old Dec 1, 2010, 07:50 AM   #8
heidelfuchs
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yes I face the same with the mixer in audio - midi controls and in general with the apple mixer. For some reason the mac is not able to control any volume adjusters of the card. But the Channels are there and it should rely on the software to use them. In other words, I would say yes, it could work with another player where you can use 2-4-6 speakers for stereo sound. But I have to admit that i haven't found such a software by now. VLC which is in windows perfectly capable of that misses any deeper possibilities for the configuration of audio on my mac.
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Old Mar 21, 2011, 07:44 AM   #9
beepp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzleo View Post
Actually the SB X-Fi 5.1 Surround DOES work for Mac. I just bought mine and connected it to my Logitech X540 and it works like a charm. Only thing that doesn't work is the volume control. You have to set it up using the Audio MIDI Setup BTW. I'm using Snow Leopard, so i'm not sure if it'll work on older versions of Mac OS.
Hi, what is the quality of sound compared to build in one? Does mic an line in work?

Is there any latency when using live instrument in garage band or other audio apps?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Apr 14, 2011, 11:03 AM   #10
gohabsgo30
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Very cheap alternative

Hey guys!
I have a MBP as well and since getting it I've been researching solution to my soundcard problem as well. I have an altec lansing 5.1 sound system that is just great and couldn't bear with the thought of replacing it just to connect it. So I came to try plugging 2 Y splitters into my minijack and simply connecting my three 1/8 plugs (from the speakers) into the 2 Y's and plugging the First Y into my computer. Honestly it works perfectly. I'm not an absolute audio freak so I can't hear the difference, that is probably there. I get very good 5.1 sound from all my songs in itunes, except some videos online that don't go 5.1 sometimes.
I see that the creative looks ok but probably won,t give me anything better than this.
Could anyone tell me if they see something wrong with my setup? as in if it,s bad for either my speakers or mbp please? thanks alot!
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Old Apr 15, 2011, 12:56 AM   #11
scottzer0
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcmood View Post
Hi, I did the audio/midi setup and made sure it showed 6 channels and configured the speakers. But my itunes still plays my cd's through only the left and right speakers. Any clue why, or what I have missed out. I didn't get what you meant by Traktor.
Thanks in advance!
Just purchased this device hoping to to solve my desire to have both a 5.1 surround experience out of my Mac Mini as well as a something to virtualize the surround audio for headphones and gaming.

I've found that in addition to setting to 6-ch in Audio Midi Setup, you have to also select "Multichannel" in the Configure Speakers... dialog. From there, if you select "Stereo", "5.1 Surround", "Quadraphonic" and "Hexagonal" you switch how the Sound Blaster uses the output channels. Quadraphonic should do what you want, 2x2 stereo. The Hexagonal uses all 6 channels, so 3x2.

I'm disappointed that the the volume is stuck at 100% and the knob doesn't to anything. I'm on the lookout for hack to control volume and switch speaker setups quickly.

.scott
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Old May 8, 2011, 08:35 AM   #12
mamun217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottzer0 View Post
Just purchased this device hoping to to solve my desire to have both a 5.1 surround experience out of my Mac Mini as well as a something to virtualize the surround audio for headphones and gaming.

I've found that in addition to setting to 6-ch in Audio Midi Setup, you have to also select "Multichannel" in the Configure Speakers... dialog. From there, if you select "Stereo", "5.1 Surround", "Quadraphonic" and "Hexagonal" you switch how the Sound Blaster uses the output channels. Quadraphonic should do what you want, 2x2 stereo. The Hexagonal uses all 6 channels, so 3x2.

I'm disappointed that the the volume is stuck at 100% and the knob doesn't to anything. I'm on the lookout for hack to control volume and switch speaker setups quickly.

.scott
After all the above settings also, rear speakers are not working. Once I save information in Audio/MIDI setup then close and open again, 5.1 speaker setup resets and shows stereo again.

Any idea?

Mamun
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Old May 9, 2011, 07:09 AM   #13
mamun217
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Help from anyone please...
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Old Jun 15, 2011, 11:37 AM   #14
soundguy15
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I'm using a custom setup of Jack OS X and Soundflower.

http://www.jackosx.com/
http://cycling74.com/products/soundflower/

Use Jack to re-route the audio from iTunes to all 6 speakers and use Soundflower to control the volume.

It takes some work to get Jack working. I found this tutorial to be pretty useful.

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/lof...p/t181929.html

hope this helps.
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Last edited by soundguy15; Jun 15, 2011 at 01:34 PM.
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Old Jun 15, 2011, 06:31 PM   #15
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Just word of warning about SoundFlower. It messes up OS X upgrades. Remember that when "Upgrading to Lion".

I use Audio Hijack Pro, Amadeus Pro & a Mackie Onyx 1620i. Love the setup out the optical port while running Logic.
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Old Jun 15, 2011, 06:58 PM   #16
soundguy15
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Thanks for the warning. I'll be sure to remove it before I update.
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Old Sep 22, 2011, 03:43 PM   #17
jammingator
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Just plugged my Creative X-Fi card in and like reported it works....but at 100% volume with no control. So I'm googling trying to find a solution.

I'm curious on Soundflower as my install of Plex asked for a Soundflower download as well -- can't remember why. Audio syncing maybe.

Would Audio HiJack Pro or the others listed serve just as well?

Last edited by jammingator; Sep 22, 2011 at 03:49 PM.
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Old Aug 24, 2012, 06:35 PM   #18
steven0601
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Finally Worked it Out!

Hi all

Just bought my Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro Yesterday,

After much challenge and looking around i figured out the best way to run the sound blaster in 5.1 Full surround using two pieces of software and still have control on the mac keyboard and apple remote for sound.

First Download and install Xcode from apple... https://developer.apple.com/xcode/

Second: Download AU Lab & Soundflower from... http://osxdaily.com/tag/au-lab/

Install AU Lab then Soundflower... (easy bit done)

Setting audio up in AU Lab

Open SOUND PREFERENCES in Mac control pannel and select 'Soundflower (2ch)'

open up AU Lab using the spotlight menu

In the left sidebar (factory configurations) select 'Stereo In/5.1 Out'

In 'Audio Input Device' select the 'Soundflower (2ch)'

In 'Audio Output Device' select the 'SB X-FI Surround 5.1 Pro'

And click 'create document'

Thats it...

If you want your audio to be louder simply click 'Edit' and 'Add Audio Input' then click 'OK'

Done

You should have full control using apple audio buttons and menu

p.s. dont forget to save your document... and you must run AU Lab to have your audio output (easiest option - right click over the AU Lab in the Dock, click Options then 'Open at Login'

Thanks and i hope this helps a lot for those who are struggling in 10.6.X - 10.8.X
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Old Aug 30, 2012, 04:08 AM   #19
USINGH
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Getting sound from only two speakers out of 5.1 speaker

Hi,

I am using Creative x-fi surround sound with Logitech z506 speaker connected to Mac Mini Early 2009 (10.6.8). I have enabled 5.1 multichannel in MIDI setup but sound comes from only 2 speakers and subwoofer. I also tried configuring soundflower both 2 channel & 64 channel. set them as input device in AU LAB and x-fi surround as output. Also selected soundflowerbed with 2 channel & 64 channel for respectively for the two test but it again gave only 2 channel output. What I am doing wrong? can some one help me with detailed instructions.

Also I followed instruction given by Steven0601 but it did not help. sound control does not work
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 04:33 PM   #20
nox-uk
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I have this card, and I am sure the mic socket used to work fine under Mac OS, can anyone with this card confirm it works? and if they have ML or not - thats the only thing thats really changed on my Mac recently :/

Nox
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 05:17 PM   #21
karystxr
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Not working

Quote:
Originally Posted by steven0601 View Post
Hi all

Just bought my Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro Yesterday,

After much challenge and looking around i figured out the best way to run the sound blaster in 5.1 Full surround using two pieces of software and still have control on the mac keyboard and apple remote for sound.

First Download and install Xcode from apple... https://developer.apple.com/xcode/

Second: Download AU Lab & Soundflower from... http://osxdaily.com/tag/au-lab/

Install AU Lab then Soundflower... (easy bit done)

Setting audio up in AU Lab

Open SOUND PREFERENCES in Mac control pannel and select 'Soundflower (2ch)'

open up AU Lab using the spotlight menu

In the left sidebar (factory configurations) select 'Stereo In/5.1 Out'

In 'Audio Input Device' select the 'Soundflower (2ch)'

In 'Audio Output Device' select the 'SB X-FI Surround 5.1 Pro'

And click 'create document'

Thats it...

If you want your audio to be louder simply click 'Edit' and 'Add Audio Input' then click 'OK'

Done

You should have full control using apple audio buttons and menu

p.s. dont forget to save your document... and you must run AU Lab to have your audio output (easiest option - right click over the AU Lab in the Dock, click Options then 'Open at Login'

Thanks and i hope this helps a lot for those who are struggling in 10.6.X - 10.8.X
Man I did everything and still doesnt work.There is no sound coming from anywhere!!
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Old Jan 6, 2013, 07:11 PM   #22
1251division
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karystxr View Post
Man I did everything and still doesnt work.There is no sound coming from anywhere!!
karystxr--I'm getting ready to set this up on my new iMac running ML also. I'm transferring over my x-fi from my previous windows laptop. From steven0601's post, what is the purpose of installing Xcode? It doesn't seem to be used from his instructions as far as I can tell.
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Old Apr 15, 2013, 05:25 PM   #23
Muscle
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reviving an old thread.

I'm looking for a USB solution to get surround sound on my headphones for FPS games. I'm currently using Soundblaster Recon3d, but its performance is a bit lacking.

Was wondering if the X-Fi would be a better fit for headphones (Audio Technica AD900 / Sennheiser HD598).

I understand the device is not supported by OS X but there are ways to work around it.

TIA
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Old Aug 7, 2013, 01:26 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muscle View Post
Was wondering if the X-Fi would be a better fit for headphones (Audio Technica AD900 / Sennheiser HD598).
Did you ever buy the X-FI? Have some Tritton 5.1 headphones and thought the optical output would work from my late 27" iMac, but I can't get to work. Wondered if the relatively cheap X-Fi would solve the issue.
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