Laptop sound quality has improved in recent years but if you're to make the most of it, you'll need to add an external sound card.

The Creative Blaster X-Fi is a 34mm ExpressCard, but a cradle for 54mm slots is included, so you can use it in any modern laptop. The device protrudes from the slot so can't be left in when carrying your laptop around.

You'll need to install the supplied Creative software, which takes over the basic built-in tools to offer EAX for games and Dolby surround-sound support. The X-Fi Crystalizer features have been designed to make the most of compressed MP3 files by padding out the top and bottom ends that are lost during compression.

The card has an audio output for hooking up to speakers and a separate headphone input. It even has wireless built-in to be used with a wireless receiver.