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Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! review

High quality audio through your USB port

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go!
The idea of this handy little gadget is to give you high quality audio without having to pull your laptop apart

Our Verdict

A good idea to bring high quality audio to people via a USB socket but the increase in CPU usage could be a deal breaker for those with limited battery life


  • USB interface
  • Good quality sound


  • Makes your CPU work harder

Although everyone loves netbooks, almost to the point of copulating with one every night, they're usually fairly impotent in certain departments. Possibly the most noticeable of these – outside graphical limitations – is sound, where hideous onboard solutions rule the roost. Creative's X-Fi Go! promises to add high-quality sound to your portable PC via the magic of USB.

Yet the situations where X-Fi Go! provides you with a genuine benefit are fairly limited. Not that the USB device doesn't deliver on the audio front – the Crystalizer is effective in rounding out your MP3 and ALchemy adds support for ageing games under Vista.

The simulated 3D effect is fairly convincing in games, too. It all sounds great, until you realise it's bumped up your processor usage by 25 per cent. Just what you want when your Eee's flimsy battery is dying.

For home use it could just about work – although a full-size internal card would be a preferable solution. If you're out but near a power point then it might come in handy and we reckon anyone who uses their netbook to DJ would find it useful.

But the sharp increase in processor use ultimately negates its intended purpose of delivering quality sound on the go. Not quite the aural Viagra we were hoping for, then.