September 2013 Anthony Garland
Creative has once again updated their Sound Blaster line with another USB DAC – Omni Surround 5.1. The Omni does not just provide a 100dB 600-ohm headphone amp but it also offers the Creative labs SBX Pro Studio.
This software suite truly is what makes the Omni special as this enables the same Dolby Digital Live functionality found on Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 motherboard, the ASRock Fatal1ty Pro Z87 or other high end PC gaming enthusiasts motherboards. Simply put, Dolby Digital Live converts any audio signal in real-time into Dolby Digital bitstream for playback through a home theater to create a 5.1 surround soundstage.
As for the Omni itself, it is a small black and red box that is not much large than your typical DAC, yet it is crammed with features not usually seen in this price range. In additional to the Mac/PC friendly software, the Omni also boasts a large volume knob on top with integrated dual microphone array for stereo sound recording.
On one side, it features a 3.5mm stereo jack and a microphone jack while output for 5.1 analog output as well as a TOSLINK optical out can be found on the rear of the unit. Expect the USB 2.0-based Omni Surround 5.1 to land in October with a price of about $86.
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