How do you get 5.1 PC sound into your home theater without breaking a sweat? Creative decided to make it easy, rolling out the Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1. The cheap $60 outboard unit plugs into a USB port on your laptop or PC. It can play back DTS and Dolby Digital EX from DVDs if you use the included PowerDVD software, and does some surround simulation tricks, too.
We like the idea of a sound device sitting outboard the electronically noisy computer case. Best of all, it can pass through Dolby Digital sound to your home theater via its optical output. This might solve a problem for us, and for $60, could be a good deal. We’ll test it for you and let you know.