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TMCNet:  Creative Introduces a Market Game-Changer: the Versatile, Powerful, Fun, and Intelligent Sound BlasterAxx(TM) AXX 200

[December 05, 2013]

Creative Introduces a Market Game-Changer: the Versatile, Powerful, Fun, and Intelligent Sound BlasterAxx(TM) AXX 200

(Marketwire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) SINGAPORE -- (Marketwired) -- 12/05/13 -- Creative Technology Ltd today announced a product that would radically transform the wireless speaker market: the new Sound BlasterAxx� AXX 200 functions as a full-fledged Sound Blaster and a portable, powerful NFC wireless speaker rolled into one. This wireless sound system -- which is fully programmable -- actually intelligently enhances audio in real-time, making it perfect for music, movies, calls and games.

The Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200 also boasts an immense host of other useful and fun features such as a quad microphone array for teleconferencing and Voice Recording, an MP3 Player, and a 'crazy' Super Megaphone that not only amplifies the user's voice in all kinds of zany ways, but also allows the user to karaoke anywhere. The sound system also comes with an insanely loud siren, and even charges the user's smartphone.

Intelligent and Powerful Audio Playback The Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200 boasts a uniquely elegant and polished vertical tower design that houses a patent-pending stacked stereo speaker system, and a built-in SB-Axx1 chip for advanced audio enhancement and customization. This separates the Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200 from other portable wireless speakers in the market -- instead of playing audio as it is, the sound system can actually enhance audio in real-time by utilizing Creative's proprietary SBX Pro Studio� audio technologies to deliver outstanding audio playback for music, movies and games. For example, the sound system is able to boost the clarity of dialog levels in movies with Creative's proprietary SBX Dialog Plus technology. Another great feature is SBX Smart Volume. When in Night Mode, it intelligently minimizes abrupt volume changes. It can also automatically adjust and equalize the volume of different audio tracks -- this helps when users have a collection of different MP3 songs.

Intelligent Personal Wireless Mobile Teleconferencing Device Another key differentiating factor lies with the sound system's advanced communications capabilities, which make it the perfect personal wireless mobile teleconferencing device. The AXX 200 features a proprietary quad microphone array which works in perfect harmony with the SB-Axx1 processor to provide crystal clear 360° voice pickup. The advanced Sound Blaster processor also allows for various advanced proprietary CrystalVoice� voice enhancement technologies not even found in high end teleconferencing systems. For example, CrystalVoice Focus allows the Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200's beamforming microphones to clearly pick up your voice within a specific acoustic zone, while suppressing all noise from outside that zone. This combination of advanced communications technologies and hardware makes the Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200 a superior personal communications device as compared to other portable wireless speakers.

Versatile One-Touch Recording The same quad microphone array and CrystalVoice technologies also work perfectly in facilitating high quality voice recording. The sound system features an Integrated Voice Recorder which allows for versatile one-touch recording of all kinds of audio -- calls, external voices, streamed music, voice and music, Super Megaphone and music, and everything else the user may hear -- directly to an insertable MicroSD card. This is ideal for recording voice memos, lectures, interviews, teleconferencing sessions, business/corporate meetings or even recording spontaneous sing-along sessions. It even comes with a hardware switch to mute the microphone for moments when the user needs privacy.

Integrated WMA and MP3 Player Beyond powerful audio processing, the AXX 200 also provides an option for the most direct and convenient audio playback -- the sound system's Integrated MicroSD WMA and MP3 player lets users play enhanced audio directly from a MicroSD card, so users do not need to always commit their smartphone to play music. The player even allows users to skip music folders so that they can navigate to their songs faster without having to tediously cycle through all their individual tracks.

Super Megaphone In keeping with its ability to produce amazingly loud sound despite its portable size, the AXX 200 also possesses an entirely unique feature -- a Super Megaphone that aggressively amplifies a user's voice on-the-fly. Instant voice amplification has its practical uses -- for example, for attracting attention or directing people -- but it can also be used for fun, allowing users to play pranks on friends or sing out loud to their favorite songs. Users can also instantly transmute themselves into various fantastical characters by adding a whole range of voice effects (CrystalVoice FX) to their voices in real-time, for example, changing male voice to female.

High Quality Wireless Connectivity with NFC for Tap to Connect As the perfect companion for smartphones and tablets, the AXX 200 is able to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth, and utilizes the aptX® and AAC codecs for the highest quality audio and lowest possible latency. The sound system also features the latest Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology, allowing users to quickly and easily connect to Bluetooth devices, requiring only a simple tap from an NFC-enabled smart device to the sound system to pair and establish a connection. Users can also connect two Bluetooth devices to the AXX 200 simultaneously.

Full-fledged Sound Blaster via USB The AXX 200 is not just a wireless speaker for smart devices. Users can connect it to their PCs or Macs via USB to enjoy clear digital audio for their desktops or laptops. But far beyond that, when connected via USB, the AXX 200 doubles up as a full-blown, high-quality Sound Blaster. The built-in multi-core SB-Axx1 processor provides hardware acceleration for SBX Pro Studio and CrystalVoice technologies, targeted at PC users. As with other Sound Blaster cards, the AXX 200 also features a dedicated auxiliary/microphone input, as well as a headphone/line output. For example, when connected to a headset, the AXX 200 utilizes SBX Surround to provide stunning, realistic 3D surround sound, perfect for an immersive listening experience for music, movies and games. At the same time, it functions as a powerful speaker for computers and simultaneously, a wireless speaker for mobile devices.

Dual Purpose Battery The AXX 200 also features a Dual Purpose Battery. The built-in high capacity 5200 mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery is able to provide the sound system with up to 15 hours of playback time. It also serves as a battery bank that can charge a smartphone several times over.

Easy Audio Customization and Control via Apps and PC/Mac Software Users can look forward to full control of their audio settings. This is done on smart devices via a downloaded application called Sound Blaster Central which is available for iOS and Android devices. Audio settings are also customizable when connected to a PC/Mac via the Sound BlasterAxx Control Panel software.

The Next Wave -- Fun with Audio, Anytime, Anywhere, Anyhow "The Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200 represents the next wave in audio -- having fun with audio anytime, anywhere, anyhow!" said Sim Wong Hoo, Chairman and CEO of Creative Technology Ltd. "This powerful AXX 200 is truly portable and besides possessing a full advanced suite of intelligent features, also comes with many zany and useful features that would allow users to have great fun with their audio. Here's a good example: the AXX 200 is the only speaker to incorporate a Super Megaphone. Not just any megaphone, the Super Megaphone leverages our Sound Blaster chip to enable you to change your voice, so you can amaze and amuse (and torment) your friends and be the life of the party. Sing along on the Super Megaphone while your favorite music plays; you have an instant karaoke anytime, anywhere! You can even record your karaoke session! And by popular request, I even added an insanely loud siren. The AXX 200 is a wireless speaker, a Sound Blaster, a speakerphone, an MP3 player, a voice recorder, a battery bank, a karaoke-anywhere device, a siren, a Super Megaphone -- it's a one-of-a-kind wireless sound system that you can use anytime, anywhere, anyhow. It is unlike anything you have ever seen before.

"But beyond all the fun, the built-in SB-Axx1 chip and other advanced technologies in the AXX 200 makes it an incredibly intelligent device. I seriously believe that this is a game-changing product -- it is the start of a whole new race of intelligent wireless speakers.

"With its huge range of features, all of which would collectively cost over US$1,000*, we could sell the AXX 200 for US$499 and it would be a reasonable price. Instead, we initially decided to be competitive and set a standard retail price of US$299.99. But even then, why shouldn't such a game-changing device have a game-changing price? I thought, what the heck, let's make itUS$149.99 for a start! With such a radically aggressive price point, we will be selling the AXX 200 online, beginning in the United States at creative.com." Optional Docking Base + Universal Power AdapterUsers can also purchase a separate docking base that comes with a supplied universal power adaptor. It is designed to seamlessly charge the Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200. The base removes the hassle of having to plug a cable into the AXX 200 every time it needs to be charged -- instead, users can simply drop the AXX 200 onto the docking base for charging.

Intelligent Technological Highlights of the Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200: 1. The Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200 features a built-in Sound Blaster SB-Axx1 chip that enhances all music, movies, gaming audio and calls in real-time, while on-the-go. No other wireless speaker has this.

2. Housed within the AXX 200 are FOUR microphones - This quad microphone array provides clear 360° voice pickup. All noise is further intelligently suppressed by theSB-Axx1 processor, making the sound system perfect for speakerphone teleconferencing, far surpassing the communication capabilities of other wireless speakers.

3. The AXX 200 features a unique Super Megaphone, which allows for instant, aggressive voice amplification, with users also able to add on-the-fly voice effects.

4. Integrated MicroSD WMA and MP3 Player - Plays music directly from a MicroSD Card without having to connect to the user's smart device.

5. Integrated Voice Recorder - Allows for simple, one-touch audio recording directly to a MicroSD card.

6. High-quality aptX® and AAC Bluetooth support for wireless audio playback that sounds as good as a wired connection.

7. NFC connectivity - One tap of an NFC-enabled smart device on the Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200 connect it to a device via Bluetooth.

8. Connects to two Bluetooth-enabled devices simultaneously - Ideal in a situation when a user is watching a movie on a tablet and wants to take a phone call on the Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200 from another device.

9. Dual Purpose Battery - Provides up to 15 hours of continuous wireless audio playback, and serves as a portable backup battery for a smartphone.

10. Capacitive Touch Controls - Allows users to easily adjust and control volume and effects settings, and answer calls! 11. Robust app and software support For iOS and Android users - Sound Blaster Central - Enables complete enhancement and customization of audio playback and voice communications.For PC and Mac users - Sound BlasterAxx Control PanelWhat U Hear feature - Enables mixing or singing or narration with a music track. Ideal for recording Skype calls on a PC or from a Bluetooth connected smartphone - Great for taking minutes after a call.For PC users - Sound BlasterAxx Bonus Pack - Software suite includes WaveStudio that allows users to record their voices into a file that can be used later for inclusion into a video, Creative Media Toolbox, an essential suite of software applications that will make converting, enhancing and organizing digital music a breeze... and more.SBX Pro Studio�Features�: SBX Crystalizer� - Restores the "highs" and "lows" that are compromised during audio compression to create and audio experience as the original artist intendedSBX Smart Volume - Intelligently minimizes abrupt volume changes by automatically adjusting the loudness of audio playbackSBX Dialog Plus - Intelligently enhances voices in music and movies for drastically clearer vocal rangeSBX Bass - Dramatically improves the sound experience by expanding the low frequency tones SBX Surround - Creates unprecedented levels of audio realism by producing virtual speakers around, above and below the listener when he connects a pair of headphones to the Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200�The Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200 is a full-fledged external Sound Blaster sound card. Users can experience the full extent of SBX Pro Studio effects when connected to the Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200 with headphones.

SBX CrystalVoice� Features: CrystalVoice Acoustic Echo Cancellation - Reduces echoes that interfere with voice communications CrystalVoice Noise Reduction - Reduces unwanted background noise from conversationsCrystalVoice Smart Volume - Enables users to be heard clearly without having to shout or whisperCrystalVoice FX - Morphs voices into different characters and accentsCrystalVoice Focus - Suppresses noise outside a specified acoustic zone to enable voice communications to be heard with amazing clarity *Value Comparison Table Individual Feature Estimated Market Value ------------------------------------------------------------------ NFC Wireless Speaker $180 High-end Teleconferencing System $600 Voice Recorder $50 Sound Card $100 MP3 Player $50 BatteryBank $50 Megaphone $50 TOTAL VALUE Over $1,000 Pricing and Availability The Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200 wireless sound system has a suggested retail price of US$299.99 and is available online in the United States now at creative.com -- at a special price of US$149.99.  Worldwide availability will be announced at a later date.

The optional docking base + universal power adaptor can be bought separately at US$59.99.

For more information on Sound BlasterAxx AXX 200, visit soundblaster.com/axx.

About CreativeCreative is a worldwide leader in digital entertainment products. Famous for its Sound Blaster® sound cards and for launching the multimedia revolution, Creative is now driving digital entertainment with cutting-edge audio solutions, premium wireless speakers, wireless headphones and portable media devices. Today, Creative re-invents the Sound Blaster, which has a user base of over 400 million, with its ground-breaking Sound BlasterAxx that aims at the new mobile networked generation by bridging the worlds of the computer, smartphones, and tablets. Creative's proprietary technologies, innovative hardware, applications and services leverage the Internet, enabling consumers to experience high-quality digital entertainment -- anytime, anywhere.  The following files are available for download: fea sb Outdoor2 fea sb Outdoor1 Sound Blaster Axx200 Side View pdt sbx200 4 Sound Blaster Axx200 Front View mhl 163 Ryan SchlieperProduct MarketingCreative Labs, Inc.408-546-6489ryan_schlieper@creativelabs.com Source: Creative Labs, Inc.

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