Creative's much-ballyhooed X-Fi audio processing technology has been available in dedicated sound cards for some time, but the company's now seen fit to set it free from its PCI confines, announcing the more versatile and equally Xtreme Xmod external unit. As with other X-Fi gear, the Xmod promises to dramatically improve sound quality, with Creative even going so far as to claim that your MP3, WMA, or AAC files will sound better than the original CD quality (it says so in the press release, so it must be true). The difference with this unit, of course, is that you don't have to crack open your box to use it -- which also means that you can use it with a laptop or MP3 player. To do so, you simply connect the Xmod between your computer or MP3 player and your speakers or headphones, plug in the USB cable (or in the case of an MP3 player, the optional AC adapter) and let the magic happen. If you're skeptical (though we can't see why you would be) you'll be able to snag one of these later this month for $80 and check it out for yo' self.
UPDATE: That was quick, generationmp3 already has hands-on shots of the Xmod. Peep a couple pictures after the break or head on over for the full set.