Creative claimed that the products in question could handle 24-bit audio at 96Khz - indeed this was stated on the product boxes in bold letters, and in all advertising. But complaints filed in 2003 pointed out that this was only true in a very limited set of circumstances, and pretty much all of the audio passing through the cards would actually be processed at lower quality.
The difference probably wouldn't concern the average gamer or casual MP3 enthusiast, but many of those planning to use the Creative cards for professional-quality audio were outraged by the labelling.
Owners of all of the original Audigy series are included in the proposed settlement. This includes the Audigy ES, Audigy Platinum, Audigy Platinum eX, Audigy Gamer, Audigy MP3+ and also the original Extigy external USB sound module.
Creative did not admit liability, but graciously agreed to settle the embarrasing case. Anyone, anywhere* who purchased one of these products before the end of 2004, and is unhappy with the audio processing, will be able to get 25 per cent off the cost of their next purchase from Creative's website, up to a limit of $62.50.
Hurry, this great offer ends September 25, 2005.
Meanwhile, the lawyers who helped inflict this savage punishment on Creative will get up to $470,000 for their work, it seems.
Interestingly, the three individuals who originally filed the complaint receive a mere $1000 to $3000 for all their trouble.
More information and legal documents here. µ
* IN NORTH OR South America only, apparently.