Hercules Audio Muse Pocket USB External Sound Card - HotHardware

Hercules Audio Muse Pocket USB External Sound Card

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Hercules Audio - Muse Pocket USB External Soundcard
Audio at your Fingertips

Jason R. Gibson
February 29
, 2004

Recently Hercules is punching out more new audio devices then you can shake a stick at.  This time, they're back with yet another way of getting the groove from your computer to your speakers, the Gamesurround Muse Pocket.  Unlike Hercules's last attempt at an external sound machine, their DJ Console, one can not scratch or remix their music with this product.  However, with a simple push of a button, one acquires total volumetric control over the output of the sound card or should we say "knob".

With computer modding and overall visual appearance of ones computer hitting at an all time high recently, Hercules has decided to draw upon the current trends of computer enthusiasts by producing a product that not only puts forth a sleek and stylish feel, but offers a rich variance of connectible options.  Sporting 16-bit 5.1 surround sound, DirectSound, EAX and total USB (1.1 or 2.0) bus-power support,  the Muse should appeal to a wide range of consumers who are looking for an upgrade to their mobile computing equipment.  However, as we all know, the sticker on the box does not always correlate to "real world" performance.  So, in the words of my boy, Will Smith, lets "pump up the volume along with the tempo"... ;)
 

Specifications / Features Of The Pocket Muse
What's Under The Hood...
 

Click Image for Larger View

 

Technical Specifications

 
Sound Card Hardware
  • Records and playback audio in 16-bit in 22, 32, 44 and 48 KHz
  • Stereo record on line in and microphone in
  • Stereo, 4 channels and 5.1 channels play back
  • 3 stereo mini jack plugs for 5.1 surround outputs
  • 1 stereo mini-jack plug for line in
  • 1 stereo mini-jack plug for headphone output
  • 1 Stereo Mini-Jack Plug for Microphone Input
Software
  • 5.1 Channel mixer
  • Set the volume of each channel separately
  • 5.1 Channel surround test panel
    Sensaura engine based surround positioning
  • Position surround sound on 5.1, 4 speakers
  • Choose the audio positioning effect
  • Surround virtualization on stereo headphones
 Button
  • Aluminium Round Button
  • Set volume by rotating the button
  • Mute by pressing on the button
 Cable
  • 150 cm USB cable
  • Audio data transfers
  • USB-bus powered device / no need to plug

 

 

Minimum System Requirements Package Contents
 
  • Pentium? III or Athlon? 500 MHz or higher
  • USB port (USB 1.1 or USB 2.0)
  • Amplifiers Speakers or Stereo Headphone
  • 32MB RAM
  • Win 2000, Win ME, Win XP, Win 98SE
  • 1 x Gamesurround Muse Pocket USB 5.1 Sound Card
  • 1 x Installation CD
  • 1 x User Manual

 
Upon opening the box we found the Muse nestled into a cardboard housing which securely held it in place.  Once removed, the User Manuel and Installation CD, which where tossed loosely into the bottom of the box, where exposed.  As far as extras are concerned, there where none to be found.  One Muse, one manual, one CD, that is the totality of the bundle.
 

Click Image for Larger View

Open Box Box Contents The Muse Bottom of Muse


Comprised of solid aluminum, the Muse has quiet the concrete feel.  The upper rotating cap spins infinitely in either direction which in turn adjusts the volume when powered on.  Below the cap is the beefy aluminum base which houses the six I/O connections around the outside edge.  On the very bottom of the unit is a translucent rubber slab, which keeps the muse in place while in use.  Though the rubber is not the soft pliable type one may find on the bottom of speakers, it is sufficient enough to hold the Muse in place when on a hard, flat surface like your desktop.

 

Setup, Installation and  Software

 
 
   

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