EVGA NU Audio - Subjective Analysis And Conclusion
Nu Audio And With Music:We listened to a variety of music sources on the EVGA NU Audio, using both a Corsair SP2500 2.1 channel speaker system and mid-level quality earbuds, which included low-quality, streamed internet radio, high-bitrate MP3s, uncompressed WAV audio files, and even store-bought CDs (yes, we have some laying around). Across the board, sound quality was excellent and was noticeably better than our motherboard’s integrated audio solution (a Realtek S1220A on an Asus X299 Deluxe). Listening to a variety of top 40 titles, we were continually impressed by the sound quality being output by the NU Audio. Highs are clean and crisp, mids are clear and easily distinguished, and lows are solid and punchy. The same can be said for all of the music sources we tries -- everything simply sounded great.
Nu Audio And Movies:Listening to movies was also very good on the EVGA NU Audio. We watched a handful of movies including Avengers Infinity War, Black Panther, and even tried a couple of musical Disney titles like Frozen and sound quality across the board was great. Vocals were particularly easy to distinguish and highs were crisp. As good as the sound quality was, however, output from the headphone jack is straight 2-channel stereo, and of course, we were attached to a 2.1 channel speaker system, so there wasn’t anything happening in terms of surround sound. That said, the card can pump out true 5.1 audio via its digital output and it supports in-game Virtual Surround that have the feature.
Nu Audio And Gaming:Many of the same impressions we had with regard to movies rang true with gaming as well. We played some FarCry 5, F1 2018, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider and all sound exceptionally well through our headphones and speakers. Overall sound quality was excellent and the gunshots and explosions were as crisp and clear as we’ve ever heard. It seems that separation of individual frequencies is just plain better on the NU Audio (especially when compared to cheap, integrated solutions), which results in crisper, more easily distinguishable sound effects and music.
The EVGA NU Audio card is available now with an MSRP of $249. EVGA Elite members, however, can get their hands on one for $199. There are multiple ways to become and EVGA Elite member, if you’d like one of these cards and want to save that fifty bucks – you can read up on the ways right here. Either way, $199 - $249 is a steep asking price for a sound card in this day an age of decent, integrated multi-channel solutions. But, EVGA isn’t going after users happy with integrated audio with this card. EVGA's NU Audio is an enthusiast-class, pro-sumer audio device through and through, and in comparison to other products in this category, pricing is competitive. Although it’s a brand-new product, the EVGA NU Audio behaved well in our short-time testing the card and in all honesty, the clean, uncluttered software interface is kind of refreshing – there will be new features coming to drivers in the coming weeks, however. We should also mention that EVGA is offering buyers of the NU Audio card access to some high-fidelity audio files that show off the capabilities of the card and can’t even be played back on most other solutions.
EVGA is entering a tough market segment with its NU Audio card, but our early initial impressions are quite good. If you’re a discerning audiophile looking to up the quality of sound being pumped out of (or into) your PC, you should probably give the EVGA NU Audio a listen.