Items tagged with Sound card

As most of you are probably aware, Creative Labs, is one of the Founding Fathers of PC Audio and has manufactured sound cards and other audio-related hardware for 30 years. The original Sound Blaster was the de facto standard for DOS gaming audio almost right from its release in 1989. As high-profile PC games like Wolfenstein 3D came out with Sound Blaster compatibility trumpeted on their boxes, the company rose to prominence with its Yamaha OPN and OPL-based FM synthesis sound cards. Fast forward to today, and the house that Sound Blaster Built is still pumping out new and better audio hardware. Today, we're going to take a look at the company's latest flagship audio wunderkind, the just- announced... Read more...
EVGA boldly entered a new product category and launched its first sound card at CES, the aptly named EVGA Nu Audio. The Nu Audio card represents the culmination of a few years of co-development efforts with the folks at U.K.-based Audio Note, makers of high-end audio reproduction equipment. Unlike many sounds cards that tweak and massage source material to produce various effects, EVGA’s goal with the NU Audio card was strictly on quality and playing back source material as close to how the original creators intended, with minimal filtering. To that end, the NU Audio card is packing nothing but top-notch components, right down to its Nichicon solid-state capacitors and audio-grade resistors.... Read more...
EVGA announced that it will enter the sound card market with its NU Audio card. EVGA partnered with a UK corporation known as Audio Note to engineer and produce the card, and the company claimed that the high quality of this card's components allow it to produce lifelike audio. The NU Audio sound card has a rigid metal exterior that is fairly plain in appearance. The company's name is inscribed alongside the product's name on the card's side in RGB LED lights that support 10 different display modes. At the heart of the card's design is an XMOS xCore-200 DSP that helps to efficiently process the audio and remove the strain from the host processor. A high-performance AKM AK4493 32-bit DAC that... Read more...
Creative Labs was instrumental in evolving PC audio with notable products, like the Sound Blaster 16, AWE 32, AWE64, Live!, Audigy, X-Fi, and Extigy, and algorithms like EAX technology. Most of its competitors through the last three decades, like Yamaha, ESS, Turtle Beach, Auzentech and M-Audio, evolved their product line-ups or faded into obscurity. There were acquisitions of Aureal and Sensaura technologies that further boosted Creative's technology portfolio, too. Sound cards seem passé nowadays, as motherboard manufacturers hop up high-definition audio codecs with higher quality op-amps, capacitors, shielding and S/PDIF outputs, that make discrete sound cards a harder sell. But despite all... Read more...
Today we're looking at the Sound Blaster ZxR, Creative's flagship audio solution for PC power users. It's also one of three available cards in Creative's ultra high-performance Z-Series of sound cards, the ZxR being the top-end solution. It boasts a signal-to-noise (SNR) of 124dB that Creative claims is 89.1 times better than your motherboard's integrated audio solution. It also features a built-in headphone amplifier, beamforming microphone, a multi-core Sound Core3D audio processor, and various proprietary audio technologies. We'll examine the Sound Blaster ZxR in detail and figure out what kind of audience is best suited for a card of this caliber. To do that, we'll compare the ZxR to onboard... Read more...
Back in the day (which, for you youngsters, is a scientific measurement of time reserved for anyone who used to walk to school during snowstorms, uphill, both ways), integrated audio solutions had trouble earning respect. Many enthusiasts considered a sound card an essential piece to the PC building puzzle. Depending on how far your PC gaming roots go back, you may recall fierce competition in the discrete audio space between AdLib and Sound Blaster, two heavy hitters that pretty much pioneered the category. While AdLib would eventually end up as a footnote in the history of PC audio, the Sound Blaster brand lives on. It's been 25 years since the first Sound Blaster card was introduced, a pretty... Read more...
They're not quite the odd couple, but truth be told, we wouldn't have figured ASRock and Creative for BFFs. That's exactly what they've become, however, with the release of the Game Blaster sound card for gamers. Not just any ordinary sound card, mind you, but according to ASRock, it's the first one to combine Creative's 7.1 channel HD Sound Core3D Audio technology with a Broadcom Gigabit LAN port, the latter of which supports the "teaming" function, which lets gamers combine two GbE LAN ports for double the bandwidth. It's a PCI Express x1 card with a 102 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for its outputs and 101 db SNR for inputs, 192 kHz sampling rate, and 24-bit DAC. Other features include gold-plated... Read more...
Two sound cards in a week -- could it be true? Believe it or not, yes. Just days after Asus introduced its Audiophile Xonar DS 7.1 7.1, the company has unveiled its Xonar HDAV1.3 Slim Sound Card. Described as the planet's first HDMI 1.3 audio card with true Blu-ray audio playback designed to fit HTPCs of all sizes, the card can actually bitstream true Blu-ray audio from one's PC -- something that BD enthusiasts have been clamoring for. The card features Protected Audio Playback Systems (PAPS) and full Advanced Access Content System (AACS) certification, both of which join to enable true Blu-ray audio output without downsampling. Utilizing ArcSoft's Total Media Theater, the Asus Xonar HDAV1.3... Read more...
While not quite as exciting as Asus' bevy of new notebooks this morning, the newest card in the growing Xonar line will certainly tantalize those scouting an audiophile-level sound device. The Xonar DS 7.1 Channel Audio Card gets back to the basics by ditching the HDMI output on the Xonar HDAV1.3 and offering up the more traditional 3.5mm jack array. Unlike most cards, this one packs a 107dB signal-to-noise ratio, which supposedly eliminates 91% of background noise. Asus also integrates the GX 2.5 audio engine, which enables the latest EAX technologies, DirectSound effects and full surround sound in Windows Vista without additional software. For online gamers, there's VocalFX -- a voice processing... Read more...
Placing a product in the "audiophile" category automatically opens it up for scrutiny of the highest order. The new Asus Xonar Essence STX "headphone amp card for audiophiles" is Asus' latest in a line of audio card offerings that pretty much cover the spectrum of PC audio applications. Asus now offers audio cards designed for gaming to Home Theater PC applications. We recently gave you a thorough look at the ASUS Xonar DX PCI Express 7.1 Audio card . And today we're looking at the latest iteration of the product, targeted at those of us with a more discerning ear. The Xonar Essence STX audio card boasts a host of features that are clearly aimed at end users... Read more...
Here lately, MSI has definitely been on the notebook kick. Day after day, we've seen new laptop after new laptop emerge to fit pretty much every budget and every wish list. Today, however, the company is breaking from the norm to talk up its sound equipment; more specifically, its X-Fi-enabled motherboards.MSI asserts that of all the mainboards on the market now that are implementing Creative's X-Fi audio technology, it is the only one left who insists on utilizing a true hardware decoder solution. In other words, its products come loaded with a Creative DSP, DAC and ADC audio decoder chip as well as its optimized Creative software solution. MSI takes aim at its rivals by asserting that "many... Read more...
Turtle Beach has announced that PlayStation 3 enthusiasts can finally enjoy the same personal gaming experience as XBOX 360 gamers with the newest addition to its growing line of gaming headphones—the Ear Force PX1.  By combining the Ear Force X1 headphones for amplified stereo game audio and the Audio Advantage® Amigo USB sound card for reliable and clear online chat, the Ear Force PX1 creates the definitive audio environment for playing popular PS3 titles such as Call of Duty® World at War, Fallout 3, and Guitar Hero® World Tour.The Ear Force PX1 lets PS3 gamers concentrate on their game-play by hearing every nuance while avoiding the distraction of any noise around them. ... Read more...
An interesting new conspiracy theory has arisen today. It appears that several laptop OEMs have been having "issues" with their sound card drivers: specifically, the Stereo Mix option is missing from their drivers, which basically means you can't record audio (except from Mic In). Whoops! Is this a case of Dell and others working with the RIAA? A ripten writer noticed this on his Dell laptop. Linkage between Dell (and other OEMs) and the RIAA were posited an obvious theory. Now, while we wouldn't put it past the RIAA to do this, we have what's probably a more likely theory: driver bug. Notably, these incidents seem to have occurred on laptops using a SigmaTel sound card. SigmaTel pretty much... Read more...
Asus makes bold claims about their new Xonar sound card being the “best” PC audio card on the market currently.  We took the product to task in an effort to prove out these claims.  At the very least, perhaps a company with the Hardware and Software Engineering resources that Asus has, can deliver reasonable audio fidelity and hopefully a better set of drivers than the likes of Creative’s X-Fi debacle.Read on:ASUS Xonar D2 Ultra Fidelity 7.1 PCI Sound Card... Read more...
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