* Prices may differ from that shown
The souncard market has never really been swamped with options. For those of us who don't use onboard sound and demand a seperate sound card for our sorround sound/gaming/music needs theres never been much choice. Most people go with Creative as they are well known and apparently respectable. I did just that a few years ago, it was a mistake. Their driver and customer support, especially for Windows Vista users is seriously lacking. I was finding my games locking up, my computer suffering from fatal errors (aka Blue Screens of Death) and just general sound issues that were hindering my enjoyment. Research soon showed that the creative card was to blame. As a result i threw my old creative soundcard in the bin and opted for something new, the Asus Xonar D1.
Simple, small and effective. Asus's card supports Vista and its drivers are much more stable. 7.1 channels of sorround sound via standard out puts or optical allow it to be connected to your average PC sorround sound speaker package or even a home cinema amp (as i found much to my joy when i took my pc to the lounge one day). There is also an internal output for those of us lucky enough to have front panel audio on our computer cases. So headsets and microphones can be plugged in the front, with ease.
The sound quality is good, the price is small. Basically there isn't much i can say that's wrong with this card. I will however comment on the fact that there isnt a seperate headset input on the back. So if, like me, you have a headset with two phono cables (mic and headphones) and are running 7.1 speakers off the soundcard, you will not be able to plug the headphones and speaker in at the same time.
Other than that minor point, its excellent. Plus it straight into the PCI-express slot on your motherboard, connect power from the PSU, plug the speakers in, insall the drivers and you're away!
Easy to use and programme software is included. Ranging from graphic equalizers to full blown voice changers.
- PCI-Express Interface
- Vista Gaming with DirectSound & EAX support
- Hi-Fi class audio quality with SNR up to 118dB
- Dolby HomeTheater Technologies & DTS Connect
- Unprecedented SSNR NR Up to 116db reaching the limit of PC audio sound quality clarity
- Full duplex High-definition audio processing at 192KHz/24Bit for all Input and outputs and Inputs
- Versatile Dolby/DTS Audio Technologies for Game, Music, and Video
- Accurate 3D sound positioning and hardware acceleration for PC gaming
- Legally backup your digital music into non-protected MP3/WMA files with even better quality and Dolby Headphone and Virtual Speaker effects
- Real-time DDL and DTS Connect encoders for amazing gaming and surround sounds over your Home Theater System
- Requires floppy power-connector
- Low Profile Bracket Included
- Vista Ready