There are still people who buy soundcards. I happen to be one of them. Why? Well, I like to listen to my music as close to the original production as possible and, having a soft spot for loud American popcorn movies, Mahler symphonies and concert blueray discs, I to listen to these in 5.1. Over the years I invested in a nice set of speakers and a dedicated Marantz 5.1 amplifier to deliver what you a arrogant high-end afficionado would call a upper middle class listening experience. To make the connection between computer and amplifier and to ensure a Dolby Live surround signal I bought a rather Creative X-Fi Titanium HD a few years that for some time did what it was supposed to do, even though the drivers were buggy and GUI looked like a five year old had a go at Visual Basic. Recently though a new motherboard, processor and videocard was implanted, together with and a new Windows 7 install, and suddenly the card refused to encode Dolby Live. Why? No idea. The card was ripped out, installed in a different slot, the drivers were re-installed (including Creative’s Dolby package), but still no Dolby. Everything else worked fine, but no encoding. So, the infamous Creative support was asked for help. I explained everything as simply as I could, gave them each every hardware item’s name, even made a little move from a screen capture.
What did I get: ‘install, re-install. re-socket, re-install’. The fact that this was a fresh install didn’t register. I requested referral to second level technical support, but to no avail. So I bought an Asus Sonar Essence STX and told Creative to go and stuff themselves .
This card represents the best incremental step forward to the overall performance of my
entertainmentwork station for a long time. With a built in headphone amplifier and its external power source this has transformed my listening habits. It’s now a pleasure to listen to a good recording of Mahler’s second symphony, the sound stage being delivered broad and with incredible depth by the Q-Acoustics front speakers. As an added bonus, the dolby encoding works flawlessly, and I can finally listen to Incognito’s 30 year anniversary concert in glorious 5.1 (as the best girlfriend refuses to let me have a similar setup in the living room. Interior design decision. Aha.)
So, if your partner won’t let you have a surround sound in YOUR livingroom, go out and spend a few quid on this card and turn your office into a sound stage. Or at least get some good headphones and enjoy your favourite tunes without alienating the neighbours.
Ich las gerade, über Dein Schicksal des, aus innenarchitektonische Gründen, nicht vorhandenen aber doch ersehnten 5.1 Klangerlebnis im Wohnzimmer. Vielleicht wirst du ja hier http://www.pursonic.de fündig