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   ► KBComputer TechHardware   Print This     
  From the December 2015 Issue of Prestwood eMag
 
Tech Hardware:
Great Sound for $30?
 
Posted 12 years ago on 6/26/2007
Take Away: For a while, now, most new computers have come equipped with a sound system on the main board. Unfortunately, many of them are not very good. Would you believe that a simple, $30 upgrade can deliver superb sound and recordings?

KB100631

For the past couple years, I - and my main personal machine - have enjoyed a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2ZS Platinum sound system.  As a sometimes musician, one of my objectives in buying it was to get top-grade recordings.  I have not been disappointed.  But what about people that want great sound at a low price?

Last month, my wife's computer got sick.  Too buried with "real" work, I took it to my favorite hardware gurus.  Fortunately, I forgot to take along the disk with the motherboard's drivers.

Naturally, the computer came back without any sound.  I didn't notice because I don't use her machine.  She, of course, did.  When she mentioned it, I realized what the problem was - but wasn't about to restore the crummy, on-board system.

The next day I was in a Wal-Mart store and spotted something I didn't even know existed: A Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE sound card for a few pennies under 30.  Naturally, it came home with me.

Installation was a breeze. As a bonus, the package included a bundle of truly useful software from Creative.  Heck, the software, alone, is worth more than the sound card.

Once hooked up, I was blown away.  To my aging ears, it sounded every bit as good as it's "big brother" 2ZS.

This is just a PCI card with the usual 4 sockets on the back panel.  But it appears to sport the same "Audigy-grade" sound processor as my more expensive setup.

Features include:

  • 7.1 surround output
    24-bit/96kHz audio resolution.
    100dB signal to noise ratio.
    Comprehensive Creative MediaSource software provided.
    EAX ADVANCED HD1 3.0 support for gaming.
    CMSS2 up-mixes stereo content to 7.1 surround.

Highly recommended for any Windows machine with an open PCI slot - and in need of a sound upgrade.

For the past couple years, I - and my main personal machine - have enjoyed a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2ZS Platinum sound system.  As a sometimes musician, one of my objectives in buying it was to get top-grade recordings.  I have not been disappointed.  But what about people that want great sound at a low price?

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Article Contributed By Wes Peterson:

Wes Peterson is a Senior Programmer Analyst with Prestwood IT Solutions where he develops custom Windows software and custom websites using .Net and Delphi. When Wes is not coding for clients, he participates in this online community. Prior to his 10-year love-affair with Delphi, he worked with several other tools and databases. Currently he specializes in VS.Net using C# and VB.Net. To Wes, the .NET revolution is as exciting as the birth of Delphi.

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