The Xonar D2 driver differs from the basic C-Media Oxygen HD driver because it supports OpenAL, SVN and DS3D GX. It also has a different interface stylized like a pocket media player. Upon installation, the control panel shows a minimum of controls, a volume control, and a large information display with current settings and a primitive spectrum analyzer.
It is primitive because it is not accurate (to reduce the CPU load). The round volume control looks good but is not very handy. It is rather difficult to turn it with your mouse, and it doesn’t react to your mouse wheel at all.
Pressing on the “i” button you can view the versions of software components and some other information.
The SVN button near the volume control enables the volume normalization mode which may come in handy when you are watching a movie with quiet voices but loud special effects. This feature is not good for games as it makes shots and explosions sound fuzzy, worsening your aural impressions.
The group of five buttons in the bottom right corner of the audio center window enables the DS3D GX feature and one of three sound processing presets: games, movies, music. The HF option, on the contrary, disables all processing; it’s in this mode that I performed all the tests. The rest of the controls are hidden under the removable cover of the information display.
Here you can choose the card’s base frequency, specify the number of speakers, choose the data format for the digital output, and change the settings of the licensed technologies from Dolby that are enabled by the above-mentioned presets. For example, each of them enables Dolby Headphone for headphones. For stereo speakers, there are Dolby Pro Logic IIx and Dolby Virtual Speaker.