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Last year Creative Labs introduced a new generation sound card called Audigy2, promising to roll out Audigy2 Platinum eX, a model with an external communication module, in the first quarter of 2003. The new year has come and we have got what we were waiting for. Company claims that this model sounds much better than the standard Audigy2. Let’s check it out. First, let’s browse through the main features of Audigy2 Platinum eX.

Closer Look: Audigy2 Platinum eX

These are the basic features of the new Creative's sound card:

  • 24bit/192kHz audio playback;
  • 24bit/96kHz audio playback and recording;
  • Full DVD-Audio support;
  • Full ASIO 2.0 support;
  • Seven-channel audio (6.1) with Dolby Digital EX decoding;
  • Six analog outputs;
  • Three Line In connectors;
  • THX certificate;
  • New sound up-mixing algorithms, CMSS 3D;
  • Improved signal/noise ratio (SNR): 106dB.

The package of Audigy2 Platinum eX contains similar stuff to what comes with the sound card featuring an internal communication module. Here is what we found in the box:

  • Sound Blaster Audigy2 Platinum eX audio card;
  • External communication module;
  • Infrared remote control, Creative RM-1000;
  • Joystick/MIDI bracket;
  • 1.8m cable for the communication module;
  • Power cable (that comes from the PSU to the audio card);
  • Digital audio cable for the CD-ROM;
  • Power splitter cable;
  • 6.3-3.5mm adapter (jack / mini-jack);
  • User’s manual;
  • CDs with demo programs and games.

Just like the ordinary Audigy2, this product comes fully supported from the software side: the Installation Kit consists of eight compact disks! This is a real bounty:

  • Installation CD with the driver and accompanying software;
  • Sound Blaster Audigy2 “Feature Showcase Demonstration”;
  • “DVD-audio Sampler”;
  • “Getting Started Demonstration”;
  • Steinberg Cubasis VST Creative Edition / Wavelab Lite;
  • Native Instruments Traktor DJ;
  • Image-line Fruityloops 3 Creative Edition;
  • Ableton Live 1.5 Creative Edition;
  • Ulead VideoStudio 5;
  • Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix (full version of the game supporting EAX Advanced HD);
  • Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (full version of the game supporting EAX Advanced HD).

The software set is nearly the same as the one coming with Audigy2. The support programs haven’t changed, either. So, we won’t dwell on their functions and feature here. If you are looking for a thorough description of the software, refer to our Creative Audigy2 Platinum Sound Card Review.

Specifications

Audigy2 audio processor

  • Digital data processing in 32bit mode and 192kHz dynamic range;
  • Hardware wavetable synthesizer with 64 voices;
  • Patented 8-point interpolation system for distortions reduction.

Playback quality

  • 24bit DAC with the following sampling frequencies: 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 and 96kHz in 7-channel mode (6.1) and up to 192kHz in stereo mode

Recording quality

  • 24bit ADC with the following sampling frequencies: 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 and 96kHz;
  • ASIO 2.0 with low wait time (up to 2ms)

MIDI

  • Hardware synthesizer (2x16 channels) with 64-voice polyphony
  • Software synthesizer (16 channels)

EAX

  • Surround sound technology: EAX Advanced HD (EAX 3.0)
  • 64 voices with API DirectSound / 3D

SB1394
(FireWire)

  • High-speed SB1394 port compliant with IEEE 1394a (FireWire 400) spec
  • Supports data transfer rate at 100, 200 and 400Mbit/sec
  • Supports up to 63 devices compatible with IEEE 1394

Signal

  • -10dB

Supported audio standards

  • Sound Blaster MIDI and GM MIDI
  • AC97
  • ASIO
  • EAX 1.0, 2.0 и 3.0
  • OpenAL
  • DirectSound / 3D
  • Dolby Digital / Surround EX
  • DVD-Audio
  • Windows Media 9

CMSS
(Creative Multi Speaker Surround)

  • Up-mixing of mono- and stereophonic sources to 7-channel audio
  • Professional mixing and panning algorithms

Approximate pricing

  • $190
 
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