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Over the half a year that the Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD worked in my computer, it never gave me a single reason to be disappointed but provoked positive emotions only. Although the HDMI output and the support for multichannel HD audio are not exclusive features anymore, no other sound card can match the mix of qualities Auzentech offers in its latest product.

The card differs from its main opponent ASUS Xonar HDAV1.3 with the X-Fi audio processor which is still unrivalled in games. Sound cards from Creative with the same processor (excepting the newest Titanium HD) are much inferior in sound quality and cannot transfer multichannel audio over HDMI. And none of these opponents can boast an integrated headphone amplifier with a dedicated output or a semiprofessional microphone amplifier.

The pleasure of owning an X-Fi HomeTheater HD will cost you $250 for the card itself (if purchased via the Auzentech website), $90 for PowerDVD Ultra (to watch Blu-ray discs) and some more money for the opamp of your choice (if you want to improve the quality of the analog outputs). Thus, purchasing an Auzen X-Fi HomeTheater HD will only be justifiable for PC gamers who have a home theater with a modern receiver and high-quality speaker system. Otherwise, cheaper alternatives are available.

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