Articles: Multimedia
 

Bookmark and Share

(42) 
Pages: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 ]

Technical Characteristics

The following table lists the technical characteristics of the new audio card in contrast to other products from the Sound Blaster family.

 

Sound Blaster Live! 5.1

Sound Blaster Audigy LS

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro

Audio Quality

Sound Blaster 24-bit ADVANCED HD Quality

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR)

90dB

100dB

108dB

108dB

108dB

Max. Audio Resolution Playback & Quality

16-bit/48kHz
16-bit CD-Quality

24-bit/96kHz
24-bit CD-Quality

24-bit/192kHz in Stereo
24-bit/96kHz in 5.1 DVD-Audio Quality

Max. Recording / Sampling Rate

16-bit/48kHz

24-bit/96kHz

DACs

AC'97

24-bit/96kHz

24-bit/192kHz

As you see, the declared signal-to-noise ratio for the Audigy 2 ZS series is 108dB already. Note that the SNR parameter for the Platinum eX was 2dB lower (106dB). It’s possible to improve this parameter by using high-quality converters, so I am eager to look for any changes in the electronic stuffing of the card (see the PCB Design section of this review).

 

Sound Blaster Live! 5.1

Sound Blaster Audigy LS

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro

Gaming

EAX

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

EAX ADVANCED HD

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

EAX 4.0 ADVANCED HD*

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hardware Acceleration of EAX &/or EAX ADVANCED HD

Yes

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

No. of Audio Environment(s) Processed Simultaneously*

1

1

>1*

>1*

>1*

Max. No. of 3D Voices

32

64

64

64

64

Max. Channels in 3D Positional Audio

5.1

5.1

7.1

7.1

7.1

PC-to-PC Gaming with FireWire

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Speaker Calibration for Optimal 3D Positional Audio

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes


* Require driver or software update

The new Audigy provides the gamers with the support of the new API – EAX 4.0 Advanced HD. The owners of the previous Audigy 2 versions are not behind the times: driver and software updates are waiting for you at the Creative technical support page. Another most important thing is the support of eight-channel speaker systems, and all new games from renowned developers are supposed to featuer three-dimensional positioning of the sound sources among eight channels. The FireWire port is available in the new models, too, and serves gaming needs in the first hand. You can use it to connect two computers for a game of your favorite simulator.

 

Sound Blaster Live! 5.1

Sound Blaster Audigy LS

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro

Music Playback / Music Creation

Integrated Digital Music Player

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Integrated Digital Music Ripping (in Player) - MP3 & WMA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

True Bit Accurate Recording w/o SRC

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Advanced Resolution DVD-Audio Playback

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

EAX Music Enhancements

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

EAX Effects

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

CMSS 3D Upmixing of Stereo to Multi-Channels

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Audio Clean-up

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Smart Volume Management (SVM)

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Karaoke

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Multi-Channel Graphic Equalizer

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bass Boost

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Virtual Surround over 2 Channel or Headphones

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Full Support for Windows Media 9 24-bit/96kHz 5.1 content

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

ASIO Low Latency Multi-Track Recording Support (16-bit/48kHz)

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

ASIO 2.0 Low Latency Multi-Track Recording Support (24-bit/96kHz)

NA

NA

NA

NA

Yes

ASIO 2.0 Direct Monitoring

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

For an audiophile, the Audigy 2 ZS offers karaoke and a graphics equalizer. Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro also supports ASIO 2.0, but that’s rather for professional musicians.

 

Sound Blaster Live! 5.1

Sound Blaster Audigy LS

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro

Movies

THX Certification

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

THX Setup Console

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Dolby Digital 5.1 Playback

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Dolby Digital EX 6.1 Playback

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

DTS-ES 6.1 Playback

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

All ZS series sound cards are THX-certified. The certification is the recognition of their quality reproduction of DVD audio formats. Note also two new features: DTS-ES 6.1 support and a special THX control panel. I will discuss them in detail shortly.

 

Sound Blaster Live! 5.1

Sound Blaster Audigy LS

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro

Connectivity

Front-Panel Audio Connectivity

NA

NA

NA

Yes

External I/O Module

GamePort/Joystick Port

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

High Speed FireWire port

NA

NA

Yes

Yes

Yes

Analog Speakers Support

Headphone, 2.1, 4.1, 5.1

Headphone, 2.1, 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1

Digital Speakers Support

Headphone, 2.1, 4.1, 5.1

Headphone, 2.1, 4.1, 5.1,
24-bit/96kHz speakers

As for communicative capabilities of the new card, Creative continues with its support of the legacy joystick port (many other sound card manufacturers consider it obsolete). Even the most advanced model, the Platinum Pro, supports the game port and comes with an appropriate bracket. Of course, this port is only necessary for people who still have old game manipulators. If you’ve got a modern device, you don’t have to install the bracket at all.

 
Pages: [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 ]

Discussion

Comments currently: 42
Discussion started: 01/13/04 08:23:42 AM
Latest comment: 07/04/08 06:07:22 PM

View comments

Add your Comment