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The SoundMAX 4 XL driver for Microsoft Windows operating system continues its support of the integrated DLS2 MIDI synthesizer with XG music banks from Yamaha DLS. It also features a noise reduction technology called PureAudio and supports volume sound algorithms, Sensaura 5.1 Virtual Theater, as well as every main gaming API (including A3D, EAX, I3DL2 and Microsoft DirectX).

The original control panel is divided into three sections: playback, recording and setup.

The SoundMAX control panel

The Preferences panel, however, offers you even more settings. It contains four tabs: General, Listening Environment, MIDI Music Synthesizer and Microphone. Let’s see how flexible and far-reaching those settings are.

SoundMAX Preferences panel


The General page allows you to choose the playback and recording devices, which will be displayed in the tool panel. This is where you activate the AudioESP function, which can be set up to detect new audio devices on system startup, show a message when the device is disconnected and enable automatic speaker configuration adjustment. Besides that, you can choose between AC3 and PCM digital formats for the optical output, select the way the control panel is displayed and decide on its color (black or white).

Listening Environment

You configure your speaker system in the Listening Environment page. As you can see in the screenshot, two items become active on choosing stereo speakers. The Close Together function optimizes the sound for the small speakers of a portable computer as well as for display-integrated ones (or for speakers that stand right in front of the display). The Far Apart function optimizes the sound for distant speakers or for speakers of a standalone music-box. The function called Sensaura Virtual Theater Surround allows you to send multi-channel music content onto two speakers. Unfortunately, Virtual Theater Surround cannot support headphones without a chargeable upgrade (I really wonder if anyone buys Sensaura libraries?). There’s another Sensaura library present – Virtual Ear (in its standard version, too). To purchase the enhanced version, the user is invited to visit the Sensaura website.

The full versions of the Sensaura libraries are offered as a paid upgrade

I think the Sensaura libraries should be made shareware, so that the manufacturers could pay for us. I guess it might be quite possible.

Besides the above-described functions, you can choose the EAX model for the reproduced composition. The EAX libraries are automatically activated in games, upon the game’s request.

This test helps you to control the surround sound


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