As you know any progress can be achieved in two ways: revolutionary or evolutionary. The evolutionary approach takes all the best and positive knowledge accumulated over the past years. Of course, any revolution lures us with promises of fast progress, but there is high price to pay for it – any mistake may become a fatality. Today we will talk about revolution as viewed by M-Audio. This company ended the last year with a launch of a new audio card named no other but Revolution 7.1. What’s so interesting about it, and what’s the price of a mistake here – that’s what we are going to discuss today.
As its name suggests, Revolution 7.1 is an eight-channel audio card. It boasts professional sound quality and is targeted at the mass market. The product is first of all intended for the user who wants to build a home DVD-theater from his PC. Added all other features – music playback, surround effects in computer games, recording and mixing of your own compositions – Revolution 7.1 seems to be one more Creative Audigy2 killer, or, at least, a worthy competitor. The question is what is so particular about this card, which could win the hearts of sophisticated users, or even proselytize Creative followers, so that they start adhering to a new faith, the faith in revolution?
Revolution: Closer Look
Products from M-Audio (formerly known as Midiman) should be first of all familiar to professional musicians who started their computer-aided music creation and processing with relatively inexpensive solutions. In other words, the new consumer audio card has come down to us from the sector of professional products (unlike Creative cards that were climbing up from the low-end sector). So, we can guess that Revolution will sound just excellent. What about games? Revolutionists are offered A3D, EAX and Sensaura support. DirectSound is supported in the driver – through the dynamic libraries of Sensaura. EAX is only available in 1.0 and 2.0 versions (forget about EAX Advanced HD). This fact alone is a not in favor of Revolution, but looks more like a massive weight on Creative’s scale, which will be hard to balance with.
The sound card is based on the newest version of the Envy24 sound controller (ICE1724HT) and is equipped with high-quality (192 kHz/ 24bit) digital-to-analog converters from AKM that ensure highest precision and purity of sound on all the outputs of the card. So, things that have always been a prerogative of audiophiles are now offered to the masses (a typical attribute of a revolution, isn’t it?). So, can Revolution 7.1 beat both: high-end sound cards and a gaming card like Audigy2 at a time? We are going to check it out.