This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions among current Sound Blaster users. I mean, if you already own the Sound Blaster Live! Platinum 5.1, what more could you ask for right? Well, Creative has figured this out and the audio guys definitely know that in order to keep users excited about their next generation products, they will have to greatly 'value-add' the Audigy series of soundcards. Not only that, they will have to make this sound card so fantastic that non-Sound Blaster users will also want to hop onto the bandwagon. Here's a look at the specifications:
Creative Audigy Specifications Table
|32-bit Professional Quality Effects Engine
- Creative's Audigy
patented effects processor.
- Support for real-time
digital effects like reverb, chorus, normalizer, pitch shifter, or
distortion across any audio source.
- Capable of processing,
mixing and positioning audio streams using up to 131 available hardware
- Full 32-bit digital
mixer maintains all sound mixing in the digital domain, eliminating
noise from the signal.
- Customizable Plug-In
Effects Architecture allows new audio effects to be downloaded from the
Web via CreativeWare.
|High-definition Audio Quality
of 64 audio channels, each with its own independent sample
Analog-to-Digital conversion of analog inputs at 48kHz sample
Digital-to-Analog conversion of digital sources at 48kHz to analog 5.1
- 16-bit recording with
sampling rates of 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1 and
- Supports Sony/Philips
Digital Interface (SPDIF) format input signal of up to 24-bit/96kHz
- SPDIF output up
to 24-bit resolution at selectable sampling rate of 44.1, 48 or
- Low latency
multi-track recording with ASIO support.
AES-EBU data format over SPDIF.
|EAX ADVANCED HD, Advanced Audio and 3D Audio Technology
Optimized user-selectable settings for headphones,
two, four or six speakers and external A/V
Dolby Digital audio decoding to 5.1 speaker channels
in both analog and digital modes.
Upgradable 3D audio architecture for future
Creative Multi Speaker Surround (CMSS) technology
places any mono or stereo source in a 360-degree audio
User-selectable EAX ADVANCED HD music presets,
pre-configurable DSP modes simulating various acoustic
Advanced time-scaling functionality
increases/decreases playback duration without altering pitch of original
Audio Clean-up functionality removes noise and
'clicks' from playback of vinyl disk or cassette tape
High speed connection to IEEE1394-enabled devices with up
to 400Mbps transfer rate.
Hot-plug support for ease of connecting or disconnecting
Interconnection of up to 63 devices for peer-to-peer
SB1394 Certification Program thoroughly tests and certifies
participating vendors' 1394-enabled devices with Sound Blaster Audigy
for optimal performance and ease of
- Creative's Audigy
music synthesis engine.
- 64-voice hardware
polyphony with Creative's patented 8-point interpolation technology that
reduces distortion to inaudible levels.
- Uses SoundFont
technology for user-definable wave-table sample sets.
- Unlimited sample size
can be loaded into host memory for professional music reproduction
(limited to available system memory size).
- Scalable PCI
wave-table synthesis architecture with multi-tibre
- 48 MIDI channels with
128 GM & GS compatible instruments and 10 drum
Support for analog and digital or DirectInput game
Support for two simultaneous MIDI devices with Sound
Blaster Audigy Drive
Audigy On-Board Connectors
- Analog/Digital Out
(Analog Center & Subwoofer/6-channel SPDIF Output)
- Line level out
- Line level out
- Telephone Answering
- Analog CD Audio
- Digital CD Audio
- Expansion header to an
external 15-pin Joystick/MIDI port
- Internal SB1394 header
to Sound Blaster Audigy Drive
- Expansion header to
the Sound Blaster Audigy Drive
Blaster Audigy Drive Front Panel Connectors (External
PCM SPDIF In and Out (RCA/Coaxial Jack)
Headphone out (1/4-inch stereo jack with volume
Line in 2 (1/4-inch stereo jack, shared with microphone In
Microphone In 2 (1/4-inch jack with Gain
MIDI In (mini DIN)
MIDI Out (mini DIN)
Optical SPDIF In and Out
Stereo Auxiliary In (2x RCA/Coaxial Jack)
Works with the
- Windows 98/98SE, NT
4.0, 2000 and Millennium Edition
- Sound Blaster MIDI and
- Plug and
- Sound Blaster
- EAX ADVANCED
- Microsoft DirectSound,
DirectSound3D & derivatives
- PCI 2.1
- AC '97
The three caballeros were told to wear black. So they did. [Clockwise from top left] The Audigy card, the External Audigy Drive and Audigy Extension Card.
Did somebody dismantled David the robot boy from A.I.?
The question is not really how different is the Audigy from the previous generation of cards, but how value-adding it is to you compared to the Live! Platinum 5.1.
Here's a quick summary then:
First sound card to deliver high definition digital audio.
In other words, it delivers 24-bit/96kHz multi-channel sound that is on
par with high-end home theater systems.
The Audigy processor on the sound card is 4x more powerful than any
processor in its class.
This means that it is able to deliver EAX ADVANCED HD technologies for
high definition experience in gaming and music.
The Audigy also comes with a built-in SB1394 port for maximum
compatibility and high-speed digital connectivity.
Which also provides superior peer-to-peer networking facility to other
Sound Blaster Audigy equipped PCs.