Recent Soundcard Test

I was extremely disappointed with the recent soundcard comparison on Tom's site. It told me nearly nothing. The main reason we have soundcards on computers is sound, yet there was no mention of the audio quality of the soundcards.
No tests showing frequency response, noise, distortion - nothing at all. No help here if you're making a decision as to what card to purchase.
My biggest beef with modern soundcards is their relatively high noise levels and this comparison didn't test this at all.
In future I'll go to other sites to get real comparisons on similar equipment.
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  1. Quote:

    My biggest beef with modern soundcards is their relatively high noise levels and this comparison didn't test this at all

    Relatively high noise level? If you have digital speakers then noise from distortion inside the PC should be mininal because the digital data isn't decoded into sound until it actually reaches the speakers. 90% of the noise you probably hear is from your speakers. Most speakers costing less than $100 produce noticable noise!

    AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
  2. I agree. Most sound cards have around 90-100 dBA signal-to-noise, and I seriously doubt you have your speakers turned up that high.

    The reviewer touched on sound quality in some spots, although a test of frequency response would've been nice. I don't think he had access to that sort of equipment, though.
    You can always look at other reviews and see if they do, although that's probably overkill for low-end PC sound cards (as opposed to $600 recording cards).

    <font color=green>In memory of all the Americans that died 9/11/01
    Rest in peace</font color=green>
  3. These cards are by no means "low-end". The more politically correct word is "mainstream". So in fact, the SoundBlaster Live Platinum 5.1 is a "high-end mainstream" card. Mainstream basically means majority, meaning they are designed for the majority of people. I wouldn't want a $600 recording card no matter how rich I was because I wouldn't need it, I don't sing or record anything so important to require that type of quality. For high-speed video conferencing I am comfortable with my Creative WebCam and my PC microphone. My Santa Cruz's 18-bit recording quality is more than high enough for me. In fact, even 8-bit, in some cases, sounds reasonable. Playback is what really matters to regular PC users! We want killer 3D sound with crystal clear echoes in high-performance games!

    AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
  4. Trust me, these are low-end. I'm used to working with a million-dollar sound system. If you really knew where I was coming from, you'd agree.

    <font color=green>In memory of all the Americans that died 9/11/01
    Rest in peace</font color=green>
  5. I've went to IMAX theaters and OmniMax (a Canadian design) theaters and they are crazy. I leave the "movie" (usually a docmentary) really dizzy but the true 3D 360o surround sound experience. You can hear sounds directly above, below and 360o around you. I wouldn't want anything over Dolby Digital 5.1!

    AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
  6. I was disappointed also, but at the fact that the Aureal SQ2500 was benched but there was no info or anything given on it. I have it and would like to know how it stacks up against other cards in sound quality, A3D vs. EAX, etc. I know this is the best card in the world at the moment from a gamers viewpoint, but I guess I just want to hear others say it as well LOL.
  7. I know, it's incredible. They need to make helmets that have about a hundred little speakers all inside of them. That'd be awesome 3D sound :)
    They could include the 3D goggles in them, since they'd be hard to see out of.

    <font color=green>In memory of all the Americans that died 9/11/01
    Rest in peace</font color=green>
  8. That's crazy! Too much surround sound makes me dizzy!

    AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
  9. Hmm, but there was a very comprehensive site with many tested sound cards out there. frequency responses, s/n ratios etc, all tested. Unfortunately, i don't remember URL.. Maybe anyone here does?
  10. This may be the site you were thinking about as far as "stats" on a number of sound cards.

    http://www.pcavtech.com/soundcards/compare/index.htm

    Unfortunately it does not include any of the Philips cards.

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. - Mark Twain
  11. Great link. They don't have any Hercules cards either.

    <font color=green>I post so you don't have to!
    9/11 - RIP</font color=green>
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