Behavior At 24 Bits / 96 KHz
Moving to a sampling rate of 96 kHz resulted in performance that was at the same level (that is, excellent!) and, naturally, improved frequency response significantly. As you can see, the full audio spectrum was amply covered with almost perfect linearity.
- Frequency response (20 Hz - 20 kHz) :+0.02, -0.2 dB
- Weighted signal-to-noise ratio : 108.5 dB(A)
- Distortion : 0.0019 %
- Stereo separation : 106.5 dB
Frequency response : An excellent result - beyond 40 kHz at -1 dB!
Noise level : Similar (excellent) results to what we measured at 48 kHz
Dynamic range : No unpleasant surprises; still a very high level of performance
Distortion : Distortion is still negligible - the highest harmonic was harmonic 2, at -100 dB!
Intermodulation : Excellent performance, as elsewhere
Stereo separation : Stereo crosstalk was practically non-existent. Why ask for more?
The results make it evident that overall, the Audigy 4 is the best-performing consumer sound card currently on the market. Our only reservations are in the area of frequency response, which is probably related to the presence of the DSP (which also has its advantages). Whether you need this kind of performance obviously depends on how you use your PC where sound is concerned. If all you do is listen to 128 kbps MP3s, a sound card like this is obviously overkill. On the other hand, for enthusiasts who work with high-quality sound and/or are musicians, the card's performance could be a deciding factor.