Creative Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro: External Sound
Just as in the case of its previous high-quality sound card, Creative has opted for an external cladding to which the PCI card is attached via a double cable (one for the actual sound card, the other for the FireWire interface). All the connections are made on the external housing, all that remains on the PCI card are the loudspeaker output sockets (8 channels on three 3.5 mm jacks in the Audigy 2 ZS). The use of external housing makes it possible to move the card away from sources of noise (of which there are plenty in a PC!), thus protecting most of the sensitive circuits and improving the signal-to-noise ratio. This is a point that our benchmarks highlighted during previous tests.
The external housing offers six input channels, divided into three stereo inputs, one on the front on two 1/4" jacks, one on the back on a pair of Cinch connectors. Six high-definition input channels represent a rare and exciting feature. Now you can let rip with the mixing and multitrack ... One of the front inputs is attached to a potentiometer that turns it into a mike and instrument input with adjustable gain whenever you need it. The microphone entry has no phantom feed, however. On the other hand, the box offers a remote control receiver and the infrared remote is supplied with the card, an undeniable advantage to the user who does not want to be restricted to using the card just with the keyboard and mouse.