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USB 2.0 Sound: Creative Labs Audigy 2 NX

Dolby Digital EX And DVD Audio - True Surround Sound

So the ability to use the latest movie theater sound standards is one of the Audigy 2 NX's major advantages, and it makes them available both for desktop PCs (where there are other solutions.) and for laptops.

Creative also remains true to its past policy of not offering DVD player software. It is thus up to the user to find one, such as Power DVD or WinDVD, that doe not handle multichannel sound decoding (it needs to be configured to S/PDIF mode) but it works with the Creative card's drivers. This means that it isn't necessary to choose a top-of-the-range version that will decode the latest movie theater standards, because all it does is play the video.

A visit to "Device Control" reveals that the Audigy 2 NX offers you Dolby Digital EX but - unlike the Audigy 2 ZS - it does not take advantage of DTS sound. Adding DTS sound requires either extra software or external decoding using S/PDIF.

The different buttons on the "Decoder" tab allow for mapping from 4 or 5.1 surround sound speakers. In the case of the Dolby Digital decoder, dynamic compression may be left on or off for Dolby Pro Logic as well as for Dolby Digital EX.

It's worth remembering that multi-channel sound starts at 5.1 and can reach 7.1. However, a 5.1 loudspeaker system does the job as the difference between 5.1 Dolby Digital, for example, and 7.1 sound is at the most marginal, and probably is unnoticeable for most.

Dolby Pro-Logic II is still not available but it has been replaced by the CMSS 3D system, which does a more than adequate job of converting stereo sound into 7.1 sound or less.