Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD
For the longest time, Creative has been the standard inmanufacturing sound cards. From entry level products to flagship high performance units that encompass both the casual user and gaming enthusiast market alike, the company has it all covered. Realistically, before acceptable integrated sound came with every motherboard available on the market, the only way to obtain good audio on your computer was to purchase a Creative sound card. I still remember my very first Creative sound card back when I was in elementary school — the Creative Sound Blaster PCI 16 — whichoffered, well, three 3.5mm analog audio jacks for stereo output, line in, and microphone. Nowadays, it is quite safe to say that any modern motherboard's integrated sound has significantly more features, and delivers significantly higher performance than the aforementioned product. As today's relatively high performing integrated audio pretty much renders all budget sound cardsobsolete, dedicated audio has recessed to more of a niche market for users looking only for the best of the best. Throughout history, gamers embraced Creative's solutions primarily because of their powerful DSPs, but true audio enthusiasts resented the company's products because of their relatively low quality DACs and OpAmps. When Creative opened up the market a few years backand let third party manufacturers license their excellent X-Fi audio processor for the first time, Auzentech arrived onto the scene and created the ultimate sound card — the X-Fi Prelude — which took the best of both worlds by implementing the brilliant X-Fi digital signal processor, high quality Asahi Kasei AK4396 DACs, and a combination of National LM4562NA/Texas Instruments OPA2134 OpAmps into one awesome product. The end result was aproduct that was legendary among gamers and audiophiles alike! Fast forward to today, and the company has created a second iteration of their flagship sound card. The Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD incorporates elements that made the X-Fi Prelude such a success, as well as new technologies such as the ability to output bitstreams of high-definition, multichannel audio fromBlu-ray Discs with no downsampling. Is the Auzentech X-Fi HomeTheater HD the new ultimate in high end PC audio? We composed this 12 page review for you today, so read on to find out!