- Asus P5K3 Deluxe
- Intel Core 2 6400
- 2x 1GB DDR-1333 Kingston HyperX
- Asus 8600GTS
- Verudium VortexHE 500W
- Auzentech X-Meridien
- Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1 XT
- Tokyo Style Envy24 HT 7.1
- Asus Xonar D2
- Creative X-Fi Elite Pro
- Creative X-Fi Fata1ty
- Creative Audigy 4
- M-Audio Studiophile BX-5 Studio Monitoring Speakers
- Acoustic Energy Aego M 2.1 Multimedia Speakers
- Foobar2000 via ASIO
A group of us gathered together at the Burlington Square Multi Purpose Hall, which is a room that's about 4 metres by 5 metres in area. Pictures below!
Equipment used lined up!
The soundcards. We were supposed to test the onkyo SE-90 as well but we forgot the cable, at the end of the day we ommited it from the test. ^^
The testing platforms lined up
Xonar in action
Selecting the songs
Eventual Test Setup
Songs Tested (in 1411kbps WAV):
- Olivia Ong - So Nice
- Cai Qin - Those were the days
- Cai Qin - Just Like your Tenderness
- Eagles - Hotel California
- Olivia Ong - Fall in Love
Eventual Comments compiled by the group
- Asus Xonar: low and high extensions, Mids is recessed compared to the Prodigy XT and X-Meridien. The 118dB claims is justified upon hearing the card in action.
- Asus Xonar: much better soundstage, speration and instrument details are much better compared to competition
- X-Meridien: Good Mids & average soundstage, Extensions is narrow compared to Prodigy XT and Xonar
- Audiotrak Prodigy XT: neutral, soundstage significantly narrower than xonar, good separation, slighty less high frequency extension. Mids expresses well especially with vocals
- Tokyo Style Envy 24HT: narrow soundstage, poor separation, poor extension, forward, poor depth
- Creative X-Fi Elite Pro: Muffled mids and highs, muddy lows, worse soundstage of the lot. the xfi was sibilant on vocals as well, we should have had the photo of domho7's cringing face
The Creative cards were crippled by lousy Operational Amplifiers and Capacitors and the tokyo style is crippled by lousy opamps, but the Tokyo Style, like the prodigy XT comes with a interchangable OPAMP sockets. Overall, The Xonar comes out top in the looks (bling!) factor and soundstage, but the mids seems to be lacking a little, and domho7 and yantronic pointed out that most audiophiles might prefer the sound that's coming out from the Audiotrak Prodigy XT. The X-Meridien isn't too bad but loses out to the Audiotrak Prodigy XT in terms of Mids.
The Creative cards sounded really muddy on my pair of studio monitors, many of us shook our heads when we compared it neck to neck with the rest of the cards. Some says even the onboard sound of the Asus sounds better.
Some of the users have pointed out to me that the X-Meridien's ASIO drivers are buggy and have suggested that I conduct the test with another alogorithm. I will, as I will be recieving the X-Fi Prelude tomorrow! Please keep a lookout of our soundcard shootout.
More testscoming up, including Gaming and Hardware acceleration and most importantly, RMAA tests coming right up!
This post are general opinions gathered from our users, including myself, and is not a review! i guess most people didn't realise that this is just a forum post.
Some videos that booest took.
Video Clip 01
Video Clip 02
Video Clip 03
Many thanks to Tensor, yantronic, Dreamslacker, booest, domho7, dreamie, Eugene, firespark, scyeige for their inputs! and Enegizer for loaning us the X-Meridien for the day!!!