SB Audigy Player vs. TerraTec SiXPack 5.1+ in the test: the eternal best still ahead?
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Technical data
- 3 Installation/documentation
- 4 Software
- 5 Test system
- 6 Benchmarks
- 8 Audio quality
- 9 Conclusion
Even if both candidates are six-channel sound cards, ie If there are no enormous differences in specifications either, it is worth taking a closer look at their technical details - we came across some interesting differences.
Data in comparison
Special features Audigy
What is particularly remarkable about the Soundblaster Audigy is the SB1394 port. Behind this impressive abbreviation there is nothing more than a FireWire controller integrated on the sound card. Only the latter name is patented by Apple, hence the new name. Both an internal and an external connection are available. External drives, digital cameras or portable audio players such as Apple's iPod can easily be connected in order to exchange data with the PC at 400MBit/s.
The presence of the relatively large SB1394 port results in another specialty of the Audigy. The analog center/subwoofer output has to share a 3.5mm connection socket with the digital S/P-DIF output to save space. The latter, in turn, is expressly not an input.
Previouslystill rather unusual, but with so many external connections there is no other solution - the MIDI/joystick port occupies its own slot, of course only if you really need it.
Special features of SiXPack
As far as the MIDI/joystick port is concerned, Terratec has chosen the same solution as Creative, but in some details the Nettetalers have taken a significantly different approach.
On the one hand, this concerns the digital inputs and Output. The SixPack has two separate optical TOS-Link sockets. One input, one output - in itself the better solution, which is only possible by foregoing extras like the FireWire port. Furthermore, the use of the optical input is restricted by the fact that it shares a line with the internal digital input. Switching is done using a jumper on the card. Somewhat old-fashioned, one can claim, and this is not the last of the good old 'jumpers' that we came across.
The second is used to manually set the level of the said internal digital input to the transistor-transistor logic (TTL) Adjust levels of CD-ROM drives. An option that the Audigy does not offer, but which nobody will miss either. The third and last jumper serves an initially really interesting feature of the SiXPack 5.1+. It allows the Line In input to be converted into a separate headphone output, which is preceded by an amplifier with 2 x 60 mW. For all those who still want to make noise on the PC at a late hour, that sounds very promising, if it weren't for the annoying sound quality. More on that later.Much more important than the quality is that the majority of buyers of this card will probably never come across this feature, as it is not mentioned in the printed quick start guide, which brings us to the next topic.
Up the next page: Installation/Documentation