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
Of course there is more on the supplied CDs of the two candidates n than the bare drivers. The numerous areas of application of today's sound cards require a correspondingly large number of setting options. With multimedia software from third-party providers, the purchase is also made palatable to the customer. The two manufacturers also took quite different approaches when selecting and designing this software.
The focal point of the Creative software is not so much the actual 'Audio HQ' as the 'Creative Taskbar'. The same can either be displayed as a complete toolbar at the top or bottom of the screen, or it can be minimized to a tray icon to save space. From there the most important modules such as the surround mixer or the EAX settings can be called up. Others must be called up via the start menu. For example, a practical program for making recordings (recorder), or even a dedicated audio player, called PlayCenter, which comes with some unusual skins. In other folders in the start menu you will find a simple wave editor as well as the rather freaky “Oozic Player”, which allows music fans to create simple 3D representations to match their favorite music. Overall, the division is a bit confusing, on the other hand, the features that are important for gamers are directly accessible.
The impression that the Audigy software is designed more for players than for music editing or DVD fans is confirmed when looking at the software from third-party providers: an excellent PC game , namely 'Giants - Citizen Kabuto', is included, but a software DVD player is missing. So whoever wants to play and listen to music is well served, for DVD fans and creative mindsNothing included with Creative, of all places.
Terratec has set the focus significantly different . Instead of building on modules, the ControlPanel combines all setting options for the SiXPack 5.1+ clearly under one roof. EAX effect settings for games are looked for in vain, and in order to switch EAX on or off, the system has to be restarted every time. For this purpose, digital outputs and inputs can be configured particularly easily. The functions of the MIDI synthesizer are also easy to reach.
In addition, several programs from other TerraTec companies are included. On the one hand, the software DVD player WinDVD from Intervideo is included. There is also the well-known MusicMatch jukebox with which music can be heard and burned. You can also use it to design CD labels and much more. Unfortunately, the 'Emagic Logic Fun' audio and MIDI sequencer cannot be installed under Windows 2000 Professional. To do this, you can creatively approach the world of three-dimensional sound with several small tools from Sensaura, for example by creating your own little world of moving sound sources distributed in the room with 'Athene'.
You can tell - Terratec doesn't seem to be targeting gamers. Terratec supplies exactly those creative DVD junkies who were neglected at Creative.
HowAnyway, very few will choose a sound card based on the software, so of course we also put the hardware through its paces.
On the next page: Test system