10-23-08 - 1

I bought an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 for my Media PC because the motherboard audio was ass quality. I wanted something that had direct connections to RCA out, none of that headphone jack bullshit, those connectors are so shitty, I hate that they've become standard for computer audio output (of course if you're on digital you should use SPDIF or HDMI or whatever and you're fine). The sound quality of this thing is very good, I can turn the speakers way up and don't hear any noise. It was kind of a pain getting the driver to work right because as usual with all this high end audio shit they have to do everything some weird nonstandard way that doesn't play well with normal windows apps.

Anyway, I have a weird complaint about it. It's really fucking loud! The signal level coming out of it is super high, I have turn the computer's software volume level way down and also turn my amp way down to get a reasonable volume level. I don't like turning the software volume down because it worries me that the driver is doing something awful like just compressing the dynamic range into a tiny portion of the 16 bit wave (I have no idea if that's actually true). I generally prefer to have the computer output full volume and just turn it down at the amplifier, but this card is too loud to do that.

Oh, most of you would probably hate this card, it does no 3d and no surround sound processing. Just stereo. Yum.

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