Gainward Music2Go 7.1 & SoundXPlosion 5.1 headphones
Posted by Brann Mitchell on: 10/05/2004 06:00 AM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Product Specs - Music2Go:
· The 7.1-channel, same as Dolby Digital EX standard from Dolby Lab and compatible with the DTS-ES standard from DTS Lab.Dolby ® digital audio streaming via S/PDIF out 8 channel DAC with 16-bit resolution
- 48 / 44.1 KHz sampling rate
- C-Media's Xear 3D sound processing
- Full function Remote Controller
- Easy-to-Use Graphic User Interface audio console and speaker configuration software
- Hardware controls for volume up/down
- Complete Audio I/O connections
- Power On LED
- USB 2.0 system interface with USB remote wake up support
The Music2Go has pretty much the same features as a conventional sound card that you would install inside your PC's case.
It has 8 channels of analog output matching every new sound card, including support for Dolby Digital EX and DTS-ES. It supports a fairly boring 16 bit/48kHz sample rate, but it played a 24 bit/96kHz sound file just fine. It's also got an optical S/PDIF out.
What you can't tell from these pictures is that it has four very bright blue LEDs that flash at a seizure inducing rate while it is playing sound. It is distracting enough to have you reaching for something to cover them up, quickly. And I like LED's.
Like so. Oh, the buttons on the top are volume, up and down.
The 3D positional audio is handled by C-Media's Xear3D technology. Xear 3D is a software solution combining Sensaura3D and two other API's. It's not a hardware solution, but it gets the job done. Sensaura provides the HRTF 3D ear fooling, while the other two API's, EnvironmentFX and C-Media Xear 3D Filter, provide some interesting reverb and mixing effects. The 3D filter is a 5.1 channel API, converting 5.1 channel on stereo speakers (or headphones) and expanding 2 channels to 5.1.
Internally the Music2Go caught my attention. It still has the trademark Gainward red PCB. It's also a single chip solution by C-media. The DAC's are good for 16-bit/48kHz on all 8 channels. There's no information in the datasheets about fidelity, other than 'high-end.'
Note the metal disk on the right to keep puck from flying away.
Trademark red, C-Media's CM106-F is in charge. There is a USB controller on the back of the PCB, but other than that it is a clean design.
Product Specs (SoundXPlosion):
- Subwoofer: 40mm Ø, 2 pieces with 100mW @ 4 OHMS
- Front/Rear: 30mm Ø, 2 pieces with 30mW @ 32 OHMS
- Centre: 30mm Ø, 4 pieces with 30mW @ 64 OHMS
- Subwoofer: 50-400Hz
- Front/Rear: 250Hz-17KHz
- Centre: 180Hz-14KHz
Since we're doing expose's on internals, lets have a closer look.
Four drivers in all: three for each surround channel, and one in the boot for some thump.
That's the force-feedback rumbler.
The Gainward Music2Go is a surprisingly good USB soundpuck, and the SoundXPlosion 5.1 surround headphones are better for games and DVD than they are for music.
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