Auzentech X-Meridian 7.1 Soundcard
Info: AuzenTechPrice: 199 USD
Its HERE! We originally heard about the release date for Auzentechs X-Meridian waaay back in June. A card based on a new chipset, the Oxygen HD from C-Media, and some very high-end AKM digital parts capable of running in 24 bits and 192 KHz resolution. I was pretty excited, and reading the buzz in the forums, quite a lot of people were too. After some months, finally, a mysterious box arrived early November. It turned out to be a sassy black and orange box from Auzentech!
So let me just end all the speculation right here and now: the X-Meridian is the best sound card weve ever tested. There are some performance issues to be aware of, but in terms of raw sound quality, it is top notch. While it is lacking in a software bundle, the X-Meridian has some stable, low footprint drivers, EAX 2.0, ASIO, packs a rich set of encoding options, and offers everything but a kitchen sink for a home theater setup.
The most difficult aspect of the X-Meridian is what shorthand to call it. Yeah, the difficulties of reviewing hardware. X-M? X-MN? X-MR? Eh, I give up. So, after many hours of typing, I have settled onto X-Mer.
But, all is not roses in the land of Meridians, and there are some interesting results from our benchmarks that raised some questions. I can explain why in the course of another fine audio review. Alright, quit laughing.