Auzentech X-Meridian 7.1 review

Soundcards and Speakers 105 Page 2 of 14 Published by


Page 2 - Features

Features Discussion & Photos


The X-Meridian has two features that make you look twice, just to make sure you read it right.  The first is sheer resolution: both a 24 bit/192KHz DAC and a 24 bit/192KHz ADC.  Yup, the X-Meridian is maxed out in terms of resolution.  It doesnt get any higher than that, folks.  The other feature is the DTS and Dolby Digital Live hardware encoding, allowing for digital output to your AV receiver with a single cable.


The Combo


Another eye-popper in the specifications is the dynamic range: 120dBA.  This is extra-strength, professional grade, and entirely a property of the X-Meridians AKM DACs.  Since all processing is done in the digital domain, having nice DAC's are essential for having good output.  But, there are other factors that can eat up the dynamic range on a card, such as how the driver handles data streams, what DSP effects are acting on the streams, and how electrically noisy the computer is, just to name a few issues the designer has to take into consideration. 


While Auzentech tells us that its engineers have done everything to eliminate electrical noise, were not too sure about C-Medias drivers, especially since the Oxygen HD is a new product.  To paraphrase Bill Gates, patches are the magic of software.


Anyway, cut n paste from Auzentechs website:

  • The C-Media Oxygen HD CMI8788 Audio Processor is the heart of the AUZEN X-MERIDIAN 7.1.
  • 4 pcs 24-bit/192 kHz AK4396VF (120dB-part spec.) DACs for 7.1channel output. (24-bit/192kHz in 7.1channel playback)
  • 1 pc 24-bit/192kHz AK5385VF (114dB-part spec.) ADC input (24-bit/192 kHz recording)
  • 1 pc CMI9780 AC'97 2.3 CODEC for AUX input, CD input, MIC input (16bit/48kHz playback/recording)
  • Integrated up to 192k/24-bit S/PDIF transmitter for 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 96 kHz, 192 kHz SPDIF output.
  • Supports onboard high grade special COAX+OPTIC combo type transmitter module for up to 192 kHz SPDIF out.
  • Integrated up to 192k/24-bit S/PDIF receiver for 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 96 kHz, 192 kHz SPDIF input.
  • Supports onboard high grade special COAX+OPTIC combo type receiver module for up to 192 kHz SPDIF input.
  • Standard 10PIN Front Panel Audio supports connectivity for stereo audio output and a microphone input from most new chassis. (All 7.1channel analog output muted by jack connection sense of front panel headphone out / Dual MIC input available by back panel mic input and front panel mic input)
  • DTS® Interactive - A real-time 5.1 channel encoder.
  • DTS® Neo:PC - An upmix matrix technology.
  • Dolby® Digital Live (DDL) - A real-time 5.1 channel encoding.
  • Dolby® ProLogic IIx surround processor spreading stereo audio into 7.1 channel surround sound.
  • Dolby® Headphone technology, conveying 5.1 surround and 3D gaming audio over stereo headphones.
  • Dolby® Virtual Speaker solution, bringing amazing virtual surround sound fields via general two speakers.
  • C-Media FlexBass - LFE channel crossover frequency setable from range 50 to 250Hz in Small speaker mode and Small/Large speaker selectable.
  • C-Media Magic Voice, popular feature for disguising your tone in online chatting.
  • C-Media Xear 3D 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter technology.
  • C-Medias unique Karaoke functions: Microphone Echo, Key-shifting.
  • 27 global reverberation environments.
  • Supports most industrial standards of 3D sound for PC gaming, including EAX 1.0 & 2.0, A3D 1.0, and DirectSound.
  • Swappable DIP type OPAMP controlled preamp out circuit (4pcs output control OPAMP IC with DIY socket)
  • Surface mount type OPAMP controlled preamp input circuit (2pcs input control OPAMP for ADC and 1pc MIC input gain control)
  • 5Vrms (Differential DAC output with gain adjustment / approximately full swing from +/- 8V dual power supply)
  • Proper OPAMP control circuit (large capacity 1A +8V, -8V, dual power supply circuit) for high quality audio quality, prevent audio distortion at high volume level.
  • Upgrade Extension available (Extra 6.35mm MIC / Extra Digital I/O sold separately)

If you caught all the details above, you realize the X-Meridian has one of the most complete feature sets available in a consumer audio card.   Lets take a look at the hardware side first.


Mmmm... pretty...

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