M-Audio Revolution 7.1 Sound Card

Soundcards and Speakers 105 Page 2 of 8 Published by


The Revolution Inside

The Revolution Inside


Let's take a look at the features of the Revolution 7.1

  • Audiophile quality 24-bit/192kHz playback, 24-bit/96kHz recording
  • Pro Audio Performance--Dynamic range: 106dB (typical, -60dB input, aweighted); Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 107dB (typical, a-weighted); THD+N: -90dB (typical)
  • Supports Dolby Digital 5.1 (AC3), Dolby Pro Logic, DTS, and other encoded multi-channel formats
  • SRS TruSurround XT; Deep Bass Enhancement and Dialog Enhancement
  • SRS Advanced Circle Surround II for multi-channel sound from stereo sources
  • Supports 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192kHz using internal MME drivers in Windows (XP SP1)
  • Supports 24-bit PCM (Pulse Code Modulation); 16-bit PCM, 16-bit AC3, Dolby Prologic, or DTS
  • One Coaxial (RCA s?PDIF output
  • 8 (7.1) channel analog output
  • One-year warranty

The M-Audio Revolution 7.1 is based on the Via/Envy 24HT audio chip.  There are several flavors of the Envy24 chip, with the Envy 24HT having 24 bit/192kHz sampling rates in 8 channels, good enough for DVD quality sound and video.  The Envy 24HT does trade a few features for the performance, most notably the 16-stream DirectSound acceleration and the 20-channel, 36-bit mixer of the regular Envy24.


VIA/ICEnsemble Envy24HT


For recording, the Envy24HT will record up to four channels simultaneously at 24 bit/96kHz resolution.


The DAC output is handled by an AKM Semiconductor AK4355.  It boasts a whopping 106dB SNR and keeps the 24 bit/192kHz precision of the Envy 24HT on all 8 channels.


Wow, that's close.


The Revolution 7.1, as the name implies, supports 7.1 surround sound.  The only other card that does that, at the time of this writing, is the Hercules Fortissimo III, which we reviewed a little while ago.  But let's be honest, the Revolution 7.1 blows the FF3 away.


The Revolution 7.1 supports Dolby Digital 5.1 (AC3), Dolby Pro Logic, DTS, and Dolby Digital EX.  It also supports all surround modes in between, 2.0, 2.1, 4.0, 4.1, 5.0, 5.1, and 6.1.  Not to mention DVD-Audio, which I hope becomes the new audio standard.


For those who don't have anywhere near 7.1 channels in their surround speaker set-up, which I'm guessing is almost all of you, the Revolution 7.1 comes with SRS TruSurround XT technology that will emulate surround effects on two (or more, I suppose) speakers.  There is also the Advanced Circle Surround II technology that creates multi-channel surround from stereo sources, like MP3's and CD's.


Not surprising from a pro-oriented company, the Revolution 7.1 also throws in low latency ASIO support.


The Revolution 7.1 also works in a Mac, Roj, if that's your bag.


** Update (14/09/03): Roj is not a Mac user.

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