HDA X-Plosion 7.1 Sound Card Review

By seanp789
Mar 4, 2006
  1. I know a few people were interested in this card so here is a review I found.

    A couple comments on this review...

    I checked the reviewers equipment he listed and its quite apparent that the reviewer either knows or cares very little about audio fidelity. He uses a $100 POS for his home theater receiver and his only other point of references are stock ipod headphones and a good value set of Logitech THX Z-5300e 5.1. You can also see that this is really his first set of 5.1 speakers and that his impressions have more to do with surround sound at all than the actual sound quality. I was dissappointed with the type and amount of information that was offered.
    The fact that he compares the soundcard to an ipod at all I find laughable. It's equivalent to comparing a squirt gun to a fire hose.

    Interestingly enough, the reviewer came to the same conclussion that I did. I think that most computer users will find this review useful. The conclussion is accurate but many of the listening tests the reviewer commented on are misleading do to the reviewer's points of reference.

    - Sound quality is on par with audigy 2 series.
    - DD/DTS encoding is the main reason to buy this card as it lacks some other features that may or may not be important to you.
    - missing EAX3+, dvd-audio playback, front panel connectivity, etc...

    + The raw specs for the DSP looked good, however, without actually listing the brand and model of the DACs used there is no real way of interpreting the relative quality level of the DACs. These are most likely bypassed in DTS mode, however, and the sound quality would only be limited by the DSP itself and the DTS compression.

    ****New review****

    This review goes into more depth and I found it much more helpful. Keep in mind for the benchmarks they compare an Audigy 1(dinosaur) with the HDA card. The rightmark results should be comparable to tests of an X-Fi if you understand how to interpret the Rightmark graphs.

    The HDA card costs $135 putting it in the same price range as an X-Fi as opposed to an Audigy 1 that was discontinued years ago.
  2. Ruben

    Ruben TS Rookie Posts: 100

    Audigy can encode signal into ac3 so DD/DTS encoding Xplosion offers is not a big deal but Xplosion has optical out that Audigy does not have.
  3. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Really? That's the first time I've heard that.
  4. Ruben

    Ruben TS Rookie Posts: 100

    how do I delete a post :(
  5. Ruben

    Ruben TS Rookie Posts: 100

    google for redocneXk.

    In all fairness I do not see any actual reason for ddl or dts encoding. This is benefit only with games - if you want to use digital connection. For movies or music you do not need to encode anything - just pass it thru, any card can do that.

    And you want to use digital connection if your receiver has better DACs then your sound card - which is not common with dedicated sound cards and most of the affordable receivers. I do not know anyone who is using +$1000 digital speakers for gaming, most people go for something like Logitech's z5500 that have lower DACs then Xplosion or X-Fi or much better value analog setups or simply use headphones.
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