Weekend Open Forum: What's your PC audio setup?

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If you've been a computer enthusiast for long you will recall how in the late 1990s computer audio took as much precedence as 3d graphics. Coming in hot from the 'multimedia revolution' when computers gained the ability to reproduce high quality audio and became more interactive thanks to the use of optical media (a.k.a. the CD-ROM), these would eventually evolve into Internet-connected machines and powerful gaming workstations. A golden era for the likes of Creative Labs and its Sound Blaster series, back then I used to think of an upgrade in terms of moving from a 2.1 to a 5.1 speaker system. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but it'd seem like that page in history is long gone or at least has been on the decline for many years now.

Take this personal example. I'm currently planning a nice home theater setup for my new house that includes in-wall speakers, a receiver, an HTPC, a big screen projector, the works. On the other hand, on my workstation I literally threw away the latest Creative X-fi sound card that I owned a couple of years ago and got rid of the multiple speaker system and all the cabling that implied for the basic and subtle Logitech Z-10 USB speakers. When playing games, which I must admit does not happen as often as it did years before or as often as I would like to, I'm relying either on this 2-speaker system or on a pair of relatively high-end headphones that pull the trick off given my needs.


In this week's WOF we ask you, what kind of audio devices and equipment do you currently have hooked up to your computer? Like me, are you also giving less importance to PC audio than you did before? Or perhaps I'm simply talking for personal experience and you have treated yourself and your computer with a more sophisticated solution than anything I've mentioned thus far? Enrich us with your stories. Discuss.

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