Philips Acoustic Edge review

Manual, Software & Installation

The Acoustic Edge's manual is excellent & will guide you through everything from initial installation & setup to control panel settings. The manual is well laid out with a good deal of pictures. Obviously no-one should really have any problems setting up this card themselves as a result.

The Acoustic Edge's Control Panel utility also offers a great Help system & you should have no problems finding out what a specific setting does. Apart from the great Help system, the software bundle is suprisingly good. Apart from the usual Music creation/editing/playback software (Siren Xpress, Acid Xpress, AudioPix) the Acoustic Edges most noticeable included software would have to be Power DVD 3.0, an excellent software DVD player.

My initial excitement at receiving & installing the Acoustic Edge turned to frustration as the driver CD seemed to be missing files needed for installation, then the Philips website offered no help with drivers either. To be honest it seems like the Soundcard never existed on their website either (At time of writing I only just discovered it on a dedicated Philips PCSound website, viewable here). Eventually I found a link to a driver update page via a link in a forum which I Searched for. Itís not looking very good at all so far is it? But wait!

Soon after this initial hardship I took the opportunity to reinstall everything afresh, on my replacement Abit SH6 which I received shortly afterwards. This totally cleared up the problems initially experienced installing it. Once more I updated the drivers to the latest version via the Philips webupdate wizard (Disappointingly there is no option to save the updated drivers to your hard drive, rather you must re-download them if you Uninstall the card for any reason).

One thing of interest during installation was the custom SPDIF & Line Out cabling which the Acoustic Edge used. The Line Out consisted of 1 9 Pin jack & cable which split into 3 other jacks - Center & Subwoofer, Rear Left & Right, Front Left & Right respectively. In a similar vein the SPDIF jack cable consisted of both SPDIF In & Out jacks. It's fairly nice & innovative design, certainly an efficient one. No more reaching around your PC to mess with inputs. You simply have 1 cable to deal with which can easily be placed around the side of your system.

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