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3D Spotlight : Hardware : Diamond MonsterSound MX400 review

Diamond MonsterSound MX400 review
Posted by Julio Franco on June 14, 2000
Company: Diamond Multimedia     Product: MonsterSound MX400

Until a few months ago, music and game enthusiasts only had two major options when choosing a soundcard, those being one of the cards in SBLive! Family, or an Aureal Vortex2 based cardÖ that has changed lately though.

Itís of common knowledge that Aurealís current position isnít good at all, when they decided to launch their own retail soundcard based on their own Vortex2 chip, they lost most of their big OEM deals, that includes Diamond Multimedia that had the very popular MonsterSound MX300 card in the market.

Diamond had to look around for new possibilities for their new soundcard once they got separated from Aureal, thatís where ESS Technologies come into scene. ESS has this new sound chip called Canyon3D featuring Sensauraís new technology, for sure it looked like a real winner on paper, combined with Diamondís name and marketing experience, what we get is the MonsterSound MX400.

The Card

Although there have been certain changes internally at Diamond after the merge with S3 inc., we have always recognized their products because of its high quality manufacturing and the MX400 is no exception.

However, with Creative dominating the soundcard market, Diamond is bringing a new concept for the MonsterSound Family with the MX400, we were used to see introduction prices nearing the $200 mark but this time in order to catch up with the competition they are offering a full featured product for less than $90, now can the hardware actually live up to expectations? Thatís the real point here.

Onto the basic stuff, the MX400 is based on ESSí Canyon3D sound processor as we already mentioned, it does 3D Positional Audio thanks to Sensauraís MultiDrive technology (details explained later), true Quad-speaker output, it carries EAX and A3D compatibility as well as Dolby Digital support (requires extra equipment), for sure, everything we are used to see on a high-end product nowadays.

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