drivers support DirectSound, DirectSound3D, DirectMusic and
EAX 1.0/2.0 but as with every other non-Audigy soundcard,
EAX Advanced HD isnít supported.
No OpenAL Driver is available either (which according to
Creative Labs can provide improved CPU utilization in
supporting titles, e.g. Unreal Tournament 2003 & Soldier Of
Fortune 2), though given the USB interface, I canít imagine
this would have any particularly beneficial effect.
Currently NVIDIA is the only company besides Creative who
Iím aware includes an OpenAL driver, so this wasnít too
unexpected. For gameplay I used the following: Operation
Flashpoint, Americaís Army, Enter the Matrix, Jedi Outcast &
previous Philips Soundcards, 3D positioning is excellent and
benefits largely from QMSSí
(QSound Multi-Speaker System)
enhancements, which enables non-multi-channel sources, e.g.
music, to be up-mixed to 4/5.1 channels. 3D
positioning itself is excellent, perhaps as good as Creative
and better than what
Sensaura offered. More specifically, 4 and 5.1 output
modes are certainly amongst the best youíll find. EAX
support is another decent feature, with good quality reverb,
though as you might expect, Creative soundcards are still
the best in this regard.
performance seemed fine and despite the USB interface I
couldnít say frame rates were adversely affected by the
extra CPU usage, bandwidth wasnít an issue either with USB
2.0, although this shouldnít really change if you are stuck
with USB 1.x.
Audio quality in
games was great and beyond EAX variances audio playback
wasnít noticeably different than any of the other soundcards
recently. Overall, the Aurilium proved fairly pleasant
for audio playback in games, with excellent 3D positioning &
good EAX 1/2 support.
For testing DVD
playback I used the latest version of WinDVD 5 Platinum
(Which provides both DTS & Digital decoding), which features
the following Audio output options.
For sake of
clarity, the above shot was taken with an Audigy 2 installed
(In case anyoneís wondering why the SoundBlaster 24-bit logo
& Enable 96 KhZ/24 bit decoding ticked).
out to External Processor was quickly confirmed by
enabling AC-3/DTS Pass Through in Sound Agent 2 and the
Extigyís (acting as Dolby Digital decoder) Dolby Digital LED
lit up and played AC-3 streams as expected via both Coaxial
& Optical connections.
DVDs I tested out included The Two Towers (Extended
Edition), Black Hawk Down, Hulk, Equilibrium, The Office,
Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo and The Matrix: Reloaded. Audio
format wise this covered Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Stereo &
with the Aurilium was good and using relatively cheaper
speakers systems such as the Inspire 6700 and the Videologic
ZXR-750, I didnít notice a tangible difference in terms
audio quality compared to other soundcards. Positioning was
good in the various output modes, though this was mainly
down to WinDVDís decoder/Extigy decoding the audio streams
for the specified output mode. Audio quality itself was,
again, good and compared well against the likes of even the
Audigy 2, with the Speakers used proving to be the main
limitation in maximizing each Soundcards output.
Overall DVD playback
proved sufficient, with good quality audio, though obviously
if youíre interested in 6.1/7.1 output youíll want to get a
PCI Soundcard instead.