Summary: For a cheap card, this works well. It obviously isn't as loaded as higher end models, but it's better than on-board sound and a quick install. If you're not too picky, this is definitely worth a look.
Pros: Cheap, especially as open-box., Easy to install and work with., Some good concepts in the design/software.
Cons: Utilities are pretty limited., Not as many features as higher end cards, naturally., Some problem with card and front panel headphone jack required a reinstall.
Pros: I’m not a gamer, so this review is for listing to music. I use Klipsch ProMedia speakers that sounded rather flat using the onboard Realtek chip. In the past I’ve used Turtle Beach sound cards on other systems and knew they gave better sound that the onboard chips so I decided to look for a newer card that had support for Windows 7. I picked the Xoner DS because it fit my price range, was PCI which was the only slot I had available and used the new ASUS AV200 chip. It...
Cons: I’m running Windows 7 Ultra, so I downloaded and installed the latest drivers, ASUS-DS-PCI_DS_091126_7_12_8_1777_W73264. However when I leave the PC running and it goes into sleep/hibernate mode it won’t wake up the next day, the system hangs and I have to reboot the box. Bummer as I run a Windows Home Server system that backs up this PC every night and can’t anymore. It all worked fine until I installed the new sound card and drivers. The only remedy I found was when...
Summary: Speaking of the audio center the UI is very clumsy. For instance, when setting hi-fi or GX modes it's difficult to know right away if they're turned on at all.
Pros: I'm going to preface this review that saying while I have a very good understanding of comparing other PC hardware, sound cards are not really in this list. So this is mostly and observational/subjective review.
Cons: Drivers and audio center UI. The drivers aren't as bad as some people make it out to be, but they're still pretty sub par. For example, this card claims it has front panel audio detection. It will detect that I have plugged in a device but when it's removed you must go into the audio center to manually change the audio out from the front panel to the back.
Summary: I had been using a preamp to digitize my LP collection on an old computer that blew up. This card doesn't have the blue line input. It claims that the first input works for microphone or line in. It works for mic but not my preamp. It does a fine job playing cds and mp3 files and streaming from the web, but for the price, it's stupid not to have a blue line in jack that works like the standard.
Summary: Gaming enthusiasts will be aware how important sound is to games espcially when it comes to first person shooters. Most computers have onboard sound cards but they aren't always good at picking up the little details of many games for example footsteps. There are many expensive sound cards available that gamers will use, but to be honest, a mid ranged sound card can achieve a very good audio experience.