The Audigy2 is a fine sound card, no doubts about that. Whether you should run out to the local retailer to buy one right after you finished reading this article is another story. The addition of true 24-bit/96KHz support is nice, so is the DVD-audio and 6.1-channel Surround Sound support, but it is not significantly better in terms of features or performance than the original Audigy.
Overall the Audigy2 is a well-rounded product with many of the features that we already saw on the original Audigy. The extra features such as 24-bit/96KHz, 6.1-channel Surround Sound and DVD-audio are generally only important if you’re purchasing a new soundcard today and not for those that are looking to upgrade their current Audigy soundcard. If you need a new soundcard today, by all means go with an Audigy2, it is simply one of the best-rounded sound cards available today.
So what about the competition? Frankly Creative Labs’ sound cards have always been very popular, but we see a trend among the onboard solutions to offer an increasing number of features at a very low price. If at some point solutions such as Nvidia’s Nforce and Nforce2 become the de-facto standard, Creative Labs might pretty well be caught in a niche there, as the price of an onboard solution is only a fraction of what a seperate sound card costs.
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