There are only 5 sound cards which have managed to pass this 75 dB SNR
Digital Audio Labs CardD Plus
- Digital Audio Labs (DAL) CardD Plus
- Turtle Beach Systems (TBS) MultiSound Fiji
- Ensoniq AudioPCI ES1370
- Creative Audigy 2 (SB0240)
- TerraTec Maestro 32/96
A very old ISA sound card. No joke, it has been made in 1992. Besides, it
is the oldest sound card to participate in this testing. Comes with one linear
output (two single-ended RCA jacks also known as "tulips"), one linear input
(again, two "tulips"). Analog Devices 1864 (AD1864) and Crystal 5338 (CS5338)
audio converters. Supports playback and recording at 22050Hz, 32000Hz, 44100Hz
and 48000Hz. No wavetable MIDI synthesiser. No software mixing supported,
volume levels are set using jumpers. Coaxial S/PDIF input and output can be
installed with a daughter card (DAL Digital I/O).
Excellent for professional use, especially with analogue equipment.
Turtle Beach Systems MultiSound Fiji
One of the latest ISA sound cards made (1997). One linear output, one
linear input, one microphone input, one auxiliary input. Crystal 4327 (CS4327)
and 5335 (CS5335) audio converters. Supports playback and recording at up to
48000Hz with up to 20-bit resolution. Uses a Motorola DSP56002 for
effect-processing. No wavetable MIDI synthesiser (a version with an on-board
Kurzweil MA-1 is called MultiSound Pinnacle). A WaveBlaster header for an
optional MIDI synthesiser. Coaxial S/PDIF input and output can be installed
with a daughter card and panel.
The linear input is a little problematic to calibrate, but it's still an
excellent professional sound card.
Ensoniq AudioPCI ES1370
The first PCI sound card to hit the market (1997). One linear output, one
linear input, one microphone input. Asahi Kasei 4531 (AK4531) audio converters
(AC'97-incompatible). Supports playback and recording at up to 48000Hz. No
hardware wavetable MIDI synthesiser.
A very good analogue path as for a consumer-level sound card.
Creative Audigy 2 (SB0240)
A mainstream PCI sound card made in 2003. Three linear outputs,
one S/PDIF (coaxial) output, one linear input, one microphone input, IEEE1394
(FireWire) interface. Internally has one S/PDIF (coaxial) input, several
analogue inputs, IEEE1394 interface. Joystick, S/PDIF I/O, control panels may
be attached optionally. Crystal 4382 (CS4382) and SigmaTel 9721 (STAC9721)
audio converters. Supports playback at up to 192KHz (up to 24 bits) and
recording at up to 92KHz (up to 16 bits). No hardware wavetable MIDI
A very good analogue path and a useful set of digital interfaces.
By the way, this sound card has delivered the best IMD result among all 17
sound cards tested.
TerraTec Maestro 32/96
An ISA sound card made in 1996. One linear output, two linear inputs, one
microphone input. Crystal 4232 (CS4232) audio converters. Supports playback
and recording at up to 48000Hz. Uses a DREAM DSP (SAM9233 and SAM8905-1) for
effect-processing, MIDI synthesis (64 voices, 4Mb GS waveset installed) and
IDE interface. A WaveBlaster header for an optional MIDI daughterboard.
Playback amplifier TDA1517 to be enabled in software optionally.
A good sound card with a poor driver support, and there is no
documentation on the DREAM DSP available.