This soundcard features 5.1 surround sound connectors with an option for 7.1 virtual surround sound for enhanced audio while gaming. This sound card also has gold plated connectors for optimal signal transmission along with a half-height form factor for compatibility with HTPC builds.
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Pro Supports 7.1 or 5.1 surround sound
This sound card has connectors that can accomodate 5.1 surround sound speaker setups. Asus offers software which allows for virtual 7.1 surround sound for enhanced audio immersion over 5.1 surround.
Pro Produces clear audio with minimal distrotion
The audio from this sound card is clean and with very little distortion. Sound is also much fuller compared to many low-end on-board audio solutions.
Pro Audio connectors should last a long time
The analog audio connectors in this soundcard are gold plated. Not only does this promote efficient signal transfer, but these connectors do not rust over time, improving their longevity.
Pro Can easily fit in most PC builds
The sound card comes in a half-height PCI-E form factor. Also, a low-profile I/O bracket is included, making this sound card much easier to fit in compact HTPC computers.
Pro Compatible with Linux
This is a good sound card option if you are on Linux. Asus has proper Linux drivers for this sound card.
Con Cannot power high impedance headphones
This sound card does not have a headphone amp so high impedance headphones may have less-than-optimal sound quality and low volume output.
Con Requires additional power
You will need to connect a floppy-drive cable from your power supply to this sound card for adequate power. This can be an annoyance and can add cable clutter inside your computer.
Con No separate connector for S/PDIF
The S/PDIF is connected to the shared line/mic-in with a separate adapter, which could be a problem for people wanting to use both digital and analog devices simultaneously.