a great budget sound card
I bought this to replace my soundblaster Live card. This system sends audio to a quality hi-fi amp and speakers, not some tiny little pc speakers.
The difference is very noticeable, very much clearer and sharper sound with very reduced background noise.
The Audigy 2 ZS was a preferred choice over some later creative models because it can use a variety of drivers other than the poor ones from Creative. PAX drivers improve sound by using Creative drivers released only for the newer X-Fi.
An even better solution is to install drivers from kxproject.com (not currently in use until I work out how to get my remote working at same time) These make a noticable improvement in sound again. Also gives full control of hardware DSP inside the card. As I do not use 5.1 surround sound, I can use the spare channels for a number of different stereo feeds - e.g music only to speakers, skype to headset and games switchable between both via a built in mixer. All of this is done in the sound card hardware so really reduces the load on the CPU. KX drivers are really intended for musicians to give low- latency (10 times better than Creative) ASIO support and a load of extra effects you can just load in. Haven't used most of this, just run Foobar in Kernel Streaming mode direct into card and enjoy the beautiful sound.
The card is not without its faults though. Creative used some very poor components which do not help the sound quality. There are some sites with information on how to change some capacitors and op-amps to improve audion quality (not something I will be considering!) and adding an EMI shield to prevent noise from within the PC box (may consider trying this).
On balance, this card provides excellent performance at a very low price.
Although there is a lot of new sound cards on the market now, they are still very expensive. If I had a bigger budget, I would go for a USB DAC rather than any internal card. An internal card simply cannot compete within the noisy environment inside a PC case.
Even at this low-end budget, there is a noticable difference in sound quality between mp3, good quality FLAC files and audiophile quality (24bit 96kHz) DVDA sources. Maybe when I have a better collection of higher quality music, I may feel the need to upgrade again.
Until then, I have the joy of rediscovering my music collection with a great improvement in clarity.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Sound Card
Although the Creative labs Audigy 2ZS sound card is not now
being made anymore it is a brilliant sound card.
It is an internal PC1 card that fits into a PC1 slot so
before you buy one make sure that you do have a spare PC1
It supports 7.1 surround sound.
It also has on board internal and external firewire ports, so if you have a digital camcorder you can connect it to this sound card.
The 2ZS sound card also comes with a superb software package as well which is a piece of cake to install and will have everything up and running in no time.
It is Dolby Digital Ex and DTS-ES surround sound compatible and has 64 voice polyphonic facilities for MIDI.
There are also internal connections for 2 CD/DVD drives.
It is still available in a lot of online sites, so if you are looking for a really great sound card, try and get hold of one of these - it will blow your socks off!
If possible buy the OEM version as its the same as the full retail version but without the bells and whistles (additional software)
If you have children or even yourself play games on the computer this is really worth having.
Summary: A brilliant sound card which will be hard to beat
And a big improvement on the original Audigy and Audigy 2.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Great product; good design build, high quality audio, cheap as chips!
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
The Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS is a fantastic card. The product is a couple of years old now, which means there are higher quality items on the market available. I personally feel that these new products offer minimal improvements for a dramatic increase in cost. One of the main points in having a sound card is to take the load off of the CPU, which makes your system run faster - causing increased performance in games, particularly.
This card is very sturdy, looks great inside a case, has all of the important features and ports of a sound card, and has the availability to add a front panel to your computer so you do not have to reach around the back every time.
Creative Audigy2 ZS
Still one of the best sound cards on market good sound quality lots of features but you need to have an original CD with drivers and applications, new drivers and appl you can download from www.creative.com are not really good there is a lots of issues with them Anyway its a good and much better that on-board audio choice for that kind of money (10-20 pounds)Cheers
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Sound Card
The Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Sound Card is a cracking sound card, that you can now pick up cheap!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.