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M-AUDIO > 
Item#: N82E16829121120

M-AUDIO Audiophile 2496 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface 4-In-4-Out Professional Audio Card with MIDI

  • 24-bit 96KHz
  • PCI Interface
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The M-Audio Audiophile 2496 sound card is an easy way to upgrade your Windows or Mac computer's integrated audio for professional-level audio production. Delivering above CD-quality 24-bit/96kHz fidelity, there are individual left- and right-channel analog coaxial gold-plated RCA jacks. A nine-pin breakout cable connects to the card adding a set of coaxial digital S/PDIF and MIDI I/Os. Combined with the included Ableton Live Lite 5 software you can produce and playback professional-sounding recordings right out of the box.

The Audiophile 2496 is part of the company's Delta series of sound cards that use a 36-bit embedded DSP (digital signal processor) for software-driven routing of all analog I/O with extremely fast throughput for instant monitoring software-based monitoring. A single unified control panel provides settings for clock and sample rates, buffer sizes and individual signal levels for every input and output, easily accessible through most professional audio software applications for seamless integration and operation.

  • newegg 36-bit Embedded DSP The AUDIOPHILE 2496 sound card contains a 36-bit embedded Digital Signal Processor to enable a software-driven patchbay/router for analog and digital I/Os — all with extremely fast throughput for low-latency software monitoring.
  • newegg S/PDIF Input and Output The S/PDIF input supports recording of digital audio from external sources, while S/PDIF output allows pass-through of Dolby Digital and DTS DVD formats for pure digital quality surround sound on A/V receivers or digital speakers.

Learn more about the M-AUDIO Audiophile 2496

Model

Brand
M-AUDIO
Model
Audiophile 2496

Audio core

Audio Chipset
VIA VT1712
Sample Rate
96KHz
Digital Audio
24-bit

Ports

MIDI/Joystick
Yes

Spec

Interface
PCI
Operating Systems Supported
Windows 98SE / Me / 2000 (SP4) / XP (SP1)

Features

Features
award-winning 24-bit/96kHz digital audio card
2 x 2 full-duplex audio performance
gold-plated RCA jacks
S/PDIF digital I/O with PCM and AC-3/DTS passthrough
1 x 1 MIDI I/O
includes Ableton Live Lite 4 music production software, so you can make music right away

The Audiophile 2496 embodies a quantum leap in computer audio fidelity and performance unequaled by other audio cards in its price range. This critically acclaimed PCI card features premium digital audio converters, elegant board design, and ultra-stable drivers just like the rest of the Delta line, but with a simpler I/O configuration. As a member of the Delta family, the Audiophile 2496 supports all computer platforms and major software programs, ensuring seamless integration and rock-solid performance. See why the Audiophile 2496 is one of the best-selling digital audio cards in the industry.

Physical Spec

Dimensions
5.25" x 5" x 0.875"
Weight
0.2 lbs.

Packaging

Package Contents
Audiophile 2496 Audio Card
Audio Cable
Driver Disk

Manufacturer Warranty

Parts
1 year limited
Labor
1 year limited

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year


Customer Reviews of the M-AUDIO Audiophile 2496

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  • Ann J.
  • 10/11/2012 5:32:26 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsstill the best value for electronic music creation

Pros: For a cheap price, I am able to routinely produce very good to excellent audio mock-ups of a full symphony orchestra with piano at CD quality fidelity. (this takes up most of 1024 voices but at less than 19ms latency; 16 bit, 44100 Hz) Excellent dynamic response. Robust product with mature drivers (Delta Series Driver 6.0.8). Large troubleshooting knowledge base. (http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=support&tab=faqs#tabs) Durable construction.

Cons: Drivers for new OS have always been slow in coming, but for about three years now (as of this writing) there are thoroughly reliable drivers for both PC and Mac (up through to Win7 64bit SP1 and OSX 10.5.8). This is probably not the card to do high compression, synthesized experimental sounds; its forte is dynamics, not over-the-top volume. (Clipping would be a problem.) From what I have read, not many musicians appreciate its recording capabilities.

Other Thoughts: In a properly configured Digital Audio Workstation with lots of power (i.e server class), this card has performed like a champ for nearly 10 years. I can say that of no other computer product I have owned (hardware or software). Actually, one of the most significant pros about this card is that it has been around for 10 years relatively unchanged (as far as the user is concerned).

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  • Sylvia L.
  • 5/4/2012 12:09:52 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsExcellent sound card

Pros: This is the best sound card I've ever used. No buzzing or clicking. The sound quality is amazing compared to your average onboard sound.

Cons: No 1/4" phone jacks.

Other Thoughts: It was very difficult to get this working with Linux. I had to do several hours of research to find some instructions that actually worked. Do not buy this for use with Linux unless you are very comfortable with Linux or are prepared to spend some time getting it set up.

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  • Diverse L.
  • 2/19/2012 4:42:30 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsHigh Expectations

Pros: Great converters and sound quality.

Cons: The software is really good, just that you have to figure out everything by yourself because the setup manual and help are unhelpful. To bad half my mediocre and at times frustrating experience was from a learning curve that could have been helped by a better manual.

Other Thoughts: I recorded mostly in 16 bit and some in 44 without knowing because the software defaulted to it a couple of times when I started a new project. Wish I had figured it out sooner before recording hours of material in 16 bit not 24. Frustrating.

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  • Diverse L.
  • 2/15/2012 5:18:09 PM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsHad high expectations

Pros: Great sound card to hook into your stereo. It's my opinion that most of the sound quality is in the a/d converters which are excellent.

Cons: I set it up just like I was supposed to (excepting the drivers you get are ancient throwaways and you have to go online for the latest drivers) but still WON'T RECORD in 24 bit rate. Also I had to RMA the first one so I struggle to give it a just OK 3 egg rating when I'm tempted to go 2 egg.

Other Thoughts: Just wanted to copy old tapes and can't offer a poor grade because 16 bit 96k is a really good copy. I'd give it 5 stars excepting that I have little tolerance for the company lying about it's capability to record in 24 bit after paying for it and wasting hours of time finally bailing and accepting the 16 bit recording. The solution would be more maddening hours of time and money on software to overcome.

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  • Timothy R.
  • 12/22/2011 7:01:55 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsgreat card

Pros: have used m-audio cards in the past, great quality, 0 latency, sound quality is fantastic, easy to set up. windows xp 32 bit

Cons: none

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  • Melbourne B.
  • 10/16/2011 5:24:31 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsNot as good as USB

Pros: There is not really any pros as it applies to our need... good software support from manufacturer web site.

Cons: I tried it based upon New EGG Review info. It turned out that did not work for us. The card was purchased to be used in a system used for music production. We compared it to a USB solution for this purpose and the USB won -- so we RMA/returned it. The system is 64 bit Windows 7. Muffled sound compared to USB box we ended up using for our studio production system.

Other Thoughts: PCI

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Michael T.
  • 9/27/2011 9:56:24 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsto beowulfy

Pros: I've owned this card for well over 5 years (exact count not sure but a LONG time). The sound quality is AMAZING and works great for a home studio with the 24-bit/96 kHz sound quality.

In response to 'beowulfy' this card DOES have 5.1 surround support through the S/PDIF output. I've been using it through various vintage stereo receivers as well as newer digital receivers and have never been let down as it simply does a pass-thru of digital/DTS audio which means your receiver MUST support it. 'beowulfy' doesn't know what he's talking about.

Cons: None, it's too cheap to have any cons.

Other Thoughts: Don't listen to 'beowulfy', the S/PDIF coaxial output DOES do surround sound provided your receiver does the decoding, it's a simple pass-thru operation.

If he had said it doesn't do surround decoding then I wouldn't have to write this, but in fact it does SUPPORT surround but it doesn't do the decoding processing itself, your receiver must.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Michael S.
  • 9/12/2011 5:22:11 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsGreat card, marginal software

Pros: I bought this card as a higher quality alternative to the standard on-motherboard sound hardware in my winXP box. The original had decent quality, but was very noisy. The 2496 solved that problem, and it's operation has been flawless. I mainly use this for listening, and occasional vinyl-to-digital conversion. I'm very happy with the sound quality.

Cons: The first thing you have to do is toss the installation disk that is packaged with the card in the trash. Then go to the website for the "latest" version of the driver (in this case, for XP, "latest" means 2007), and be sure to read the FAQ in the knowledge base for this product.

If you install from the distribution disk, and then try to upgrade, you WILL HAVE PROBLEMS! Don't go there.

If you encounter any problem in the installation, be aware that the uninstall doesn't really work, and you have to manually remove some files.

Other Thoughts: By using a card such as this, you lose some of the control capabilities inherent with Windows, specifically the volume/mute/balance controls (via the little speaker icon in the task tray). This is actually a good thing because it means that there is no interference with the audio signal path coming out of the card. For convenience, I built a little level control/mute switch box that sits next to my computer (my amplifier controls are just out of reach).

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 7/2/2011 3:43:52 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsGreat Card

Pros: ASIO, noiseless, superior sound quality, and tough as a tank! 7 years ago was the happiest day of my life, when I was given this sound card. It made it much easier to mix down and EQ my tracks. Anyone who says it crackles or pops are not doing something right, 7 year owner and this card worked in all 6 different computers I have used. It has worked for me on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. If your computer is fast enough you can change the ASIO buffer size to 64 samples (2ms). I even use my MIDI Keyboard and have never had a single issue with this card.

Cons: On my older AMD Athlon 64 x2 3800+ it was a CPU hog. Phenom II x4 820 does much better though.

Other Thoughts: Fast Track Ultra 8R, in my dreams.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 5/5/2011 9:50:34 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggs10 years experience with the 2496

Pros: My Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) needs are to write classical music in various genre including chamber music, Classical and Romantic orchestral music, concertos, choral, etc. ... note, it is NOT to score films per se. (The main difference is that many more kinds of sounds are required, especially of the strings.) And all this has had to be on a budget! So, I tweak like hell and use high quality samples; of course, this taxes the MIDI output of my sound card like crazy. But with the newer system that I list below, I don't have pops, clicks, hiccups, etc. AT ALL despite recreating with listenable fidelity an entire modern symphony orchestra. Finally, hardware and operating systems have caught up to the capabilities that this sound card introduced a decade ago! I'm convinced that from 2001, it was this card and NOT those PCs with their terrible operating systems that enabled me to carry on any composition at all.

Cons: No PCI Express version
No analog in
As for most of the problems cited in the feedback, check out the FAQ and knowledge base for the 2496:

http://www.m-audio.com/index.php?do=support&tab=faqs&serie_ID=1&PID=adf95efc30b88aba043fa8b83343bfb8#tabs

Other Thoughts: System (yeah, most of it is from Newegg):

***Sibelius 6.2, Komplete 7, Logic 9
(sound sets: http://soundsets.jonathanloving.com/)
***OSx86 10.5.7, Windows 7 64bit
***SUPERMICRO MBD-X7DWA-N Intel 5400 Dual Xeon Server MB (requires I/O Shield, MCP-260-74301-ON, obtained from Supermicro directly)
***SUPERMICRO CSE-743TQ-865B-SQ Server Case
(important to use this case so that the MB will fit)
***2 x Intel Xeon E5410 Harpertown 2.33GHz
***Kingston 16GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR2 FB-DIMM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) ECC, KVR800D2D4F5K2/8G
***MSI N8400GS-D512H GeForce 8400 GS 512MB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card (cheap??? it does Logic 9/OSx86 very well, thank you)
***Bose® Companion® 2 Multimedia Speaker System

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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Item#: N82E16829121120
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