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Pros: the soundcard itself provides significantly clearer and more focused audio output that my onboard sound chip (Realtek ALC898)
Cons: headphone output is terrible, both with headphones plugged into the external volume control, and connected to directly to the cards headphone output. I RMA'd the first card and just received a brand new card which has the EXACT SAME quality issue with the headphone output. I've tried 3 pairs of headphones and all work great when i enable onboard sound, but all are terrible when plugged into the soundblaster.
the Pro Studio software that controls the card features/settings looks like it's from 1995. Terrible UI, not self explanatory for the novice.
Other Thoughts: the lack of headphone output on a card that costs around $100 is inexcusable. I'm sending this back and will probably avoid SoundBlaster cards from now on. I was always a SoundBlaster fan and have had many cards previously, but there is no sign the company has addressed quality control issues that have plagued them for so many years. Shame.READ FULL REVIEW