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This review is from: HT | OMEGA eClaro 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Sound Card
7.1 Analog outputs
Separate headphone pre-amp.
Amazing audio quality
Cons: Will make you get 7.1 speakers / headset.
Justifies upgrading to Bose speaker systems.
Other Thoughts: I got this card a few years back, seeking an alternative to Creative Labs, as their Sound Blaster technology has not improved in years. The Bose speakers desktop speakers were crackling and popping that I attributed to poor quality audio files and streaming media.
A friend suggested this card for a rebuild, and once I got the 64bit drivers for Windows 7 loaded and configured, it's been beautiful ever since.
I use a Razer Tiamat 7.1 headset and exploit the hell out of positional audio when gaming, and toggle over to feed the optical out to the home theater receiver when not using those, no more popping and hissing, and much improved dynamic range from the Bose speakers.
When I moved for a year, I lent the original card I'd bought to a friend who had a Creative Sound Blaster F4tality melt down on him, and he liked it so much he wouldn't give it back, and it replaced his Macintosh for sound editing work in his band's studio.
Decent positional Audio
Attached microphone can take normal wear & tear.
Battery life is good for a gaming session even after a year of near daily use.
Cons: Do Not Use If:
You have a love of base that will rattle your teeth.
You have 2.4ghz wireless anywhere near your installation. Or your neighbors do. Or you live near a cell phone tower. Or power line. Or other form of wireless interruption.
You have a need to troubleshoot this 2.4ghz wireless device (that's the band the headset uses) with Logitech "Support"
Other Thoughts: I bought these to replace my SpeedLinkUSA Medusa 5.1's when the glue came undone on them and the manufacturer stopped importing/shipping to the USA, continuing to RMA them to the UK for repairs was getting more expensive than replacing them with something available stateside ($85 for shipping vs. $100 for new headset...)
I was persuaded into buying them based on my college roommate's recommendation. They seemed to be a good quality headphone, and the audio was no problem. At first I didn't even mind the lack of decent bass compared to my previous set of headphones.
I moved across the country, and in my apartment complex now, there are numerous other neighbors with 2.4ghz wireless networks.
Each time one of their networks does a signal scan (a routine, scheduled thing that wireless access points do) the headphones lose connection and have to reconnect.
Logitech tried to troubleshoot this for more than a week, displaying zero knowledge of the current product. They asked me to look for Registry keys that did not exist, and software features that did not exist.
In short: If you live in a high wireless usage area, these are a piece of junk and will drive you to smashing them against the wall with the screech-pop of the wireless signal getting knocked loose and re-synching. They are however durable enough to take being ripped off your head as you clutch your ears in pain at a particularly loud bit of speaker gibberish.
If you MUST have the wireless, make sure you use something like InSSIDer to look around and see how crowded your local area is, and the signal strength that WILL be interfering with your operation at regular intervals.
If you don't need wireless, you want better sound, better microphone, and gorilla-strength, go with the Plantronics GameCon 780
They're cheaper by $20 here at NewEgg. Mine will be arriving shortly.
Pros: Dual Fans that run quiet.
I'm getting obscene framerates (127-147fps) in Call of Duty Black Ops, with just one card, at factory settings, at 1920x1080. And it just dips down to the high 60s, low 70's when I switched to the displayport 3 monitor rig I built (5760x1080).
Supreme Commander 2 and Fallout New Vegas have taken a real liking to the card running on 1920x1080 mode as well.
Cons: Will chew a lot of power when I 3way SLI it after my tax return.
Be ready with a 1200 watt or 1500 watt power supply when you buy this. Don't under estimate the power this card can pull. And make sure you've got a UPS and 20 amp circuit or you'll brown out your domicile.
Other Thoughts: I hunted through the available 580 GTX's to find one with a DisplayPort adapter, since I needed that for my 3 monitor display. This seemed to be the only one with, and it's got better cooling by the readings I've been taking.
The lack of additional software isn't a concern to me, as that's already available.