by June 30, 2004 0 comments

Digifire from Hercules is a sound card for gamers that supports 7.1 sound channels. The card has S/PDIF digital input and output ports. Plus, it has three FireWire ports and comes with Cyberlink Power Director Pro video-editing software. 

The card supports most of the game compatible sound standards such as EAX 1.0/2.0, Environment FX and Zoom FX. These are all extensions to the DirectSound, a part of MS DirectX. These have to be supported by the hardware and the game to give surround sound effects, and are especially useful in first person shooter games where you can hear enemies approaching from different directions. We tested the card for stereo cross talk and frequency response, and it fared well in both. Stereo cross talk refers to the leakage of sound between channels, which may cause an imperfect stereo image.

Frequency response checks whether the card can accurately produce frequencies audible to the human ear (20 Hz to 20 KHz). These frequencies also have some associated frequencies, known as harmonics, which can be disturbing. TDH (Total Harmonic Distortion) is the sum of these unwanted harmonics. The THD scores of the card were also good at 0.0039%. 

The bottom line: It’s one of the cheapest 8-channel soundcards for gamers. The closest competition to this is the Creative Audigy 2 ZS that comes for about Rs 7000. A very good buy at this price.

Geetaj Channana

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