uit de SOS:
"However, at £180 and £240 respectively, the Platinum and Platinum eX models have some serious competition from soundcards designed from the ground up for use by musicians. These include models such as the Marian Marc 2 (street price £170), M Audio's Audiophile 2496 (street price £170), Terratec's EWX 24/96 (street price £140), and while Echo's Mia is more expensive at £220, it's still cheaper than the Platinum eX. While none of these sport the Audigy's effects, multiple I/O, SB1394 ports, or remote control abilities, they all support 24-bit/96kHz throughout, bit-for-bit digital copying, and have higher overall audio quality, all of which may be more important to the serious musician. The Audigy range will make most other consumer soundcard manufacturers quake in their boots, and provides a huge and impressive feature set, but I can't agree with Creative that "This is the ultimate soundcard system for high-end musicians."
There's no denying that the Audigy 2 Platinum EX is an impressive product at an excellent price, and Creative are to be congratulated in pushing consumer soundcard quality ever closer to that of 'professional' soundcards designed for musicians. I'm sure plenty of potential users will be excited by the ability to play back DVD-Audio from their existing DVD-ROM drive, and to finally to get both 24-bit/96kHz ASIO support and better audio quality.
However, there are still rather too many caveats for my liking, and too much potential confusion. Only Windows XP and 2000 users get the full feature set, and some buyers will be frustrated that the DSP effect options disappear when you use the 24-bit/96kHz ASIO drivers, or not realise that if you add effects to 24-bit/96kHz recordings on the way in, the signals are truncated to 16-bit/48kHz, treated, and then up-sampled afterwards.
Although the basic Audigy 1 card can now be bought at a bargain £40, I suspect that some people will be caught out buying the basic Audigy 2, not realising that its ASIO drivers are still limited to 16-bit/48kHz. This time round, only buyers of the £200 Platinum EX will get 24-bit/96kHz ASIO 2.0 driver support, and at this price there are plenty of other temptations for the musician, including Terratec's DMX 6Fire and ST Audio DSP24 Media 7.1, or more straightforward cards like Echo's Mia, M Audio's Audiophile 2496, and Terratec's EWX 24/96. The alternatives may not be so well featured as the Audigy 2, but they will also be less frustrating for serious musicians