Pump up your sound: Audigy2 ZS Notebook

Most notebooks include a sound chip that can handle basic audio and music playback if pushed but it's distinctly low-fi.

But upgrading the sound card of a notebook is as easy as it is for a desktop PC. The main option if you fancy pumping up your notebook's audio performance is a USB sound card. But they can be bulky, may require an external power supply and aren't exactly convenient for use on the move.

Creative is seeking to change this with a PC Card version of its Audigy2 ZS line.

However, it's not the first company to make a notebook sound card - the Indigo range from Echo Digital Audio (www.musiclink.com.au) has been on the market for some time.

The Audigy2 ZS card is a standard size, but extends about 20mm from the PC Card slot to accommodate the connectors, which include a headphone/optical-out on one side and a line-in/mic/optical-in on the other. In the middle is a flat custom connector that accepts the optional - but included - breakout cable, providing three 3.5mm audio jacks.

The design of the connectors means you only need the breakout cable if you connect to a surround sound speaker system, so you can just use the headphone-out on the card when you're on the move and don't need more.

We found the sound quality to be very good. It also provides good ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output) performance, operating with just 2ms output latency and 3ms for input in our test sequencing software, Ableton Live.

VERDICT: If you want to give your notebook audio a boost, but can't be bothered with the hassle or cable clutter of a USB solution, then the Audigy2 ZS Notebook is the card for you.

CREATIVE AUDIGY2 ZSD NOTEBOOK

PRICE $369 VENDOR Creative Labs PHONE (02) 9021 9800 URL www.au.creative.com SPECIFICATIONS PC Card sound card; 7.1 surround sound output at 24-bit/96kHz resolution; DVD-Audio playback at 24-bit/192kHz resolution; headphone/ optical-out and line-in/mic/optical-in on card; surround speaker connections via included breakout cable

FEATURES 9 VALUE 9 OVERALL 9

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Will Head

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?