Creative announces new PC sound card

Computer peripheral maker Creative Technology yesterday launched a new, advanced PC audio card, the Sound Blaster Audigy, in the Middle East.

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By  Kieran Potts Published  September 17, 2001

Computer peripheral maker Creative Technology yesterday launched its new PC audio card, the Sound Blaster Audigy, in the Middle East. Based on their legendary EAX (Environmental Audio Extension) technology — long the industry standard for PC games — Audigy will greatly improve PC audio quality.

The Audigy sound card boasts 24-bit/96 kHz digital-to-analog converters (DACs), multi-channel five-speaker sound and 100dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Audigy also has a data transfer speed 4-times greater than any previous Creative audio processor.

Low Chee Seng, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Creative Labs Asia, declared Audigy as the highest-definition PC audio card ever. Moreover, the Audigy Sound Blaster will be sold for between US$99 and US$249, therefore making top-end PC audio available to all sectors of the customer base. The new card is expected to earn profits for the company way above their present average.

Since 1989 and the birth of Creative’s very first Sound Blaster, the company has continued to create revolutionary standards with PC audio. It was Creative Technology — in conjunction with Cambridge Soundworks — who introduced the world's first fully integrated Dolby Digital five-way surround-sound system for multimedia computers (the Desktop Theatre 5.1).

A few years ago, Creative bought Cambridge Soundworks, diversifying into the production of speakers in the process. In Asia the speakers market is growing at 50 per cent a year, declared Mr Low.

The Audigy chip is expected to greatly enhance the sound experience that accompanies games. For instance, improved ‘morphing’ allows for a smooth transition between soundtracks as the player moves from one ‘environment’ to another within a game. Yet, at the other end of the market, the Audigy is expected to also cater for music professionals.

However, although Creative has more than 170 million Sound Blaster users worldwide, the company is nevertheless releasing this product while the PC market stagnates in Europe and North America. Mr Low was more enthusiastic about the Middle Eastern market, saying it had “huge untapped potential”.

On the rumours that IBM wishes to buy Creative, Mr Low made no comment.

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