Cloned soundcard output
January 7, 2006 12:53 PM   Subscribe

I need to know something fairly specific about the Audigy 2 sound card.

I want to clone the video and audio outs on our PC to the HDTV, for games, DVDs, etc. My graphics card will do this happily enough through its second DVI port, but my soundcard (a Gamesurround Fortissimo II) won't. The best it will do is switch between the headphone out and the main stereo out, which isn't good enough: I want to have them both on at the same time. So I want to get a new one.

I don't have surround sound speakers on either the PC or the TV, and don't plan to get any, so I don't need anything other than two identical stereo outs on a card.

I'm looking at the Soundblaster Audigy 2 ZS -- the basic one, without the breakout box or the front panel -- because it's cheap and seems quite good. Does it have a headphone socket or an auxiliary out that can operate at the same time as the main stereo out?

If the answer is no, can you recommend a cheap sound card that will do this?
posted by ArmyOfKittens to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Best answer:
posted by Jairus at 1:10 PM on January 7, 2006

Best. Answer. Ever.
posted by fred_ashmore at 1:12 PM on January 7, 2006

Response by poster: I'm amazed and slightly embarrassed that I didn't think of that. Thanks!

And sod it, I'll get the Audigy anyway. The Gamesurround is crap.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:15 PM on January 7, 2006

The Audigy is overrated and expensive.
posted by Jairus at 1:16 PM on January 7, 2006

...if you just need 2-channel output, you are not going to find better stereo DACs than the ones in the Chaintech AV-710. And it's a third of the price.
posted by Jairus at 1:18 PM on January 7, 2006

You do get some sound quality loss by splitting a signal without boosting it, but I guess you'll be able to tell if it's significant to you by trying it both ways.
posted by abcde at 1:20 PM on January 7, 2006

Response by poster: I had a bit of a search around for the Chaintech, but none of my usual (UK) suppliers for computer bits stock Chaintech cards. Considering the Audigy is about a tenner, it's probably not worth me trading up the food chain.

(Besides, anything's got to be better than the Gamesurround's hopelessly broken EAX support.)

abcde, yes, I wondered about reduced sound quality. One of those "suck it and see" situations, I suppose. I'm not breaking the bank, at least.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:28 PM on January 7, 2006

It's not really an answer, but a related discussion about building a connector from the audigy2 zs to a standard front panel audio connection:

It seems to indicate that if you do this, you'll have audio off of the front panel and rear connectors at the same time.
posted by IvyMike at 2:13 PM on January 7, 2006

If one assumes that, since the Audigy with proper software supports listening to one track through the headphones while playing another track back through my speakers, it can also output the same signal to both outputs, you're probably okay. (The site also has downloadable help file docs for the card, if you want to dig around.)
posted by mdevore at 2:57 PM on January 7, 2006

I have an Audigy 2 Pro and I don't recommend buying it or any other Creative Labs product.
posted by krisjohn at 4:30 PM on January 7, 2006

i have no answer to the double output question, but i second krisjohn: don't buy an audigy unless you need the extra stuff (eax..)
there are some high quality soundcards for really low prices: av710 with international shipping ~50$, audiotrak prodigy xt ~100$, esi juli@ ~100$, m-audio revo 5.1 ~100$, cheapest e-mu should be under 200$
posted by suni at 5:32 PM on January 7, 2006

Soundblaster's suck, but they run the kx project drivers, which once you figure them out, are frikkin' awesome (they can do this sort of stuff easy, and that's just for starters)!

So with Creative, it's kinda love/hate at this point for me. There's better cards, but much less in the way of better drivers than kx.
posted by 31d1 at 6:45 PM on January 7, 2006

i would not count kx as a reason to use a soundblaster or audigy card.. creative stopped making drivers and kx has died some time ago

if i remember right audiotrak's drivers are excellent..
posted by suni at 8:45 PM on January 7, 2006

I'd like to perform a one-act play I call, 'Creative screwed me like a bitch'

Apparently Audigies have their detractors.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:22 PM on January 8, 2006

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