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Rating and Reviews: M-Audio Audiophile 2496

Enhance your home studio. Transfer your LPs to digital formats. Dress up your home theater system. This interface helps you do anything with sound.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"M Audio has done right with the Audiophile 24/96" submitted February 16, 2004

By a customer from sbcglobal.net
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Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Music Style: Progressive rock and Jazz
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VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Sound: Crystal clear 24/96 sound with just about absent noise and distortion. What else can I say? Feature: Clearly the best card in it's price range and for another $200 or so above it for that matter. I had done quite a bit of shopping before I bought this one. Digital and analog sources can be used at the same time. It has basic features, but those features are well-designed and practical. Quality: I'm not one to care about the looks of an audio card so I just won't comment on that. The product appears to be made well and is packaged well for transit. I expect it will work well for years to come. Value: Hands-down best value for the price in my book. In my exhaustive search for the best card for my application, I found nothing coming close with regards to specs, price, and quality. Manufacturer Support: I have not had to use support per se. I just downloaded the newest drivers. I did have to manually pick the drivers instead of windows finding them automatically for some reason, but they did load fine after that. The Wow Factor: This is not a ground-breaking product with regards to features. It's a very well-designed "workhorse". Not alot of bells-and-whistles. You can find features like this in many other cards, but the appeal certainly lies in the value for your money and ease of use. Overall: I will be using this product for years to come I imagine. I will certainly look at M Audio for my next card due to my experience with this one. If I had to buy another card right now, it would be this one.
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"Best Soundcard below $250. Seriously." submitted December 30, 2007

By a customer from gmail.com
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist, I guess. Active Musician too.
Music Style: Everything but Country. :-/
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: Obviously not the best sound out there, but quite probably the best sound for its price. It's hard to tell, because it's good enough that my speakers are holding it back. o_O Feature: This soundcard doesn't have many fancy features, but what it does do, it does perfectly. For the vast majority of people, your sounds' limiting factor will be your other equipment, not this card. I've never gotten better sound out of my stereo. Mind you, you can only have two input channels, and two output channels, which almost always ends up being stereo. Still, amazing for its price. Ease of Use: I triple boot Ubuntu Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows Vista. This soundcard works perfectly for me in all three- no fiddling around in menus, not even in the notoriously finicky Linux. I've had more trouble with setting up (shudder) integrated soundcards than with this one. Quality: Looks nice, sounds nice. Rugged for a sound card. Value: Easy to use, Sounds great. Definitely worth your $107. Manufacturer Support: I haven't needed this card repaired, but I've dealt with M-Audio's customer service before and they are quite nice. The Wow Factor: Ah... is blue. Is nice. Come on! It's a sound card. Even if this one is plain, everything ever made by Soundblaster is still like the hunchback of Notre Dame or something. For a sound card, it's lovely. Overall: As I've mentioned already, this soundcard is being held back by my other equipment. If/when I upgrade to the point that it's the other way around, I'll have to upgrade this too. Until then, it's worth it for sure.
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"Audiophile 24/96: Solid, Silent, Professional" submitted January 31, 2004

By a customer from bellsouth.net
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Sound
Features
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Value
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Music Style: Rock, Blues, Country
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: When the music plays, it sounds great. When the music stops, it is very quiet. If silence is golden, this card is Fort Knox. Feature: SPDIF and MIDI Ins/Outs, and they work as expected. But that's all. Quality: So far, very reliable. (I don't give any product a "10" until I have owned it for many years.) Value: The card is priced well below what it is worth, and you can buy it for even less if you shop around. Manufacturer Support: I had questions, and they had answers. They even had answers to questions that I hadn't asked yet. The Wow Factor: It's not pretty, but it works beautifully. Overall: This will probably be THE soundcard I use for producing rough demos... for at least the next 5 years... maybe longer.
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"Great card for your home studio"

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Music Style: Classic rock, blues
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Sound: Good quality sound. Recorded sound was quite faithful to the original, except the low frequencies. I have no way of telling whether that has to do with filter roll-off in the card or the monitor I am using. Feature: Not too many features. Just about enough to be very useful, and keep the learning curve short and sweet. Quality: Seems to be well made. Value: For an amateur enthusiast like me, it's a great value for money. Manufacturer Support: Outstanding support for the set of problems I faced. Overall: Chances are this card is all I need, as long as they continue to keep updating the drivers.
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"GREAT" submitted June 16, 2005

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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Reggae, hip hop, blues, calypso
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: Great crisp clear sound...Both recording and listening....and its very silent when is idle, u will forget u had on your monitors lol...if ur upgrading from a onboard card, u will be blown away, if upgrading from a audigy or one of those u will also be cause they can't record clear as this charm...9, well its not perfect, show me a card that is Feature: Good everything u need if u doing 1 or 2 tracks at a time, got good midi...never used the s/pdif Quality: Nice gold plated rca's all connectors look classy and not cheap Value: GREAT VALUE....this quality at 99 dollars.....anyone can have it at their palms even poor people like me lol....i remember when it was close to $200 (yes i was looking at it since then lol) Manufacturer Support: never called yet, never had to The Wow Factor: i got it Overall: great product for a home/project studio
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M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Customer Review submitted July 26, 2008

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist, Active Musician
Music Style: Rock, Instrumental, Acoustic
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Sound: very accurate and precise. what comes in definitely comes out the same as to your DAW and to your monitor speakers. if you want a better sound, then you should get a good pre-amp or mixer. ;) Feature: all your personal pc-recording needs can be answered by this item. you should have a vacant pci slot in your pc though. can do up to 4 tracks of simultaneous inputs with the spdif in stereo operation. latency is really low or negligible even within additional sends/loops. Ease of Use: i had a hard time installing this one. probably because im working on windows vista. if sometimes your pc can't detect its installation, just get the newest drivers available to solve those kinds of problem. Quality: looks well made. good circuit board and gold plated jocks. nice. Value: probably, one of the best recording soundcards in the market, in terms of money and features. Manufacturer Support: if you have any problems just visit m-audio website or read the manual. these stuff needs some familiarization for it to work perfectly. The Wow Factor: Not want. Its my practical need. Overall: 2 words, very good! :)
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"Good for some users." submitted October 1, 2005

By a customer from gmail.com
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Features
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Home Studio
Music Style: Weird Pop
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Sound: This is where it falls a little short.. it's got great sound but it has a lot of problems with IRQ's and pops and such. I still get pops in my recordings and when I listen and I've had it for like 6 months.. been trying to figure it out, but it's not solveable on my system. Kinda sucks in this respect.. I wish I'd shelled out the extra cash for a better card just to stop these pops. Feature: Great Midi setup, it's pretty much got it all here.. if there's no conflicts Quality: Wonderful look and feel, actually feels sturdy for a PCI card. Value: Would be great if it would work, sounds wonderful other than the pops. Manufacturer Support: They're pretty much the worst support *I* have ever encountered.. they didn't know how to solve my specific problem so they just stopped responding to my emails, I've sent *34*.. yes *34* unanswered emails now. The Wow Factor: Very "desireable"... I wanted one so bad =D Overall: It works well except for the minor problems.. but I'm going to have to get a new card eventually.. it's my next purchase.
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"Awesome!!" submitted September 20, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Producer, Hobbyis, Recording Engineer, Active Musician,
Music Style: Hip Hop/R&B, Heavy Metal, Rock, country, Smooth jazz
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Sound: I used it to record an album over the summer and when I connected my Roland Hard Disk Recorder into it, it basically transferred all the music on it digital and it sounds badass. Feature: I like the way it can be used as a primary or secondary soundcard. For any house computer this thing really gets the job done. Ease of Use: Just plug in load software and you're ready to go. Quality: Pretty good, it hasn't broken or even failed to do what it's supposed to do yet. Value: Reall cheap, with overnight shipping. .......Metal!!! Manufacturer Support: none. Didn't need any The Wow Factor: For a 100 dollars. C'mon Overall: Damn good, buy it, buy it now
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"The best sound card for the money anywhere!! Period." submitted April 3, 2006

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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: The sound is fantastic for the price. Feature: It has all the features of the Delta series minus wordclock BNC connections, but cam use it's SPDIF to sync to a master clcok. Ease of Use: Quite easy. the patchbay router is a bit confusing but overall very simple to use. Quality: Excellent quality for this price range. Value: The card is hands down the best soundcard for the price anywhere. Period. Manufacturer Support: Driver support is excellent, that is why i bought it. M audio keeps their drivers up to date and ASIO drivers are very stable. The Wow Factor: It's just a pci card. Overall: The design is so intelligent and the card is the most versatile card for it's price anywhere. that is why so many musicians and producers use it because it can still be used even when expanding your studio. And incredible card.
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"Tech support told me Distortion because of motherboard. I run a 900mhz athalon."

By a customer from knology. net
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Music Style: Hiphop. R&B. Rock. Reggae. Lean more towards hiphop but cant be put in a genre
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Sound: When producing music thru any program (Cakewalk,Sonar,EmagicPlatinum,Cubase)After the 2nd track, i get very bad cracking and distortion. Track 1 always sound fine. Track 2 sometimes will sometimes record with no distortion. Feature: Yes the features seem ok. I see it comes with s/pdif inputs. I just wish the sound would not distort. Quality: I have to give this no more than a seven. A seven because i understand the potential of this card, but it has yet to meet those expectations. Value: Not yet. Too much distortion. Manufacturer Support: Technical support was real cool. I was on the phone with those guys troubleshooting for almost an hour. We concluded that my motherboard is not good to use with this card even though my mboard exceeds the minimum requirements.. Shuttle fsb 133mhz 900mhz Athalon Processor. I will go ahead and upgrade to a top-of-the line Aseus mboard. I will write another review after i make this MAJOR upggrade to my system. The Wow Factor: Yes, this product and features is very appealing. Especially when you read the specs. Overall: As their tech support requested of me, i will purchase a new motherboard even though my motherboard technically exceeds the requirements. After i get this new Aseus motherboard, i will then know if this soundcard is worth the hoopla. Be waiting for my updated post.
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"The 24/96 is a good unit for the price." submitted December 5, 2004

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: recording engineer and active musician
Music Style: every goddamn thing
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Sound: The unit is very quiet Feature: I cant stand the fact that the imputs are rca's. Should be 1/4 inch. Quality: Product seems pretty sturdy to me Value: I bought it for 150. I think it now sells for 100. Its definitely a straight product for the price. Manufacturer Support: i have dealt with the customer support. They are pretty responsive. The Wow Factor: eh? its a soundcard. Theres nothing sexy about a flowchart, is there? actually... Overall: I have recorded a full length using this card, and am in the process of recording another. I think i will upgrade to the 1010 though. I need more ins. Two just aint cuttin it.
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"I love this product" submitted November 29, 2009

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Music teacher/ Compuser
Music Style: Piano, Instrumental,
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Sound: Sound Great and Clean. I had a Pentium 4 2Ghz running on Windows 2000, Sonar 2 and played the some softsynth from the included Ableton live lite and also Cakewalk's Project5. Always sound good to me. No Complain. Feature: Not much in terms of features. But at this price you can't really expect much. I had use the the included midi port. But I bought this for is sound quality and midi. Ease of Use: Piece of cake. Installed the card and driver. It works without any problem. I had two minor complains. One, the 2496 cannot coexiest with my soundblaster card. But, I don't think that's M-audio fault. But it would nice to warned the customers first. Second, I had to plug in/out the audio cables only when computer is off. Otherwise doing so would crashed my computer. Quality: I am very happy with the product. It did what it was designed to do very well. Value: It is the least expensive pro audio soundcard in market. Great value for my money. There other product in similar priced ranged would be Cakewalk's UA1g but it is USB based and had no MIDI port. Manufacturer Support: No idea. Hope I will never need it. The Wow Factor: It's a soundcard inside your computer. I don't think most musician/producer would based their buying decision on the looks of the card. Overall: I would use it as long as I am using a desktop for music production. I
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M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Customer Review submitted December 4, 2006

By a customer from bellsouth.net
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Musical Background: Guitar Player 4 years
Music Style: Punk Rock
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Sound: A semi professional 2 channel card for 100$, with spidf I/O for future upgradablity. Not much to complain with as good as any other audio interface (motu, EMU,) for conversion quality. Feature: Basic expected for the price. Software bundling a bit lacking compared to its biggest competitor the EMU0404, over all good choice. Ease of Use: As easy as any other audio interface Quality: Drivers in development for 7 years, rock solid. Value: theres nothing cheaper that usable. Manufacturer Support: never dealt so i'm giving them a 5 The Wow Factor: Oh yeah! green silocon, what nonsense a sex apeal question...
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M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Customer Review submitted August 27, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Musican/ designer/ technican
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Sound: Sound is far better than expected for the price. If you use a tube output driver stage to feed the analog in, be advised that the input impedance is lower than avedtised. If used in a tape loop, make sure it is buffered or may load down your source. Feature: Use this in the shop for testing DACS and CD Transports. Also great for vinyl transfers and editing. (No latency issues) Quality: Use a good pre or mixer as source buffer and you don't wear out the bogy rca jacks. Value: Can't beat it for the price. I use the firewire version on a regular basis, and guess what- I don't seem to have all the problems that other complain about! Manufacturer Support: Did not have issues with the 2496 Audiophile, but did have compatibility problems with some software (non-pro) seeing this card. Definately not M-Audios fault here as Sound Forge and Adobe Audition/ work well. Overall: Don't know how many I have setup for others, and buying another one for a converted Dell server with no onboard sound.
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"best bang 4 the buck" submitted November 28, 2006

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Sound: for the price .. there isnt another sound card that can match it ! Feature: i guess Ease of Use: yeah .. plug n play .. never had an issue Quality: once again .. u really cant beat this card for the price ... if this is your first time buying a nicer sound card ... this is the one you want !!!! Value: see above Manufacturer Support: never needed it The Wow Factor: come on now .. how sexy can a sound card be ,,,, Overall: im totaly happy w/ it
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"Amazing" submitted August 3, 2005

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Sound: Really is superb for the price! have been blown away by the quality and accuracy of the reproduction of highs and lows from this card. After using alot of the modern sb cards i didnt really expect much of an improvement as far as play back was concerned, as the card was bought for recording. However i was shocked! playback is clean and crisp, recording is as impressive Quality: It seems to be well made and havent had any problems, have been very impressed especially considering the price!! Value: Its so cheap! For something of this quailty and specification, i certainly am not going to complain! Overall: Cheap, suberb audio quailty with endless uses
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M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Customer Review submitted October 22, 2004

By a customer from jeffnet.org
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Musical Background: Professional jazz musician, pro sound designer/composer
Music Style: jazz, electronic/ambient/techno/tribal/modern classical
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Sound: I got the AP2496 maybe a year ago and initially was delighted with the sound, which was, expectedly, vastly superior to the sound coming from the back of my G3. Feature: OK - it handled analog in and MIDI in/out very well. I had some struggles figuring out how to get the S/PDIF inputs to work but eventually did. Value: I can't answer this. Manufacturer Support: I was in e-mail contact with an M-Audio tech person - - back & forth for weeks. It seemed to me the guy, responding to my questions, was doing a lot of guessing. When I told him that the original specs (& the specs in the enclosed manual) quite clearly stated that my setup was perfectly adequate, he hemmed & hawed well, we've had some "feedback" (read "complaints") and now we've upped the system requirements.. Truth is - they don't know why this card is not working with my system. All their suggestions - new drivers, old drivers, install OS 9.2.2 (which I've read in many places is somewhat unstable compared to 9.1), etc etc - I spent many many days rebooting from crash after crash. The tech guy has totally ignored my latest letters. I think he's getting tired of my problems. He did, though, give me the phone # of someone who "may" be able to get me a refund or credit towards something else - after all, the original specs and the manual state clearly that my setup is fine for the 2496. Now, I'm considering the Delta 44 - which has 4 1/4" INs & 4 OUTs but no MIDI. (I'd use a MIDI interface via a port which is what I'm doing at this time anyway) I'm a bit burned out with this entire business. Overall: Good sound quality. Suffecient options for my needs. Very very thin tech support, bordering on casual offhandedness. I've had so much hassle with this it's a struggle to think about it peacefully. I NEED GOOD SOUND!
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"Great if it works - space holder otherwise" submitted November 24, 2005

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Sound: Sound is fine except for the annoying crackle. Crackle isn't level based but appears at times and not at others. Will not be able to continue use if unable to resolve crackle. Set control to output Monitor/Mixer crackle less prominent but is still there. Fairly usable at this setting. No change with variation in sampling rate and buffers. Feature: What features? It's pretty much a bare bones sound card. Use other hardware and software for features. Quality: Seems to be ok but needs 1/4" i/o or XLRs. Value: Would rate it higher on value if it didn't have the crackle. 100 bucks isn't bad for 24/96 Manufacturer Support: None or haphazard at best The Wow Factor: pretty bland. Not much sex in a sound card Overall: Would rate it much higher if not for the crackle
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"Does not work with Vista 64 bit." submitted October 8, 2008

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Manufacturer Support: Can't use it with Vista 64. They've been working on drivers for over 18 months with no . This is unacceptable. I am looking to purchase a different brand of soundcard from a company. Shame on you M-Audio!
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"Does not work. Poor Design." submitted January 6, 2005

By a customer from cox.net
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Musical Background: hobby
Music Style: blues/rock
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Sound: Could never get it to work. It is not certified to work with XP. Tried all the drivers etc that M-Audio recommended but no work. Bottom line is that dont have a proper driver for XP. Dont buy unitl they advertise it works with XP Feature: weak. really only 1 audio input (stereo) they like you to think 4. but not really Quality: you cant even read the audio connector markings once its installed in hte computer. extremely weak. Value: consider the time it takes you to get it to work. it might be the most expensive 1 audio input card in the world. Manufacturer Support: well. When I tried to get help they said even their email system would take emails unitl after the holidays. Thats great...wonderful support ehhhh! The Wow Factor: barebones as it gets. comes with nothing......and you get out of it...nothing Overall: I gave it the college try to get it to work. Bottom line: VERY VERY poor design, they are using consumers to do their troublshooting, it came to market before it was ready. Wait to buy until they certify it works with XP
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"Quality ala ZATAMM" submitted January 16, 2006

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Sound: I've had no pops, hiss, or other artifacts from this card. It has delivered perfectly in recording (via analog and digital inputs) and playback. Feature: I expected three things from this card: quality recording, quality playback, and straightforward routing of the audio signal via the software. It pretty much does all three well. Recording has been flawless. For some reason, I never could get it to playback via the digital output into the digital input of the sampler I owned. The software was a little tricky to figure out at first, but I was new to PC DAW when I got this card, so there was a lot I couldn't initially grasp in all of the equipment I was using. Quality: Have had for 3 years now (and I obtained it second-hand!) with no problems whatsoever. Has been pulled and installed in different PCs five or six times without incident.
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M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Customer Review submitted December 31, 2004

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Recorjding engineer. / Active Musician
Music Style: Jazz/Blues/ Rock /Metal/ Classical /World/ Folk
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Sound: For the price you acnnot beat this. Anyone suggesting SB over this cannot possibly have any clue. Compatability may be an issue for MAC users. I run Win 2000 and have never had a problem with it. The signal to noise ratio outclasses many more expensive cards. Feature: FOR THE PRICE again you can't beat it. The breakout cables work fine for anyone since you will need to have a mixer or preamp anyway to make the most use out of it. Quality: Tough as nails so far. Over 2 Years Value: You won't find a better card at this price. Manufacturer Support: Never had to use them.
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"Use this for part of your setup, not the only device for what your doing.." submitted February 26, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Recording Engineer
Music Style: Hip Hop, Rap
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Sound: The quality is near perfect. Rule one.. Know what your doing... I use it not by itself. I use it alongside other pieces of hard ware equipment. The sound card is just a way I can route my sound from my mixer to my computer for further engineering. Feature: You get what you pay for. I do not use this card as the only piece of hardware to record, and if you do, you need help. Quality: Nice... Manufacturer Support: Didn't have to use them Overall: I was very satisified with this card. Though I knew I could get a 44 or 66, I chose this card for my home setup.
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"A Sheep with a heart of a Wolf!" submitted January 11, 2005

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The Wow Factor
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Sound: paid $250 and I have it for 4 years now, it had few problems when changing my computers system, but again it was fixed by getting the right driver. Sound is very good, clean! well i dont know how much clearer we need, its a simple card, but proffesional, again it never gave me any headaches.a after upgrading to XP pro. Feature: not many, but again i only use it to get clean sound. never used spdf nor midi ! Quality: no doubt!! great card, i like the RCA inputs, because they last forever! Value: best value for beginner producer now that is only $99 its a sheep with a wolf heart! Manufacturer Support: e-mailed m-audio when i had a problem they responded in 2 days with good advice. well maybe i was lucky! The Wow Factor: FOR IT"S VALUE! I will dafenately say good bye to it when I get its bigger sister with few tears too. Overall: I was happy with it , knowing its inside my system. i gave it 9 because i need more inputs now, i do more complicated work than last 4 years!
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"ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE" submitted October 22, 2004

Overall
Sound
Features
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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Sound: DOES NOT WORK ON WINDOWS XP IF YOU HAVE AN AGP GRAPHICS CARD. Found this out the VERY HARD WAY after HOURS upon HOURS of troubleshooting....by the way, I work on PCs for a living, and I've never seen something so INcompatible with windows since WINDOWS 95. DO NOT BUY THIS. Feature: Wouldn't know, can't use it Quality: Wouldn't know, doesn't work Value: $100 for a sound card that doesn't work Manufacturer Support: based on reviews from SEVERAL forums rating this card, it's not even worth the time to try, just return it The Wow Factor: I want a soundcard that works, not this piece o cr@p Overall: Terrible. THEY NEED TO PUT ITS HARDWARE LIMITATIONS ON THE BOX SO YOU DON'T WASTE HOURS OF YOUR TIME TROUBLESHOOTING.
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