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M-Audio Audiophile 2496 MIDI Digital Recording Interface

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #14 in Sound Cards

Posted

Pros: Compact, High Quality, Simple

Cons: Not the most transparent

Thought it great until I recently comparered its analog out to the DAC on my Onkyo TX-SR876 receiver...

 

Although good to a point, it failed in highly complex loud music passages like the Choral movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony..... where as the volume and the number of instruments and voices increased, the 2496 could not keep the sounds seperate.... they become muddled/mixed a little muddy.

 

Under all other conditions, and especially with Jazz, small acoustic, baroque music, there was no discernible difference between the two.

 

This is a great sound card..... but perhaps reaching the limits of what can be achieved internally within a PC 

Posted

Pros: Cheap,simple,neutral sound & low distortion,RCA

Cons: Vintage-old,no headphone output

INTRO

Audiophile 2496 is the basic card of M-Audio's Delta soundcard series.M-Audio(part of AVID) is mainly pro-audio targeted company supplying musical instruments,software and studio equipment,as well as PC-based consumer-suitable audio interfaces.This way,the Audiophile 2496 is first meant to live in small/home recording studios,and second in Mr. Audiophile's PC.

 

THE CARD

The soundcard is equipped with 4 solid gold-plated RCAs - 2 for input and 2 for output.The DAC and ADC are combined into the AK4528 CODEC.There's 1 NE5532 opamp on the output and 3 NE5532 in instrumental configuration on the input.A 7805 regulator feeds the digital ICs.A VIA ENVY24 chip controls all that stuff.This basically describes the card,as it's board is simple and clean,not too much to look at.

 

FEATURES

2 channels for recording and 2 channels for playback-can't get any simpler.Audiophile 2496 also provides S/PDIF I/O and MIDI I/O.It is compatible with almost any music production software,including M-Audio's ProTools.There's no microphone input or headphone output.DirectX is supported,but there's no support for gaming sound features like EAX.Games sound fine though.

 

RMAA 

Screenshot-15_cr.bmp

M-Audio never tried to play it sly,and the specs on the box are honest.The 1kHz spectrum is completely clean.Pro is pro.

 

SOUND

The card sound,above all-neutral.There's nothing bassy,or trebly,or "warm",or "cold",nor anything that you can actually associate with a funny adjective.Bad tracks sound bad,good tracks sound great.Not surprising since it's made for the studio,where accurate monitoring is desired.Some may find it boring,or veiled though,but personally I'm fine in Neutraland.

 

VERDICT 

Now,this card is old.Very old.10 years are an era in computer hardware.Soon it may be ready for the museum.It looks like a miracle,but it's still in production and the last driver was updated one month ago.I think it's time for M-audio to update the hardware.

Still,for 80$ you get a rock-stable interface with great performance and all-the-needs for you,home PC musician.Or beginner audiophile?The card is prepared for the both.

M-Audio Audiophile 2496 MIDI Digital Recording Interface
Description:

4 In-4 Out PCI Digital Recording Interface with MIDI / All-in-one HiFi soundcard for multitrack recording to home-theater

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandM-Audio
EAN4571132550146
FeatureLP/cassette-to-CD transfers
Height0 inches
Length0 inches
Weight1.2 pounds
Width0 inches
LabelM-Audio
List Price$129.99
ManufacturerM-Audio
Model2496
MPN9900-50765-00496
Package Quantity1
Product GroupMusical Instruments
Product Type NameSOUND_AND_RECORDING_EQUIPMENT
PublisherM-Audio
StudioM-Audio
TitleM-Audio Audiophile 2496 MIDI Digital Recording Interface
UPC612391415006
Hardware PlatformPC
Is Autographed0
Is Memorabilia0
Operating SystemApple MacOS X 10.1.5
LanguagesEnglish
Number Of Items83
Special FeaturesM Audioâs Audiophile 2496 card is the latest addition to its highly successful Delta family of soundcards. The Audiophile 2496 is an all-in-one high fidelity soundcard solution for a wide variety of applications, ranging from multitrack recording to computer-based home theatre. Analog I/O is available on RCA jacks, utilizing the same professional 24-bit 96kHz conversion as the Delta 44 and Delta 66 cards. S/PDIF I/O and MIDI I/O provide connectivity to both digital devices and the world of MIDI. The Audiophile 2496 includes a powerful digital mixer/router, and control over SCMS (Serial Copy Management System). Delta cards support all computer platforms and major software programs.With software support, the Audiophile 2496 becomes the highest fidelity home theatre soundcard available today.
Form FactorPlug-in card
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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