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Is it worth upgrading to M-Audio 2596?


Established Member
Hi everyone

A quick question. At the moment I'm building a simple PC purely for music playback (lossless flac/ape etc).

I have nearly all the bits and pieces ready and I do have spare X-Fi Xtreme Music audio card. I was going to buy M-Audio Audiophile 2496 card for this PC but now I'm thinking if it's worth doing that. I could use my X-Fi Xtreme Music and save ~£50.

The question is if there is a lot of difference between X-Fi and M-Audio. I do not have a problem with spending £50 if it's going to be much better (one more thing is the fact M-Audio does have proper RCA outputs, not crappy mini-jack).

What do you think guys? Did anyone had a chance to hear both X-Fi and Audiophile 2496?

btw. sry for the typo in thread name - was meant to be 2496
Last edited:


Established Member
I've been upgrading my PC over the years to use as a music source with my Hi-Fi.

I've owned the M-Audio 2496, and it was an improvement over my old SB Audigy II ZS, but nowhere as good as the Auzentech x-meridian (used with a quality Chord jack to phonos cable). I've not tried the X-Fi, so I can't comment on how it compares with the X-meridian...

I've eventually settled for an external DAC with a digital connection from the PC; this has obviously yielded the best results but for a much bigger investment!

Hope I didn't add to your confusion!

Member 310233

Standard Member
Again, I can't comment on the X-Fi, but I've had a 2496 for many years as well as the external Firewire version and they are solid performers. If you want to get into dj'ing or music production work they are fantastic due to the low latency ASIO drivers plus sound quality is great. Given that the design hasn't seemed to have changed in 5 years or so and they are still popular is a good sign that they got it right first time.

I have used plenty of Creative kit before and it's generally great for the money but I'm guessing the M-Audio would be better.


Established Member
The M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 will be an improvement over the X-Fi (for playing music), so definitely worth going for, also consider the EMU 0404...

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