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Recommend USB 5.1 Card (using 2 stereo amps)


Active Member

I'm looking for a surround USB soundcard that will work with the various new surround sound types eg DTS, 7.1 etc..

The soundcard needs to have analogue minijack or RCA outputs since I will be using two (Denon) stereo amplifiers and not a genuine 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system. One amp will drive the front and one amp will drive the surrounds.

I don't have a centre speaker and I don't need a sub. (I'm too far away from the screen for a centre speaker to be worthwhile and the front speakers are rega 5s which have plenty of bass).

I see that terratec do an "Aureon 5.1 MKII USB" (~£50) and creative have the SB X-Fi Surround 5.1 card (~£60).

My question is are both of these more or less future proof and will they allow me to "down mix" 7.1 sources to my custom 4.1 or "front and rear" only set up?

My alternative is just to dump the two stereo amps and go for an AV receiver but this is obviously a lot more money and besides I find the two stereo amps a lot more flexible and easier to use. (AV amps seem to have a billion settings that I can see me wasting hours and hours on..)

Finally it has to be a USB device since I'm using a macmini (although I'm running XP via bootcamp)

Thanks for reading


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