Bij NeoSeeker hebben ze een uitgebreide review neergemikt van de Philips Acoustic Edge geluidskaart. Deze soundplaat is gebaseerd op de Thunderbird Avenger DSP chip die als voornaamste feature QMSS bevat (scheld uit als QSound Multi-Speaker System). Hiermee is het mogelijk om een standaard stereo geluidssignaal om te zetten naar een 5.1 surround sound. Helemaal dezelfde kwaliteit als Dolby Digital krijg je hiermee meestal niet, maar het resultaat is zeker erg overtuigend. De Acoustic Edge kreeg dan ook een score van 97% mee naar huis; voor 99 dollar krijg je een geluidskaart van hoge kwaliteit:
The Acoustic Edge surround support in games works rather well. The card supports A3D 1.0 and EAX 1.0/2.0, so it takes advantage of the major APIs (even though A3D is already a defunct API). As part of our evaluation, we tested discrete 5.1 sound support for EAX2.0 enabled games such as Motorcross Madness 2, Heavy Metal FAAK 2, and Rogue Spear. The most striking aspect of 5.1 sound using EAX2.0 is that you get a much more detailed sense of the depth of the surround field. In Motorcross Madness 2 the crowd effects were simply amazing, and water effects in Heavy Metal FAAK2 were no less inspiring. We also tried QMSS with several other games like QIII, Unreal Tournament and others. Although QIII uses A3D 2.0, which is not supported by the card, the results were nonetheless very good. Racing games benefit a lot from 5.1 positional audio too… Star Wars Episode I Racer demonstrated perfectly the amazing immersion you can get when you can hear the swoosh of a passing pod racer on your left side. Effects like front-rear pans were amazingly smooth, and in all games, the reverb effects made for some heavy duty immersion.
[...] After all the discussion, after all the testing, everyone wants to know the “straight up goods”, the “final say”. I can say without a doubt that this is the sound card I will be recommending to all my friends for a while. I haven’t reviewed the SBLive 5.1, but I have tried it out in demos, and the difference is pretty significant. In pricing, software bundles, and in all other aspects the Philips Acoustic Edge is in the same class as the SBLive and the Voyetra Santa Cruz. It’s hardware accelerated QMSS, Qsurround, and QEM (environmental mapping for reverb and other effects) push it over the top though. I think QMSS alone is what will drive the card to the top for owners of 5.1 and 4.1 speaker setups. For those of you with stereo speaker systems, Qsurround surpasses any other virtual surround algorithm that I know of today for movie playback. There’s a lot of value packed into the hardware that comes with this package.
So in closing, I guess the only other thing I can tell you is that it isn’t often that a sound card really stands out from the crowd. When Aureal first introduced their Vortex 2 chip, the ensuing cards impressed me. After that, nothing much moved me, not even the Sound Blaster Live Platinum. The Acoustic Edge is a superb product. One that deserves to be recognized with top of class standings.