has been a while since the first introduction of the original
A3D card a while ago. Back then "3d" sound was what you heard
when you had a Dolby digital 4 speaker setup. Now, we all know
it is quite possible to have true 3D sound from 2 speakers or
a pair of headphones. After a long wait, A3D has released the
second version of its popular sound card and API, the A3D 2.0.
Boasting of many new features including wavetracing with up
to 64 reflections, quad speaker support, and much more version
2.0 is set to be the most powerful sound card ever.
the recent competition from Creative Labs and their Sound Blaster
LIVE! EAX sound card, A3D 2.0 has been having a tough time getting
developer support. EAX (and EAX 2.0) is a much easier API to
incorporate then A3D 2.0, and more developers are dumping the
harder to use, but more powerful A3D 2.0 for the simple EAX
(and EAX 2.0). This is really a pity, because in my opinion,
A3D 2.0 has much better 3d sound then what EAX currently has
to offer. Although On EAX's defense, the EMU10K1 audio processor
is built using a software upgradable chip, where as opposed
to A3D's, it can be greatly enhanced with new drivers.
Xlerate Pro is yet another A3D 2.0 card based on the PCI A3D
reference design. The Xlerate Pro is made by Terratec, a huge
audio card manufacturer in Germany, but not so well know here
in the US. The Xlerate Pro is a card based on A3D's reference
design (Terratec didn't even bother to print their logo or name
on the PCB even). On top of that the Xlerate Pro's drivers are
also based on the A3D reference drivers, but this time they
put in their logo in place of the A3D one. The Xlerate Pro also
ships with Stereo connector cables if you feel like connecting
you Xlerate Pro to any external sound devices.