Philips ships budget sound cards

Philips Electronics North America Corp. has released a pair of new sound cards sporting a new technology that produces high fidelity at budget prices.

The PSC605 Sonic Edge 5.1 has a suggested retail price of US$39.99 and the PSC604 Dynamic Edge 4.1 is $24.95. Both are available now.

The new cards use Sound Agent 2, a new technology designed to dramatically improve the sound quality of PCs, according to Philips. It uses new algorithms to analyze sound along two dimensions, considering both the source of the sound and where it will be played, to optimize its operation. Users can set their own listening preferences through an included software application that lets them control sound variables.

For example, users may set the sound specifications differently when using a PC or a media server, or when listening to different types of files, such as MP3, WAV, DVDs, or others. They may also want to change the settings if they’re listening on headphones instead of through PC speaker systems.

Distributing Sound

The Philips sound cards are designed to distribute the sounds among all available speakers, enveloping the user in different musical sounds coming from every direction. The Sound Agent 2 technology is particularly effective with MP3 and other music files, according to Philips.

Dynamic Edge 4.1 provides quad surround sound, and Sonic Edge 5.1 supports 5.1 channel surround. With this technology, the QMSS5.1 technology used in Philips’ card analyzes incoming signals and designates the virtual location of the sound in a surround environment, to simulate a 360-degree sound experience from all sources.

The capability should be especially appreciated by gamers, as many new games provide positional information for some sounds, according to Philips. The company maintains its QMSS technology distributes the sound more realistically.